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We partner with several universities across our state to offer various teacher certification options. Check out the details below.

Becoming Certified to Teach

Residency Licensure:

The residency license is a new licensure pathway that is replacing what is known as lateral entry. Lateral entry licenses and pathways ceased to be offered beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. 

What is the Residency License and its requirements? The residency license is a one-year pathway, renewable up to two times (for a total of three years). It is for candidates that meet the content requirements of licensure but may still need pedagogy requirements. All requirements to convert a Residency License to either an Initial Professional License (IPL) or Continuing Professional License (CPL) must be completed before the expiration of the second renewal of the Residency License. Individuals must meet the following requirements:

  1. holds, at a minimum, a baccalaureate degree;
  2. has either completed 24 hours of coursework in the requested licensure area or passed the North Carolina State Board of Education (NCSBE) required content area examination(s) for the requested licensure area; *Teach For America Corps Members are required to take and pass the content examinations for requested licensure area
  3. is enrolled in a recognized Educator Preparation Program (EPP). Students must have earned a grade point average of at least 2.7 on a four-point scale for formal admission to approved North Carolina EPPs, and;
  4. meets all other requirements established by the NCSBE, including completing preservice requirements prior to teaching
  5. if assigned to teach elementary, you must pass the Foundations of Reading exam and the Elementary Education: Mathematics - CKT (7803)
  6. If assigned to teach a middle school core content area (English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies) or a foreign language, you must pass the PRAXIS II subject area exam for your content area
  7. If assigned to teach a high school core content area (English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies), you must pass the PRAXIS II subject area exam for your content area and the Principles of Learning and Teaching (7-12) exam, which are administered by Educational Testing Service

Upon hire with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools or Guilford County Schools, corps members are required to pay a processing fee of $100 in order to apply for a North Carolina Residency License, which is valid for three years and renewed annually.

Master's Degree Option

Although a graduate-level degree is not required in North Carolina, if you choose, you can obtain a master's degree during your TFA commitment through one of the universities below: 

University of North Carolina - Charlotte (UNCC) offers a master's of art in teaching (M.A.T.) degree program exclusively for Teach For America corps members.

North Carolina A&T State University

University of North Carolina - Greensboro


Pursuing your teaching license in the State of North Carolina will allow you to obtain credentials to remain in your classroom after your Corps Commitment. It will also allow you to pursue other leadership opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. We see obtaining your teaching license as a critical step in your professional development - one that will provide you with key pedagogical knowledge to ensure your students are successful in the classroom.

In Charlotte-Piedmont Triad, corps members obtain their teaching license with our partner university, East Carolina University. You will take two courses during your first year of teaching and two courses during your second year of teaching and then will have your full license by the summer of your second year (you will teach on a residency license as a corps member). In-state tuition for East Carolina University is approximately $1,400 with an additional $300 EdTPA payment to the state. Corps members are responsible for tuition fees, which are paid in payments to East Carolina University. Classes for the first year will total $400, and the remainder of tuition will be paid in the second year. Corps members may use their Americorps funding to cover their second year fees.


Pre-Service Training

Pre-service starts with Institute and continues through the first 90 days of teaching in the classroom. Corps members will continue to get support in their development as a teacher in a more responsive way throughout two years in the classroom. Here’s a look at the pre-service experience:

National Summer Training

As a corps member you will go through a virtual centralized training that will serve as the foundation of how to become a teacher leader. You will begin to establish your pedagogical foundation, develop a deeper understanding of our theory of change in Teach for America and begin to grapple with the reflections from your experiences both during and pre-summer training on what it will take for you to become a teacher leader. The virtual experience will happen with you and other 2021 corps members across the country, which is very exciting! It will be the start, and not the end, of your training as a teacher in Teach for America.

Transition to Region

Once you have completed National Summer Training, you will begin working more closely with your region where you can start to apply the lessons that you’ve learned at Institute within the context of your community. You will also continue to build relationships with the staff and corps members within your region. This still won’t be the end of your training to become a great teacher at Teach for America!



Leadership coaches work with corps members to identify big goals for their classroom. From there, they coach and develop corps members through 1:1 meetings, classroom observations, and group professional development. Meet our coaches:

  • Michael Sheffield: First Year Coach
  • John Gesiotto: First Year Coach
  • Deborah Goddard: First Year Coach
  • Philana Woods: First Year Coach
  • Natalie Cowart: Second Year Coach
  • Jhermel Goss: Second Year Coach
  • Katie Iraheta: Second Year Coach