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home : state news : e-state news August 22, 2019

8/13/2019 2:35:00 PM
Lenoir-Rhyne University Responds To Teacher Shortage

Lenoir-Rhyne University
Press Release

HICKORY, N.C. – Reflecting a national trend, the shortage of teachers in North Carolina has been an increasingly serious concern over recent years, affecting school districts throughout the state. As a result, school districts throughout North Carolina fill the vacancies with residency licensed teachers, or individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a specific subject but without a full teaching license. 

Lenoir-Rhyne University is responding to the teacher shortage by offering a non-degree residency licensure program for teachers. Offered fully-online, LR’s education module is competency-based for teachers working under the new residency licensure legislation. LR is one of only a few public or private universities in the state to offer a program of this kind.

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“Lenoir-Rhyne is building on a long history of exceptional undergraduate and graduate programming in education,” said Hank Weddington, professor and dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “Building on that reputation, we designed a program that is responsive to our education needs in North Carolina while providing an alternative option to those who require full licensure and flexibility to do it while employed as a teacher.”

This residency licensure program is intended to respond to school districts’ needs to hire qualified, licensed teachers in grades 6-12. PE and music at the K-12 level is also available. It is designed to recruit mid-career professionals with a bachelor’s degree in a content area they want to teach and are seeking a career change. LR’s self-paced module provides an opportunity for these individuals to be employed as a teacher under restricted license while completing professional education coursework to become fully licensed.

Offering flexibility with open enrollment and registration, this pathway allows teacher-candidates to balance their coursework with a job and personal commitments. The residency program, which allows students to meet all required North Carolina teacher licensure competencies, can be completed in approximately one year and costs $700 a month. Beyond the module tasks, individuals will also be supervised and evaluated in the field by an LR faculty member and the public school administrative staff. The application process opened August 1 with a program start of September 1, with the option for residency licensed teachers to start anytime that is convenient for their schedule and conducive to their school districts’ employment requirements.

Applicants must either currently hold a teaching position or have been informally offered a teaching position at a North Carolina school. In addition, applicants must submit a $50 deposit and transcripts must be provided with a 2.7 GPA in an undergraduate major that matches the applicant’s content area.

Additionally, LR offers a Master of Arts in Teaching to provide students the opportunity to earn both a graduate degree and North Carolina teaching certification. Offered online with real-time instruction, this 34 credit hour program is also designed for the working professional.

To learn more about either program, visit the Lenoir-Rhyne website at or contact Amy Rottmann at or 828.407.4273.

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