Lateral Entry


The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is pleased to assist candidates for lateral entry with information on how to enter the teaching profession. Lateral entry is an alternate route to teaching which allows qualified individuals to obtain a teaching position and begin teaching right away, while obtaining a license as they teach.

The NC Department of Public Instruction authorizes lateral entry licenses on a provisional basis in licensure areas that correspond to the individual's academic study.

Step 1: Qualify

The individual must first qualify as a lateral entry teacher to be able to seek a position with a school system.

Step 2: Employment

The individual is hired by a school system, which recommends the individual to the NC Department of Public Instruction for a lateral entry license. The individual is issued a three-year provisional license.

Step 3: Plan of Study

Upon being issued the initial provisional lateral entry license, the individual affiliates with a college or university with an approved teacher education program in the license area or with one of the Regional Alternative Licensing Centers (RALC) in North Carolina. An individual plan of study is prescribed for the lateral entry teacher.

Step 4: Coursework and Testing

The individual follows their plan of study prescribed by the college or university or the RALC. A minimum of six semester hours per year from the plan of study must be taken until the plan has been completed. All coursework and the Praxis II exam for their licensure area must be completed within three years.

Step 5: Recommendation for Standard Professional I License

When the individual completes the required coursework prescribed by the college, university or RALC and satisfies licensure testing requirements, he/she is recommended for licensure by the institution or RALC. This recommendation is sent to the NC Department of Public Instruction where it is evaluated and if the individual has met all requirements, they are issued a Standard Professional 1 License.

Important Links

DPI Lateral Entry Info