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Whether you are considering a career change or you just graduated college, your unique experience and skills can be tremendous assets in the classroom.

The Aspire Teacher Prep program provides innovative preparation aligned to the skills that teachers need to be successful in their first year of teaching and throughout their career in the classroom. Learn how you can be a teacher and make a meaningful impact throughout your career.

Program Overview

The Aspire Teacher Prep program works in partnership with teacher candidates transitioning into teaching positions within school districts across North Carolina. Each teacher candidate has the opportunity to make a significant impact in the lives of students. This 15-month program provides teachers with an accelerated alternative teacher licensure program that uniquely blends knowledge acquisition with hands-on application for a context-specific experience. The program includes three core components 1) fully online, relevant, and competency-based courses; 2) dedicated responsive and accessible coaches trained to support new educators; and 3) a network of beginning teachers that serves as a resource to collaboratively design solutions for common problems of practice.

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  • Have an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Have 24 semester hours completed in the teaching area as indicated on official transcripts OR have passed the content area examination(s) required by the NC State Board of Education or the requested licensure area
  • An overall cumulative GPA on the official transcripts of at least a 2.7 or higher
  • Have been hired as a teacher by an LEA (Local Education Agency)

Double check the eligibility requirements prior to applying to make sure you qualify. All candidates must have a current teaching position and have at least a 2.7 GPA to qualify for this program.


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Relevant Coursework

The Aspire Teacher Prep program enriches teacher preparation through a clinical practice that is interwoven with coursework. This approach creates opportunities for teachers to connect and apply what they learn through the coursework in their own context, planning and reflecting on their instruction. Teachers make sense of theory in practice and hone skills in classroom culture, management and student engagement, and pedagogy, the art of teaching.

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Dedicated Coaches

Specific formative instructional coaching is tailored to meet the needs of beginning teachers as they transition into the teaching profession. Aspire Teacher Prep coaches empower teachers to set specific and intentional goals in areas of growth and actively work towards meeting those goals through ongoing feedback. Coaches are assigned to teachers throughout their program of study and support coaches in understanding their progress throughout their program of study.

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Beginning Teacher Network

A peer network is incorporated into the program to provide teachers with opportunities to share promising practices and troubleshoot challenges with peers across the state who understand the unique complexity of the challenges they confront.

Program Enrollment

Our Residency program requires you to be a teacher of record, currently teaching in the area in which you seek licensure. Our programs are for teachers seeking licensure in, Mathematics (6-9 or 9-12), Science (6-9 or 9-12), English Language Arts (6-9 or 9-12), Social Studies (6-9 or 9-12), and Career and Technical Education (CTE): Business, Marketing, Technology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Agriculture Education.

Although Aspire Teacher Prep accepts applications on a rolling basis, deadlines for enrollment for each cohort are below

  • Spring 2023 Cohort: March 30th
  • Fall 2023 Cohort: September 25th

Program Coursework

The Aspire Teacher Prep program is a 15-month program with rolling enrollment. Courses begin in the fall and spring of each year. During the program, teachers will participate in 4 courses: Classroom Culture, Behavior Management & Systems of Support; Intentional Planning and Facilitation of Learning; Redesigning Core Instruction for Unique Learners; and, Teacher Leadership and Development. Courses are delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous virtual modules. While each course provides new learning and emphasizes its own content, information is interwoven throughout the program so that what is learned in the first course is enhanced and refined throughout the program.

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Classroom Culture, Behavior Management & Systems of Support

This course is designed to assist teacher candidates with effective management of the classroom and student behaviors. Teacher candidates will dig deeper into who their learners are by exploring theories and concepts associated with human growth and development and identity across the lifespan. Practical strategies and techniques for including social and emotional learning into content curriculum to help students develop essential skills for the classroom and beyond are embedded throughout the course. This course will describe the impacts of effective core instruction for all students and provide teacher candidates with an introduction to the framework for a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) that enables educators to meet the specific needs of students not served through effective core instruction. Teacher candidates can expect to engage in assignments that require collecting information from their own classroom to complete course assignments.

Intentional Planning and Facilitation of Learning

This course includes discussion of research-based instructional practices that scaffold adolescent academic development, with detailed attention to mathematical and literacy practices. Teacher candidates will build and capitalize on their understanding of effective teaching practices by learning how to avoid common pitfalls associated with implementation. Content will also include monitoring and responding to student progress through formative and summative assessments and feedback. Teacher candidates can expect to use a variety of technology tools and digital use best practices in responding to assignments throughout this course.

Redesigning Core Instruction fo Unique Learners

This course is designed to introduce candidates to research, policy and evidence-based practices that support students from racially, economically, ethnically, linguistically, ability, and other diverse backgrounds. While teacher candidates apply practices in the classroom to support unique learners they also learn and practice effective strategies for family and caregiver engagement. Each module in this course presents various activities, learning strategies, and curriculum adaptations. Teacher candidates can expect to engage with complex texts and complete field experiences during this course.

Teacher Leadership and Development

In this course teacher candidates will explore asset-based pedagogies and strategies for creating equitable classroom instruction. They will also gain an understanding of stress and its impacts on adults and students in schools as well as practical strategies for professional self-care and mitigating stress in the learning environment. Teacher candidates will also explore professional networks and leadership opportunities. Throughout this course teacher candidates can expect to connect and collaborate with colleagues as they work towards completion of their Aspire Teacher Prep portfolio.

Who Should Participate?

Aspire Teacher Prep participants come from all different backgrounds and a variety of college majors and careers. What connects each teacher is their commitment to making a difference in a student’s life by supporting their growth and academic achievement. Each Aspire Teacher Prep candidate believes in the potential of the ability of all students to be successful and engage and contribute to their community in a diverse and ever-changing world.

Learn More

By joining the Aspire Teacher Prep program, candidates will join a network of teachers who share their convictions and determination to collectively work toward all kids having access to an excellent education. To join this powerful network, please contact Fredrica Nash at


Contact Fredrica Nash