What is the RALC?

There are four Regional Alternative Licensing Centers (RALCs) in North Carolina, created by the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction. They were designed to assist lateral entry teachers in NC to achieve a full professional educator’s license. read more...>

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. How do I request an evaluation?

If employed, requests are made through the employing school system’s personnel administrator. Prospective teachers apply directly to the RALC.

  2. Who is eligible for an evaluation by the RALC?

If employed, requests are made through the employing school system’s personnel administrator. Prospective teachers apply directly to the RALC.

  3. I am a prospective teacher in North Carolina and have a degree from a foreign university. Can you write a plan of study for me?

The RALC will issue a qualification letter for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements for a lateral entry and qualify for a plan of study. A plan of study will be provided by the RALC once we receive verification from your employing school system. You must be qualified to work in the United States, meet the requirements for a lateral entry license, and have a certified evaluation of your transcripts from an approved agency specializing in transcript evaluation and translation. Click here for a listing of agencies that provide evaluations.

  4. Am I required to utilize the services of the RALC?

No. The RALC is one of several options to obtain a clear Professional Educators' license. You may also obtain licensure through a college, university, or other program. Visit www.ncpublicschools.org for other possible routes to licensure.

  5. I want to teach in a certain area, but do not have a relevant degree. Is there any way I can qualify for this area?

You may qualify with 24 semester hours in the core area with a grade of “C” or better, or you may take the Praxis II test/s for the area. The only way to qualify for elementary or Special Education is to pass the Praxis II test/s.

  6. Which RALC will process my evaluation?

Employed teachers will work with the RALC within the region where the employing school district is located. Find a list of school districts under Contacts. The personnel administrator at your employing school district is your first point of contact. Prospective teachers should apply to the RALC located in the region of their residence.

  7. Is there a fee to utilize the services of the RALC?

Currently, there is no charge for RALC services.

  8. What is a plan of study?

Once you have applied for a plan of study from the RALC and been employed as a teacher, an evaluation of your transcripts will be completed. You will receive a list of competencies outlining courses that must be taken in order to complete licensure requirements. This plan of study consists of two requirement sheets for most areas. One is called General Pedagogy and the other is called Licensure Area Competencies. Both must be completed. Employed lateral entry teachers also receive a requirements letter from NC DPI with testing and other requirements that must be satisfied.

  9. Is there an expiration date on my license plan?

Yes. NC DPI determines the expiration date of your license. Your plan of study and license expiration dates will correlate.

10. What does LEA Activity mean as listed on the plan of study?

LEA (Local Education Agency) refers to one of the NC public school systems or approved charter schools. The LEA provides activities that meet certain competencies. The school system certifies upon completion of your program, on a Competency Verification Form, that particular competencies have been satisfied.

11. Whom do I contact if I have questions about the transcript evaluation?

Employed teachers first point of contact should be the personnel administrator at their school district. Prospective teachers should email their RALC Director.

12. Are there grade requirements for my licensure plan?

Grades of “C” or higher are accepted towards the RALC licensure plans.

13. I have taught for several years in the area in which I have a lateral entry or provisional license. May I receive credit for the relevant experience?

No. Courses are required to satisfy competencies, with few exceptions. Previous experience cannot be accepted in lieu of course work to satisfy any competency on your plan of study.

14. Is there any financial assistance to take the courses I need in order to complete a plan of study?

No. The RALC has no resources or information regarding financial assistance.

15. How do I know if the college/university program I completed, or plan to complete, is acceptable for a NC Professional Educator's license?

The Regional Alternative Licensing Center does not determine which in-state, out-of-state, or online college/university programs are accepted to obtain a NC Professional Educator's license. You may contact the NC Department of Public Instruction Licensure Section at 919-807-3310 or viewing their website at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/licensure/steps/.

Perhaps the most important question to ask the college/university program is "does this program lead to a license to teach the subject you wish to teach in the state where the college/university is located/based"? If the answer is no, then the state of NC is not going to give you a license to teach that subject either.

16. I plan to pursue a master’s degree. Should I use the services of the RALC?

The RALC is a licensure only program and does not lead to a degree. Many universities offer excellent programs for a master of arts in teaching that also lead to licensure. We recommend you inquire with several institutions to see what is offered.

17. I have a clear license obtained by working through the RALC and have moved out-of-state. The state where I have moved needs a form signed to verify that the RALC is an institution with an approved teacher education program. Can the RALC provide this?

No. The RALC is not an education institution that grants degrees. Most states honor the NC license via the RALC route. If not, there is nothing the RALC or NC DPI can do. Upon request, the NC DPI will provide information about the alternative route to licensure that our State Board of Education has approved.

18. I have/or have held a license in another state. How do I obtain a license in North Carolina?

The personnel administrator at your school district will submit documentation to the RALC upon completion of the licensure plan. The RALC will, in turn, submit licensure documents to the NC DPI, Licensure Section. Prospective teachers must become employed in a NC public or charter school and teach successfully for a full year. Then the employing personnel administrator may forward a request to the RALC for clearance.

