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There are four Regional Alternative Licensing Centers (RALCs) in North Carolina, created by the NC State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction. The centers evaluate lateral entry and provisionally licensed teachers’ 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.

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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


The Excellent Educators for Every Classroom law changes alternative licensure in NC, phasing out and eliminating lateral entry licensure. The Residency License will replace lateral entry as the alternative pathway to NC licensure. Prospective teachers may find information about the Residency License at

Lateral entry licenses will continue to be issued through June 30, 2019. An individual who holds a valid lateral entry license may apply for a plan of study from the RALC through April 15, 2019.

Effective July 1, 2018, due to policy changes, the RALCs are unable to write plans of study for Permits to Practice or for Emergency Licenses, as we cannot recommend clear licenses from the status of Permit to Practice or Emergency. It is our recommendation that holders of these types of licenses associate with a college/university that has an approved educator preparation program (EPP) to complete the necessary coursework/requirements to convert to an Emergency or Residency License for the 2019-20 school year.


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