The Teacher Education Program at Elon University prepares teachers to be effective practitioners who are engaged learners, ethical leaders, globally aware citizens, and advocates for equity and excellence.

Elon offers programs leading to initial North Carolina licensure in elementary education, middle grades education, and special education, in special subject areas for grades K-12 (music and Spanish), and in high school (9-12) subject areas of English, history, math and science.

Undergraduate students majoring in a teacher education program that leads to initial licensure can also choose to add-on a license in one of these areas: Pre-K or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Secondary education majors also have the option to complete the Special Education Add-on Licensure.

Transition Point 1: Application & Admission to Teacher Education

When To Apply

You will begin the process of applying for admission to the Teacher Education Program while taking EDU 2110: Education and Society or SOC 2430: Sociology of Education or EDU 2500: Teaching Fellows Seminar. Your application will not be processed until your final grade for EDU 2110, SOC 2430 or EDU 2500 is registered.

To be admitted to Teacher Education before the spring semester of 2023 begins, your application and all admission requirements must be received/completed by January 15, 2023.

How To Apply

  1. Declare your major online or visit Academic Advising in 231 Koenigsberger Learning Center if you need assistance.
  2. Submit your Application for Admission to Teacher Education through eDocs.
  3. After your application is reviewed, a recommendation form will be sent to the references listed on your application by the Coordinator of Teacher Education Admission. NOTE: References must be two non-EDU teaching faculty from your academic courses. EDU 2110, SOC 2430, EDU 2500 and Elon 1010 instructors may not serve as references.

If you have questions about the application or admissions process, please contact Jennifer Strange, Coordinator of Teacher Education Admission at jstrange3@elon.edu or by phone at 336-278-6099.

Requirements for Admission

After you have submitted your application for admission to Teacher Education, you must meet the following requirements before you are admitted into the Teacher Education Program.

  • Satisfactory performance in EDU 2110: Education and Society or SOC 2430: Sociology of Education or EDU 2500: Teaching Fellows Seminar (grade of C or better and acceptable clinical experience performance).
  • Completion of the NC Professional Ethics for Teachers mini course through Participate; must earn an 80/100 on the quiz to earn your badge required for program admission. After you have applied, you will receive further instructions on how to enroll and complete this course and earn your badge for program admission.
  • Completion of the Writing in the Disciplines: Education course online through Participate; must complete and submit course work to earn your badge required for program admission. After you have applied, you will receive further instructions on how to enroll and complete this course and earn your badge for program admission.
  • Completion of the Teaching Beliefs and Mindsets survey. You will receive an e-mail with a link to complete this survey after your application for admission has been submitted and reviewed by the Coordinator of Admission to Teacher Education.
  • Overall minimum grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.70.
  • Minimum qualifying admission scores on the SAT or ACT or the Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests as required by the NC State Board of Education. If you need to complete a Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators test for admission, please send your official score report(s) to Jennifer Strange at jstrange3@elon.edu as you receive them.
  • Grade of C- or better in ENG 1100
  • Grade of C- or better in STS 1100, MTH 1510 or STS 2120
  • Two positive recommendations from non-EDU faculty
  • Satisfactory dispositions ratings
  • Ongoing positive background check
  • No significant violations of Elon’s Academic and Social Honor Code

When all of the above steps have been completed and all requirements have been met, your application will be reviewed by the program coordinator, Department Chair, and the Director of Teacher Education. The Director of Teacher Education makes the final decision on all admissions to the Teacher Education program, and applicants will be notified of the Director of Teacher Education’s decision.

  • A student may be denied admission to the program by the Teacher Education Committee.
  • As stated in the Academic Catalog, a teacher candidate must be unconditionally admitted to the program before being permitted to take any of the following education methods courses: EDU 3040, EDU 3100, EDU 4040, EDU 4100, EDU 4110, EDU 4120, EDU 4200, EDU 4210, EDU 4220, EDU 4230, EDU 4240, EDU 4250, EDU 4260, EDU 4280, EDU 4300, MUS 4530, PEH 4980, and EDU 4970.
  • Questions or concerns regarding an applicant’s acceptance status may be directed to the Director of Teacher Education, Ann Bullock, by calling 336-278-5900

At the end of the program, for all classes where candidates earn a C or better, they will have received the academic content to be eligible for licensure candidacy. The candidate will have also obtained skills and knowledge to prepare them for the North Carolina licensure tests. The Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education has many graduates that teach in states across the country for which North Carolina has reciprocity, and those where do we not. If a candidate is planning to teach in another state, reciprocity information may be found online, here. Even if North Carolina does not have reciprocity with a state of interest, it is typically quite easy to enter teaching in a state with an existing teaching license. The Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education is here to help our candidates with these requests. For more information, please contact the Dean of the School of Education at 336-278-5900.