19. Is it possible to complete requirements and become licensed if I only taught one or two years in NC with a lateral entry license but did not finish my course requirements?

You may be recommended for a license within three school years of your last successful end-of-year evaluation once all requirements are satisfied for the lateral entry license and plan of study. The necessary documents include: end-of-year evaluation (with successful ratings), eligibility to return to employment with the same school system, Competency Verification Form, Praxis II scores (if applicable), official transcripts, and CEUs (if applicable). Your last employing school district’s personnel administrator will forward the information to the RALC with a request for a recommendation for a clear license. A dismissal from employment or deficiency on the end-of-year evaluation will make you ineligible for a license recommendation through the RALC.

20. What if I am a prospective teacher and finish the course and Praxis requirements but have not taught a year?

Individuals must complete one full year of successful teaching in a NC public or charter school. Once employed, the school district personnel administrator will request a lateral entry license from the NC DPI. If you do not secure a teaching position before your plan of study expires (three school years), then your plan will be re-evaluated and you will be responsible for any new requirements.

21. What happens if I taught a year in NC, moved out-of-state, and finished my courses in another state?

Your last employing school system in NC must forward a request to the RALC with supporting documentation for a recommendation for a clear license. This request should be submitted by the expiration date of your lateral entry license or three school years from the date of your latest end-of-year evaluation. The RALC will only accept documentation with a request for a recommendation for a clear license through your former employing school district.

22. What if I teach in a NC school system and finish my requirements but accept a job in another school system before my materials are submitted to clear the license?

Contact your previous school district personnel administrator and request that he/she submit a request with supporting documents to clear your license. He/she will forward your request to the RALC which serves your new location. You will complete your plan of study through your new RALC.

23. What if I have a lateral entry license but did not teach long enough to receive an end-of-year evaluation?

If your lateral entry license expires, you must wait six years from the date your lateral entry license was issued. Your employing school district may then apply for another lateral entry license if you have passed the Praxis II in your area of license. You will be responsible for any new requirements in effect since the issuing of your initial plan of study or lateral entry license.

24. I had a lateral entry license but it expired and I am no longer employed. Can you write a plan of study for me?

The RALC can write another plan of study for you once you have passed the Praxis II and are re-employed by an LEA. The LEA will then apply for another lateral entry license. Six years must lapse since your license was previously issued. You may also choose to apply directly to a college or university.

25. Where can I find out about the NC State-required licensure exams?

  • Click here for more information about Praxis II assessments.
  • Click here for information about Pearson assessments.

26. How can I find out about prep courses for the NC State-required licensure exams?

  • Click here for more information about Praxis II assessments.
  • Click here for information about Pearson assessments.

27. I qualify for lateral entry, will school districts hire me?

Hiring decisions are made by each school district based on NC State Board of Education policies and guidelines..

28. I have extenuating circumstances and need an extension to finish my plan, what can I do?

The RALC is not authorized to grant extensions. Contact the personnel administrator at your school system.

29. If I choose to follow a licensure plan provided by the RALC, where will I take courses?

You may choose to attend one or more institutions. Your plan of study will indicate where a competency can be satisfied; whether a school system, community college, college, or university. Some competencies must be taken at a college or university with a teacher education program and will be specified as such on your plan.

30. How do I find colleges/universities that offer approved teacher education programs?

31. May I take online courses? Are there any stipulations on which college/university I choose to complete my RALC plan of study?

Yes. Please note that some of the RALC required courses must be taken at a college or university with an approved teacher education program. Those courses are identified on the General Pedagogy sheet on the plan of study: Literacy/Reading, Intro to Exceptional Children, and Instructional Methods.

32. My college/university indicates that a particular course will cover one of the competencies on my plan, but it is not one of the courses listed on this website. Will it count?

If the college/university has a teacher education program and the licensure officer at the institution certifies, in writing on college letterhead, that the course will cover the competency, then the RALC will accept it.

33. Do you provide course descriptions for the courses on my plan of study?

No. Course descriptions can be found in college catalogs.

34. Can I substitute courses?

Prior written approval must be obtained from your RALC Director before substituting any courses.

35. I have taken Introduction to Psychology. Will it count for Human Growth and Development?

No. Human Growth and Development (K-12), Adolescent Psychology (7-12), or Child Psychology (K-6) courses are specialized courses for understanding how children grow and develop in relationship to learning.

36. Can the technology competency be met through staff development at my school system?

Yes. You may satisfy the technology competency by earning approved CEUs, college credit or a combination of the two. You must earn three approved CEU’s or a minimum of two semester hours. CEUs must be verified by your personnel administrator.

37. Can the Classroom Behavior Management competency on my Special Education plan of study be met through staff development at my school system?

No. This competency for the Special Education areas can only be satisfied with a college/university course with an approved Special Education licensure program.

38. Are there any stipulations for the methods courses?

Yes. Methods courses must be taken at a four-year college/university with an approved teacher education program.