The Licensure Section of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is responsible for examining credentials and issuing licenses that qualify individuals to seek employment as teachers, administrators, and other special service personnel in North Carolina public schools.
All professional employees of public schools must hold a license for the subject or grade level they teach or for the professional education assignment that they hold. Depending on the time of year, the DPI licensure process may be approximately eight weeks. Late spring and early summer are typically when the most license applications are submitted. The College of Education and Allied Profession’s (CEAP) licensure specialist, Barbara Schade, will be happy to assist you with the licensing process.
The standard basis for licensure is:
- the completion of a state approved education program at a regionally accredited college or university or the completion of an approved alternative route to licensure (lateral entry, licensure-only, or MAT),
- having met the federal requirements to be designated as "Highly Qualified," and
- having earned a bachelor’s or advanced degree from a regionally accredited college.
At Western Carolina University, recommendations for licensure are made for:
- administrative (school-based administrators);
- special services personnel (school counselors, school psychologists, and speech-language pathologists); and
- teaching areas (initial and masters level).
Teaching areas encompass birth-through-kindergarten, elementary (K-6), middle grades (6-9), secondary grades (9-12) - English, math, comprehensive science, comprehensive social sciences, special subjects (K-12) - art, music, health and physical education, Spanish, and exceptional children.
Western Carolina University also offers add-on certification programs in academically gifted and school administration.
For more information, please contact CEAP’s licensure specialist, Barbara Schade.