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UNC, NCSU Boost Online Teacher Licensing

UNC’s School of Education and the N.C. State College of Education launched Pathway to Practice NC in 2017 as one way to help residency-licensed teachers become fully licensed and stay in the classroom. (File photo)

An online teacher licensure program from UNC and N.C. State University could help fulfill the state’s need for licensed elementary and special education teachers.

A grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation will create training modules in the existing Pathway to Practice NC online licensure program. The new modules are designed to enable teachers to work toward specialized licensures in elementary education or special education. The $200,000 grant also will provide scholarships for 10 North Carolina teachers to complete the online training.

The state has experienced consistent teacher shortages in both special education and core subject elementary education for years. To manage these shortages, many N.C. school districts fill the vacancies with residency-licensed teachers: individuals with bachelor’s degrees and content knowledge but without a full teaching license. To continue working as an educator, residency-licensed teachers must complete coursework to earn their full teaching license within three years.

According to the state’s report, North Carolina had 5,636 of these residency-licensed teachers in 2018 – a 21 percent increase from the previous year. In 2017, UNC’s School of Education and the N.C. State College of Education launched Pathway to Practice NC as one way to help these residency-licensed teachers become fully licensed and stay in the classroom.

Pathway to Practice NC is a self-paced, competency-based online program that enables working adults to complete that required coursework and meet their licensure requirement from anywhere.

The Pathway to Practice NC program currently enrolls 70 residency-licensed teachers from across the state. Enrollment in the program costs $5,000.


 

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