The NCCU School of Education offers a Flexible Learner Pathway that prepares teacher assistants and previously unlicensed teachers to gain an additional degree as well as licensure in Elementary Education. While the path follows the same curriculum plan as the traditional second degree and licensure programs in Elementary Education, it takes into account the demands of staff who already work in schools in order to create a more feasible path to program completion.

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The Flexible Learner Path follows the same curriculum as the traditional second degree in Elementary Education. The curriculum is 60 credit hours, to which transfer credit for equivalent courses can be applied. Candidates can choose full-time or part-time enrollment. Curriculum plan is attached.

  • 100% online course delivery
  • Project-based learning structure, with 3 competencies, 3 projects, and 3 field experiences per course
  • Use of OERs (Open Education Resources) so students never have to purchase textbooks
  • Flexible deadlines within the regular semester
  • Field experiences in the school of employment (K-6 only)
  • Regular communication, advising, and support from SOE faculty
  • Access to Praxis Core, Pearson, and Praxis II testing support
  • Guidance for licensure through NCDPI
  • NC A-level teaching certificate (Elementary K-6)

The pathway culminates in a second degree in Elementary Education. Completers who also successfully pass requirements for licensure will be recommended for licensure through NC Department of Public Instruction. The primary career is Elementary school teacher (K-5th grades), although completers may also teach Pre-K or 6th grade.

Estimated Tuition and Fees Per Credit Hour

*Please note: Tuition & Fees are subject to change*

Earned BA or BS in any content area with a final cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better

Current employment at the elementary school level as a teacher, teacher assistant, or instructional assistant


Field Experiences: Candidates are required to complete field experiences ranging from 10-20 hours per course. Typically, experiences can be completed in the classroom where candidates are assigned for employment. On occasion, candidates may be asked to explore other grade levels and specialty areas within the school.


Level One Student Teaching: Candidates must apply for Level One student teaching which is to be completed in the semester before the final semester. The experience includes logging 60 hours of field activities indicating readiness for the full student teaching internship. Candidates in the Flexible Learner Path are permitted to complete these hours at their school of employment, provided the class is general education and the school is a public or public charter school serving K-6 students. Unlicensed teachers are assigned a site-based mentor, and TAs/IAs are assigned to a cooperating teacher.


Student Teaching: Candidates transition from Level One into the student teaching internship with the same mentor or cooperating teacher during their final semester of matriculation. All other courses must be completed prior to the internship; no other courses are allowed at that time. The internship experience varies based on the candidate’s employment at the school: unlicensed teachers continue with their regular teaching duties under the supervision of a site-based mentor and university supervisor; TAs/IAs gradually assume the role of full-time teacher over the course of the semester, and are also supervised by the cooperating teacher and university supervisor


Admission Requirements

May 1st – Summer Admission deadline

July 15th – Fall Admission deadline

November 15th – Spring Admission deadline

Dr. Yolanda L. Dunston, Professor

Phone: 919-530-7536


Program Summary