Prospective Student FAQ

Who should I contact first if I am interested in becoming a teacher?

Email teach@unca.edu, or call 828.251.6304.

Why should I choose UNC Asheville over other universities’ programs?

UNC Asheville’s licensure program is effective and provides rigorous preparation for prospective teachers. The typical UNC Asheville candidate passes the PRAXIS II Specialty Area Exams (required for licensure) with a score that is more than 30 points above the required passing score in North Carolina. Classes are small (generally no larger than 20) and are taught by full faculty or highly qualified adjuncts (no graduate teaching assistants here!). Candidates are given extensive experience in schools prior to student teaching; the vast majority of classes in our program have a field component, where candidates are observing, assisting, and teaching in public school classrooms. 

Will I get the same sort of license I would get if I completed a program that grants a bachelor’s degree in Education?

Yes. You will be recommended for a North Carolina Standard Professional I license, which is the same license anyone completing an education degree gets.

What if I want to move away from North Carolina after I get my license?

North Carolina has reciprocity with the majority of states, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Furthermore, UNC Asheville is an NCATE-accredited institution, which makes transferring your license simpler, even in states that don’t have formal reciprocal licensing agreements with NC. You may not get the exact same license, because different states use different licensure categories, but your license is definitely “portable.”

If there is a particular state you are interested in working in, it is best to contact that state's department of education to determine what you need to do to teach in that state.

I am working full time. Will it be easy for me to complete UNC Asheville’s licensure program?

That depends on the schedule of your job. UNC Asheville is primarily an undergraduate daytime institution and we cannot guarantee that every class you need will be offered at a time that is convenient for you. We do rotate courses so that they are offered mornings one semester and afternoons or evenings the next semester. We do not offer online courses in the teacher licensure program.

What is the difference between informal and formal admission to the program?

Informal and formal admission requirements can be found on the Admission to Licensure Program page.

Can I ever get a license if I have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation?

We cannot say for sure; a lot will depend on what the offense was and when it happened. Schools are becoming more particular about safety, and that includes carefully screening their volunteers and other adult visitors. At several points in the UNC Asheville program, you will be asked to disclose whether or not you have been convicted of a crime; further, all candidates will be asked to do one or more criminal background checks during the licensure program. Complete honesty is critical; in some cases, failure to disclose a crime has caused more problems for candidates than the crime itself.

Unfortunately, we are not able to say definitively whether a school will allow a candidate with a criminal record to complete field placements within their walls – each school/district has particular policies regarding convictions. Nor can we tell you definitively whether or not the state will give you a license – that decision is up to the State Ethics Panel, and they choose to withhold judgment until each candidate is completely finished with his or her program of study. The good news is that only a very small percentage of candidates with convictions are rejected by the state as ineligible for licensure. Some candidates have been called before the Ethics Panel, but the great majority of them are eventually approved for licensure.

In the event that you disclose a conviction to us and/or your background check reveals something pertinent, you will be asked to write a letter of explanation and to provide all relevant court documents. With that being said, know this: your privacy is of paramount importance to us. Only those faculty members whose job it is to make decisions about candidates’ progress through the program will be privy to the information you provide.

What programs (areas of licensure) are available at UNC Asheville?

Our licensure areas are listed on the About Our Program page. 

I am thinking about transferring from a community college. What should I do to make my transition to UNC Asheville as smooth as possible?

The most important thing to do is to make sure you have completed the 44-hour core. (Remember those words: the 44 hour core!) Completing the core (with or without an Associate’s degree) will give you the most seamless entry into the UNC Asheville licensure program.


Contact Brook Thompson at bthompso@unca.edu or 828-251-6304 for further guidance.

I have an out-of-state license. What can I do to get a NC license?

View the NC Department of Public Instruction’s procedures for obtaining licensure, along with other Frequently Asked Questions.

Does UNC Asheville offer a Masters in Teaching program?

No, we do not. We do, however, offer a teacher licensure program for students who already have a bachelor's degree.  For more information, click here.