Transition Point 2: Satisfactory Progress in Teacher Education

To continue in the Teacher Education program, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • minimum overall GPA of 2.70 as required by the State of North Carolina
  • a grade of C or better in PSY 3820 before enrollment in a methods class in any of the teacher education programs
  • methods course grade of C or better and satisfactory completion of field component of methods courses
  • overall GPA of 2.0 in content courses
  • satisfactory disposition assessments
  • positive departmental recommendation
  • ongoing positive background checks

Addressing Professional Dispositions and Academic Performance Concerns

While serious concerns about the performance or growth of our teacher candidates do not often occur, when a concern exists, it is best for the candidate and program to address it honestly and directly. For this purpose, the Professional Dispositions and Academic Performance (PDAP) process has been created.

The PDAP process documents the interventions required for teacher candidates who demonstrate inadequate performance in their professional dispositions and/or academic coursework. We believe that teacher candidates with excellent academic performance and positive dispositions are well prepared to teach and lead in their classrooms and have a positive impact on student learning. A grade of C or better is required in all EDU courses.

Information provided during this process is designed to be of value to the candidate in planning for growth and to the Teacher Education Program and faculty in facilitating growth. The information may have important implications in decisions regarding admission to Teacher Education, continuance in the program, admission to student teaching, and recommendation for licensure.

Learn more about the PDAP Process

Candidate Complaint Procedure

The candidate complaint procedure is designed for complaints that arise during matriculation in the Teacher Education Program. Should a teacher candidate have a concern, the following steps should be taken:

  1. The teacher candidate should submit a written complaint to the individual with whom there is a concern, with a request for a meeting.
  2. The teacher candidate should meet with the individual. Most concerns can be resolved through direct and open communication between the parties involved.
  3. If the teacher candidate is dissatisfied with the results of Step 2, the teacher candidate may submit a written complaint to the individual’s supervisor or department chair within 10 working days of the meeting. The individual’s supervisor or department chair will offer to meet with the teacher candidate and the individual with whom there is a concern. After the meeting, the supervisor or department chair will provide both parties with written documentation of the concern/s expressed and resolutions/s discusses at the meeting.
  4. If the teacher candidate wishes to appeal the resolution/s from Step 3, they should submit a written request to the Dean who will determine the appropriate audience for the appeal (e.g., Teacher Education Committee, M.Ed. Faculty Committee, Provost, etc.).

*The above steps should NOT be used for complaints or grievances regarding:

Teacher candidates may also follow the University’s Student Complaint Process which provides students with an avenue to submit a concern regarding any area on campus for which no other specific process exists.

Learn more about the University’s Student Complaint Process

Submit a Complaint Online

Transition Point 3: Entry into Student Teaching

Teacher candidates must apply for and be approved by the Teacher Education Committee to student teach. The Director of Teacher Education reviews each student’s GPA, course performance and disposition history each November and then presents a slate of candidates to the Teacher Education Committee. If there are concerns related to individual candidates, the committee discusses the concerns and possible plans for those students. If candidates are not accepted into student teaching, candidates are either delayed an additional semester to meet requirements or advised appropriately about different majors or placement options.

To enter student teaching, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • A teacher candidate must complete and earn a grade of C or better in all Education courses in order to be eligible to student teach.
  • A teacher candidate must have ongoing positive background checks.
  • Teacher candidates in Elementary and Special Education programs must earn a grade of C or better (or appropriate transfer credit) in both MTH 2080 and MTH 2090.
  • All Elon teacher candidates are required to complete the Intercultural Learning Certificate Program prior to student teaching (semester two).
  • All Elon teacher candidates are required to take the Praxis and Pearson Subject Assessments (expand Licensure Testing Requirements below) prior to full-time student teaching (semester two).

Transition Point 4: Exit from Student Teaching

Teacher candidates must receive a final grade of C or better in EDU 4970: Student Teaching and meet all requirements on the Certification of Teaching Capacity, as required by the State of North Carolina. The Teacher Education program at Elon University requires a passing edTPA score (see Transition 5 for more information on edTPA) as part of the student teaching grade. In cases where a candidate is unable to successfully complete the student teaching semester, but is still in good standing within the Teacher Education program, an alternative placement may be found making the candidate ineligible for licensure but still eligible for graduation.

