Skip to Quicklinks
Skip to Quicklinks
Contact Information

Elementary Education

Professional Pedagogy and Research

Educational Specialties

School Administration and Counseling

Dean's Office

School of Education
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Location: Education Building
Campus Map



What is Lateral Entry?

Lateral Entry: Criteria and Conditions
A lateral entry license entitles the holder to be employed by and serve as a teacher in North Carolina schools. Lateral entry licenses are authorized on a provisional basis in major areas of academic study for which the state has established licensure.


  • Applicants for a lateral entry license must be employed by a North Carolina school system and hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the subject area they are employed to teach or hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have satisfied Praxis II testing requirements for the license area.
  • Individuals must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or have passed the NTE/Praxis I tests and have earned one of the following:
    • GPA of 3.0 in the major field of study
    • GPA of 3.0 on all work completed in the senior year or
    • GPA of 3.0 on a minimum of 15 semester hours of course work (related to the area of licensure) completed during the preceding five years.
  • Graduates of approved education programs who are not recommended for licensure by their college or university are not eligible for a lateral entry license. However, a person who has satisfied all major degree requirements but has a minor deficiency or technical requirement can apply for a lateral entry license if employed by a school system. Such a deficiency cannot exceed six semester hours and must be corrected during the first year of licensure.

Individuals who have completed all education program requirements except the Praxis Series tests are not eligible for lateral entry licensing.


  • The applicant and the employing school system submit a joint application to the Licensure Section.
  • Individuals licensed through lateral entry must complete an approved education program in their area of licensure at a college or university or through a Regional Alternative Licensing Center (RALC). The college or RALC evaluates the individual’s credentials and outlines the course work necessary to earn a clear license. Successful teaching experience can substitute for the student teaching requirement.
  • An initial lateral entry license is valid for two school years. It can be extended for one year if the holder earns a minimum of six semester hours of the outlined course work per year. Lateral entry employees must meet all program requirements within three years.
  • Lateral entry employees must earn the required score on the designated Praxis Series specialty area test or subject assessment tests during their first two years of licensure. If they do not, the license cannot be extended.
  • Lateral entry license holders are subject to all regulations that apply to other beginning teachers in North Carolina. They must successfully complete three years of teaching in the Initial Licensure Program before their licenses can be converted from lateral entry to clear and continuing status. Lateral entry employees retain initial status throughout the entire period during which they complete academic and testing requirements.
  • Individuals entering public school service through lateral entry must complete a two-week training course prior to service in the schools or submit evidence of equivalent training. The required training may include effective teaching methods, classroom management and discipline procedures, and an orientation to local school policies and procedures.
  • For a lateral entry license to remain valid, the holder must meet the testing and progressive credit requirements within the three-year limit whether or not he or she continues to be employed in a North Carolina school system. 

Updated: September 17, 2008


© The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
PO Box 1510 Pembroke, NC 28372-1510 • 910.521.6000