Watson College to Offer Residency Licensure Pathway to Teaching

Residency Licensure is an alternative pathway to obtaining a teaching license, created to help address North Carolina’s teacher shortage. The new pathway, which replaces lateral entry, allows qualified individuals to begin teaching while completing NC licensure requirements. The Watson College will introduce a Residency Licensure program in fall 2019. Individuals hired to teach elementary, middle grades, secondary or special education in a WCE PDS school district may be eligible for the program.

“The Watson College has a long and distinguished history of collaborating with P-12 partners to meet the needs of our schools and lean in to challenges facing public education in North Carolina,” said Watson College Dean Van Dempsey. “The Residency Licensure Pathway is a new manifestation of that work, and we look forward to working with our partners and teachers who may find our program options to  be right for them.”

Watson College faculty worked closely with the university’s Professional Development System partners to design the new Residency Licensure program.

“Our district partners expressed a need for quality programs for teachers who enter the profession through alternative pathways,” said Somer Lewis, director of WCE’s PDS Office. “We surveyed lateral entry teachers and sat side-by-side with district partners to learn more about their specific needs. What we heard quite clearly is that beginning teachers need a program that is concise, affordable and manageable, and they need support during their critical first year in the classroom. These important insights informed our discussions about program length, cost, course structure, delivery method and networks of support from the very early stages of planning.”

WCE’s new Residency Licensure program is a 19 credit-hour non-degree post-baccalaureate program. Students will participate in a full-day introductory seminar course on the UNCW campus in fall 2019, and complete six online courses over a 15-month period beginning in January 2020.  The program features a cohort model with accelerated 7-week courses designed to help teachers build knowledge and skills at a manageable pace. Courses are taught by dedicated faculty from WCE’s elementary, middle grades, secondary and special education programs, and participants will have a strong network of support from a field supervisor, a mentor teacher and WCE’s professional learning community for the duration of the program.

UNCW’s Admissions Office will open applications for the initial cohort on July 29. For more information visit www.uncw.edu/ed/edcr or contact WCE program coordinator Crystalyn Schnorr Goodnight at schnorr@uncw.edu or 910.962.2658.