Transition Point 5: Program Completion and Recommendation for Licensure

To be recommended for licensure, candidates must:

  • submit a final transcript as required by the State of North Carolina
  • submit the original (and signed) Certification of Teaching Capacity form
  • complete and receive a minimal passing edTPA score
    • For 2022-2023, per NC State Board of Education policy, all candidates seeking a North Carolina licensure recommendation must have an official edTPA minimal passing score:
      • For 13-rubric handbooks, a score of 32
      • For 15-rubric handbooks, a score of 38
      • For 18-rubric handbooks, a score of 45
  • successfully complete the required North Carolina subject assessment tests for licensure (Praxis II/Pearson) prior to graduation

Teaching Out of State

Many candidates choose to teach somewhere besides North Carolina. Once a candidate is eligible for and receives their North Carolina teaching license, it will make it easier for a candidate to work in another state. North Carolina has reciprocity with 36 other states. By definition, this means the state will honor the North Carolina teaching license, but candidates may be required to take additional testing or meet another licensure requirement. However, candidates are typically given a year or so to fulfill these requirements while teaching.

It is important to note some particulars for states listed below.

  • Massachusetts requires the MTEL tests for elementary and special education. Those who are seeking elementary and special education licensure in North Carolina may take the Massachusetts versions of the Foundations of Reading and the Mathematics subtests. This will allow candidates to “count these tests twice.”
  • Massachusetts and several other states require a course in working with English as a Second Language students. The Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education suggests minoring in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) to fulfill this requirement. Candidates should speak with their academic advisors about this option.
  • While North Carolina does not have reciprocity with New York, we have many graduates who teach in New York State successfully, porting their North Carolina license and fulfilling a few other requirements —just like in states with reciprocity.

Please contact the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education Dean’s Office for more information at 336-278-5900.

Candidates who plan to teach outside of North Carolina, can find more information about Teacher Reciprocity Agreements here.

Licensure Testing Requirements

Licensure Area

Testing Requirements

Early Childhood Education
This test is not a state requirement but it is an Elon program requirement.

Elementary Education

and one of the following math tests:

Special Education
(K-12) and
Elementary Education

and one of the following math tests:

*If you are from or think you will move to Massachusetts, then you may take the Massachusetts (MTEL) versions of the Pearson General Curriculum Mathematics Subtest and the Pearson Foundations of Reading Test. Find out more about the MTEL here. North Carolina will accept the MTEL in lieu of the North Carolina versions of the Pearson tests.

Licensure Area

Testing Requirements

Special Education (K-12) Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications
Test 5543; Passing Score = 158
Middle Grades Education
Language Arts (6-9)
Middle School English Language Arts
Test 5047; Passing Score = 164
Middle Grades Education
Mathematics (6-9)
choose one of the following:

Middle School Mathematics
Test 5164; Passing Score = 157
Test 5169; Passing Score = 165

effective August 2022

Middle Grades Education
Science (6-9)
choose one of the following:

Middle School Science
Test 5442; Passing Score = 152
Test 5440; Passing Score = 150

effective August 2021

Middle Grades Education
Social Studies (6-9)
Middle School Social Studies
Test 5089; Passing Score = 149

Beginning July 1, 2018, a teacher candidate will be exempt from the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching Grades: 7-12 (Test 5624) assessment requirement for secondary licensure if the candidate can produce evidence of a passing score on the edTPA for North Carolina.

Licensure Area

Testing Requirements

Biology (9-12) Biology Content Knowledge
Test 5235; Passing Score = 150NOTE: If you are secondary comprehensive science, this is not your test.
English (9-12) English Language Arts: Content Knowledge
Test 5038; Passing Score = 167
Mathematics (9-12) Mathematics Content Knowledge
Test 5165; Passing Score = 159
Science, Comprehensive (9-12)


General Science: Content Knowledge
Test 5435; Passing Score = 151)
Social Studies, Comprehensive (9-12) Social Studies: Content Knowledge
Test 5081; Passing Score = 158
Spanish (K-12) Spanish: World Language
Test 5195; Passing Score = 168
Health and Physical Education (K-12) Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge
Test 5857; Passing Score = 160
Music (K-12) Music: Content and Instruction
Test 5114; Passing Score = 162