Licensure & Certification

Individuals seeking teacher licensure in North Carolina have several routes available to them; each route carries specific requirements and limitations. In all cases, individuals should seek additional information from appropriate offices or authorities; below is a brief overview of the routes.

Several licensure options exist for students:

  • Traditional Teacher Licensure
  • Middle and Secondary Teaching Graduate Certificate
  • Licensure Only (includes Appalachian Transition to Teaching Program)
  • Lateral Entry or Regional Alternative Licensing Center (RALC)

Traditional Teacher Licensure

  • A four-year undergraduate degree is the most common route for students who enter a college or university with the intention of completing a degree in teacher education.
  • Students select a major, follow a prescribed course of study, and complete an official degree program designed to prepare teachers in a particular field.
  • Students are then recommended by the Reich College of Education for initial licensure.

For further information, visit Academics to learn more about the programs offered by Appalachian State University or visit the University Bulletin where majors and licensure requirements are detailed.

Note: RCOE participates in the Appalachian Learning Alliance, where students may enroll in a degree completion program leading to licensure. Students complete an appropriate Associate of Arts degree and then are admitted to Appalachian's teacher education program and may complete all requirements at one of our community college site-based programs or online. Learn more!

Applying for Traditional Applicant Licensure 

Upon the official conferral of your degree, submit an online application for licensure through the North Carolina Department of Instruction's (NCDPI) online application web-page.

The following information must be uploaded with your application:

  • Official Transcripts
  • Test Scores (NES or Praxis II)
  • Work Authorization (if not a US citizen)
  • Teaching Experience Verification (if you have prior teaching experience outside of Student Teaching)
  • $70.00 nonrefundable processing fee ($100.00 for speech pathology license)

*If this is your first North Carolina teaching license, include official, degree posted undergraduate transcripts.

**If applying for specialist (sixth year) or doctorate level licensure, include a Form V with your application (contact Theresa Makdad to request a Form V) 

It takes NCDPI approximately eight to 12 weeks to process your application. Please note: applications cannot be submitted until degrees have been conferred, which occurs about three weeks after graduation.

Middle and Secondary Teaching Graduate Certificate

Through the Graduate Certificate in Middle and Secondary Teaching program at Appalachian State University, eligible candidates can obtain an initial A-level teaching license in as little as three (3) semesters.  

The program is offered completely online and is only 18 credits. This is by far one of the quickest, most cost-effective and convenient means towards licensure. This is a coherent program for lateral entry as well. Learn more!

Licensure Only

The Appalachian Transition to Teaching Program (ATTP) was born of the realization that graduates of four-year programs who did not get their teaching licenses while undergraduates and now want to teach, may need assistance navigating the often-confusing process of completing their requirements for "Alternative Teacher Licensure".  

This non-degree, licensure only program results in an "A" level license. This is the equivalent of the license earned by completing an undergraduate program in teacher education. 

The ATTP helps "Licensure Only" students, who complete their coursework before beginning teaching. The ATTP also can help "Lateral Entry" teachers, who are already teaching while taking courses concurrently.

  • Available to individuals who have completed a four-year degree from an accredited university.
  • FREE analysis to determine what requirements are needed before being recommended for licensure. Allow four to six weeks.
  • Study full-time or part-time. 
  • The length of time that it takes to complete the program varies by individual and is dependent on the number of courses required for licensure and whether a student is attending full-time or part-time.
  • Classes are not offered on weekends, but many are offered at night and during the summer. Visit the Office of the Registrar for details on when specific classes are offered. Visit Online and Distance Programs for information about satellite programs.
  • Student Teaching is a program requirement of this program. Learn more about Student Teaching or contact  Sheena Shumate, Student Teaching Coordinator.

Ready to apply?

Complete the Transcript Evaluation Request Form and send with your unofficial transcripts to:

By email:

By mail:

Appalachian Transition to Teaching Program
Appalachian State University
Reich College of Education, Office of the Dean
ASU Box 32038
Boone, NC 28608-2038

Allow four to six weeks for review.

Lateral Entry or RALC

Lateral entry allows qualified individuals to obtain a teaching position and begin teaching right away while obtaining a professional educator's license as they teach.

NCDPI authorizes lateral entry professional educator's licenses on a provisional basis in licensure areas that correspond to the individual's academic study. Please review the following information and remember that only the hiring school system can initiate the process for lateral entry status.

  • Available to individuals with degrees in appropriate fields, but not teaching licenses, who have been hired by a school district.
    • Lateral entry candidates must present evidence of having been hired by a school district.
    • Candidates must present transcripts for review.
    • A program of study can be developed or the candidate can take courses to meet the terms of a Program of Study from a Regional Alternative Licensing Center (RALC).  
  • Lateral entry teachers are hired to teach full time in a district and must arrange to complete the requirements in addition to meeting the full-time obligations of a teacher.
  • Three years are allowed to complete the necessary requirements for a teaching license, with a minimum of six hours being taken each academic year in order to remain in good standing.

*Graduates of approved education programs who are not recommended for professional educator's licensure by their college or university are not eligible for a lateral entry professional educator's license.

**Individuals who have completed all education program requirements except the Praxis Series tests (if applicable) are not eligible for a lateral entry professional educator's license.