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

The RALCs evaluate teaching candidate’s applications, prescribe courses of study, and outline other requirements needed in order to receive full professional educators’ licenses. Upon completion of individuals’ plans of study, the RALC will make recommendation to the Licensure Section at DPI for clear licenses.

Photo In The Shape Of The State Of North Carolina With One Young Man Smiling And Four Young Ladies Smiling
Photo In The Shape Of The State Of North Carolina With One Young Man Smiling And Four Young Ladies Smiling
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Candidates may take the necessary coursework at a variety of colleges and universities.

The centers provide a number of benefits for lateral entry teachers:

  • more consistent evaluations
  • plans of study targeting licensure requirements
  • college/university choices to satisfy course requirements
  • certain requirements can be met at local school systems


On July 28, 2017, SB 599, Excellent Educators for Every Classroom, was signed into law. This law changes alternative licensure in NC, eventually phasing out and eliminating lateral entry licensure. Lateral entry licenses will continue to be issued through June 30, 2019. Individuals who hold a valid lateral entry license on or before this date will be allowed three school years to complete requirements to convert the lateral entry license to a continuing license. The RALC will continue as an approved NC State Board of Education option for lateral entry license holders to meet their licensure requirements. A new alternative license for prospective teachers, named a residency license, will replace lateral entry. Details about the residency license and its requirements are currently unavailable while being determined by the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission.

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