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Teacher and School Professional Licensure


All professional employees in public schools must hold a license for the subject or grade level they teach or for the professional education assignment that they hold; more information can be found at How To Become A Teacher.

All students are expected to initiate the online application after program completion and when documentation is ready. Candidates should apply for a teaching license within six months of program completion. After six months, there may be additional requirements such as coursework and assessments. Students should review Requirements for Teacher Licensure before beginning the licensure application process.

NCDPI Online Licensure System: Applying for a License

STEP 1. Review this important information before starting.

The NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI)  licensing process is separate from your program completion and degree conferral.

EdTPA requirements must be satisfactorily evaluated before you begin your online license application. Questions about these requirements should be directed to your program coordinator. The edTPA score report should be attached to your online application.

All WCU teacher education and school professional candidates must provide documentation of passing scores on all relevant licensure exams prior to recommendation by WCU for a professional educator license. Licensure score reports should be attached to your online application. Please note: WCU does not receive individual score reports for students.

LEA/IHE Certification of Teaching Capacity (CTC) - The CTC is completed at the end of Student Teaching/Internship II by student, cooperating teacher, university supervisor, academic supervisor (if applicable), and principal. The original, signed document is uploaded to TK20 by the University Supervisor. Students must be rated Proficient on all criteria of the CTC before WCU will make your license recommendation to DPI.  

Information cannot be disclosed to prospective employers and DPI for the purpose of employment and your teacher/school professional license, without completion of the Authorization for Release of Information form to the CEAP licensure specialist. Do not attach it to your online application.

Occasionally, you will receive a job offer before you receive your license. In that case your potential employer may ask for an eligibility or status statement. We will gladly generate a letter for you after we have recommended you to DPI for a license. Include in your request the name, title and school system/county of the person to receive the letter along with their mailing, fax, or email address. Submit requests to the CEAP licensure specialist.

Professional Educator User Guide (Educator Access to Online System)

Registration and Affiliation (with school system) Guide


Exam details are subject to change. Be sure to confirm state exam requirements before you register. Go to the NCDPI website for the most up-to-date NCSBE-approved exam details, including Praxis (ETS) and Pearson links. Keep in mind that exams are offered during specific testing window dates, so make plans to take them early enough so you will have your scores when you need to apply for your license.

When registering for Praxis II and Pearson exams, candidates must indicate WCU and NCDPI as score recipients. To be considered official, test scores should be delivered to WCU and NCDPI directly from the testing agency.

Go to Licensure Exam Preparation for additional information, licensure exam preparation tips, strategies, and resources for both Praxis and Pearson exams.

Chrome or Firefox are the preferred browsers for the NCDPI online application system.

Your online application screen will time out after 15 minutes of inactivity. If you are unable to complete your application in one sitting, click cancel to exit the application and save your work.

Use a personal, private email on your license application. This way you won’t need to update your email address if you change employers.

You must upload official transcripts, applicable test scores, edTPA score report, and pay a non-refundable processing fee to your online application. Other attachments may include Statement of Applicant documents (if applicable), work authorization (if not US citizen), and experience verification (if applicable). You can attach as many documents as apply.

It is recommended that attachments be in PDF format. There is a 2 MG size limit for attachments so some may need to be uploaded page by page. There is no limit on how many attachments can be uploaded. PAW Print ( Print Anywhere @ Western) printers on campus enable students to scan documents. No fee is required to scan with PAW Print.

Work Authorization: If you are not a US citizen, you are required to upload a copy of your work authorization documentation. You are also required to have a valid US issued social security number.

Your application can not be submitted until you make full payment of fees. Payment can only be made by VISA or MasterCard.

If you don’t select the submit button, the application you created will remain on file for 30 days. You must complete the application within 30 days or it will expire and you will need to upload your documents again.

You can print a PDF of your application content by selecting View PDF Summary Report when the Fee and Summary Report page is displayed.

Once the completed application is submitted, you cannot change information unless you submit a new request. This may include an additional fee.

WCU transcripts will not be issued until university accounts are paid in full and holds are removed. Contact Student Accounts at 828.227.7324 for account information and to resolve any issues to remove holds.

You can request official transcripts through myWCU ($3.25 charge for official electronic copy) or from the Registrar’s Office (official paper copy). Please order transcripts AFTER completion of current coursework and/or degree conferral.

Transcripts for each of your degrees and any coursework you have completed not listed on your transcript (community college or post-degree credits) need to be attached to your application.

International Verification - if you have earned a degree from another country. Provide an evaluation from an international education evaluation service with a copy of a current work authorization visa, permanent resident card or US passport. Note: For degrees earned abroad, the transcripts must be evaluated for US equivalency and translated into English by an education evaluation agency. One of many acceptable evaluation agencies for foreign transcripts is International Education Evaluations (IEE). DPI will not accept translations done by the applicant.

STEP 2. Review the relevant tutorial.

In-State Initial Standard Professional Educator License

For an educator applying for an initial NC teaching license (upon completion of degree licensure-only or MAT Phase 1) or Special Service Personnel license (School Counselor, School Psychologist, Speech Language Pathologist, or School Social Worker).

Updating Information and Creating a New Application

For educators applying for an administrative area (School Principal or Superintendent), clearing alternative licensure, or adding educational levels to an existing license by program completion. Also used to add an area by test, make a name change, update contact information, request copy of files and test scores, update work authorization, and obtain verification of NC license.

STEP 3. Go to NCDPI Online Licensure System to apply

For licensure questions or technical difficulties, contact the Licensure Section at 919.807.3310 or 800.577.7994.

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