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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

If you wish to remain in the classroom beyond the life of your initial lateral entry license, you will need to convert your lateral entry license to a professional license through completion of licensure coursework through a local licensure program.   

Teach For America corps members will have two options for converting their lateral entry license to a professional teaching license:

Option 1:

Enroll in coursework through one of our university partners

For corps members who desire to teach beyond three years, professional licensure can be obtained by completing licensure coursework through one of the following university sites during your corps commitment:

  • North Carolina A&T State University: (Piedmont Triad elementary educators)
  • University of North Carolina - Greensboro (Piedmont Triad middle school and high school educators).
  • University of North Carolina - Charlotte (Charlotte educators): For elementary educators, face-to-face courses are required. For middle and secondary educators, coursework is primarily online.

The coursework completed through these programs is intended to offer lateral entry teachers the opportunity to earn a professional teaching license and continue teaching in North Carolina. After completion of the program, participants are granted a teaching license that is reciprocated in most other states. To transfer this license to another state, additional exams or coursework may be required.

Option 2:

Enroll in Guilford County Schools Alternative Certification Track (Piedmont Triad corps members only)

Our partner school district, Guilford County Schools offers a 12-month licensure option for lateral entry teachers. The coursework starts with required lateral entry training which takes place in July and August, and will continue during your second year in the corps.

This program is selective and open to most Guilford County Schools teachers (excluding Elementary (grades K-5) and teachers of adaptive curriculum.

To qualify, corps members must have either 24 credit hours or a degree in the content area they are teaching and a 3.0 (preferred) undergraduate GPA (preferred). 

After completion of the program, participants are granted a professional teaching license that is reciprocated in most other states. The transferring rules suggest contacting the transferring district to clarify if your certificate will transfer. 

The current 2017-2018 cost for this program is $1000, though costs vary from year-to-year.

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.

While obtaining a master’s degree is not required and Guilford County Schools does not offer a master’s pay incentive, corps members have the option to pursue a master’s degree in education from our local universities: North Carolina A&T State University or University of North Carolina - Greensboro. Through these universities, corps members can complete a 30-credit hour master’s degree in a variety of core content areas or in elementary education.

TFA Training

What to Expect

The summer before you begin teaching, Teach For America hosts required summer training. Here are some details about what to expect:

  • Regional Induction: Meet regional staff and fellow corps members, and get to know the  community where you will live and work. Estimated dates May 28-31, 2019 in Charlotte-Piedmont Triad.
  • Five-Week Summer Institute: Intensive summer training with fellow TFA corps members, likely in Atlanta, GA.
  • Regional Orientation: After summer institute, we will gather in Charlotte-Piedmont Triad to continue orienting to the work in our community. This will occur over one to two weeks.

Estimated Costs

You will need to cover travel expense to induction, summer institute and regional orientation. All housing and meals will be provided during those training times.


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:

  • Karyn Pleasant: Piedmont-Triad
  • Kyle Schermbeck: Piedmont-Triad
  • Stacy Perzinski: Charlotte first-years
  • Philana Woods: Charlotte first-years
  • Marcus McKoy: Charlotte first-years
  • Jhermel Goss: Charlotte second-years
  • Katie Iraheta: Charlotte second-years