Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria to be considered for a Teaching Fellows award:

  • Be accepted to enroll in an approved educator preparation program leading to initial licensure in an eligible area at one of the five Teaching Fellows partner institutions.
  • Be one of the following:
    • A North Carolina high school senior; able to use award up to 8 semesters
    • A student applying to transfer to an educator preparation program at one of the five Teaching Fellows partner institutions; able to use award up to 6 semesters
    • A student already enrolled at one of the five Teaching Fellows partner institutions who transitions into an educator preparation program; able to use award up to 4 semesters
    • An individual with a bachelor’s degree pursuing preparation for teacher licensure at one of the eight Teaching Fellows partner institutions; able to use award up to 4 semesters
  • Minimum Academic Requirements:
    • High school applicants or applicants with fewer than 24 hours of college credit must have a minimum unweighted high school GPA of 3.0. Applicants are encouraged to submit an SAT and/or ACT score, although that is optional.

What are the Approved Areas of Licensure for Teaching Fellows?

Under the authorizing legislation, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the State Superintendent are assigned the duty of establishing a list of eligible STEM and special education licensure areas.

Approved STEM licensure areas:
  • MATHEMATICS (9-12)
  • SCIENCE (9-12)
  • EARTH SCIENCE (9-12)
  • PHYSICAL SCIENCE (9-12)
  • BIOLOGY (9-12)
  • PHYSICS (9-12)
  • CHEMISTRY (9-12)
  • AGRICULTURE (6-12)
  • TECHNOLOGY EDU (6-12)
  • MID GRD MATHEMATICS
  • MID GRD SCIENCE (6-9)
  • MID GRD TECHNOLOGY
Approved Special Education licensure areas:
  • EC-GENERAL CURR (K-6)
  • SP ED: GENERAL CURR (K-12)
  • SP ED: ADAPTED CURR (K-12)

Please note that programs do vary among partner institutions. For more information about the specific licensure pathways offered at a particular partner institution, please visit the “Partner Schools” tab.

What if I want to teach something other than STEM or Special Education – can I still apply?

Only those willing to teach in an approved STEM or Special Education area are eligible to apply and be considered for a Teaching Fellows award. Other licensure areas, including elementary education, are not eligible for consideration at this time.

What obligations must I meet for continuing support as a Teaching Fellow?

After initial acceptance into the program, in order to remain eligible for continued program support, Fellows must:

  • Make Satisfactory Academic Progress as determined by the institution in which they are enrolled.
  • Participate in all Teaching Fellows activities (unless an exception is requested and approved by the NCTFP Director).
  • Meet the initial eligibility requirements of the program.
  • Honor the terms of the Fellow’s promissory note.
  • Have not exceeded the maximum number of funding years available for the Fellow’s approved education program.

Application & Selection

How are Teaching Fellows selected?

Teaching Fellows are selected via a competitive and merit-based process.

The application will ask applicants to provide information about their academic accomplishments, professional or personal awards or recognition, leadership experience, and commitment to teaching, among other factors.

Once all eligible applications are reviewed, finalists will be selected and invited to participate in a finalist interview day during March. Following finalist interviews, the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission will meet to make the final selection for those applicants who will be offered a Teaching Fellows award. All applicants will be notified of their status by April 1 each year.

If I am selected as a Teaching Fellow, am I automatically guaranteed acceptance as a student at one of the Teaching Fellows partner institutions?

No. You must apply and be accepted by the institution independently of your consideration for Teaching Fellows. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to multiple Teaching Fellows partner campuses.

What general tips should I follow when preparing my application?

  • Verify that you have entered your contact information correctly.
  • Check that required documents have been properly uploaded and are clearly readable.
  • Give yourself time to thoughtfully answer all application questions, particularly the application essay.
  • Prior to submitting, carefully proofread your application to ensure that it is free of typos and errors.

May I mail my application materials?

No. All Teaching Fellows applications must be submitted online.

What should I know if I’m invited to a finalist interview?

All applicants should dress in business attire and prepare for a 25 minute interview in front of an interview panel. The interview panel is generally made up of former Teaching Fellows and current educators, school administrators, business and community leaders, legislators, and other program stakeholders.

What should I do if I no longer wish to be considered for a Teaching Fellows award?

Should you decide to withdraw from Teaching Fellows consideration at any point in the process, please email ncteachingfellows@northcarolina.edu with notification of your decision.

Loan Forgiveness & Cash Repayment

How is the forgivable loan repaid?

Teaching Fellows may repay their forgivable loan by:

  • 1 year of service at a NC public school identified as low-performing for each year an award was received, or
  • 2 years of service at a NC public school not identified as low-performing for each year an award was received, or
  • Cash repayment for the amount of the award and any accrued interest

What is a low-performing school?

Per G.S. 115C-105.37(a), a low-performing school is defined as a school that receives a school performance grade of D or F and earns a school growth score of “met expected growth” or “not met expected growth.”
More information on school performance grades is available: https://ncreportcards.ondemand.sas.com/src.

How many years do I have to repay the forgivable loan?

Teaching Fellows have 10 years in which to repay the loan after completion of the program leading to teacher licensure or termination of the forgivable loan through withdrawal from the program.

Where can I teach as a Teaching Fellow?

For purposes of repayment through loan forgiveness, Teaching Fellows are able to teach at any North Carolina public school, traditional or charter.

I have questions about loan forgiveness and repayment – who should I talk to?

All questions regarding loan repayment should be directed to the State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA) at (919) 549-8614 or via email at repay@ncseaa.edu

Other

What if I decide to transfer to another college/university?

You may transfer to another institution in the Teaching Fellows Program, provided that you are accepted and that space is available in the program. If you choose to transfer to an institution that is not a Teaching Fellows partner campus, you will be required to enter cash repayment for the amount of your award plus 8% interest.

Can Teaching Fellows awards be deferred for a gap year?

Teaching Fellows awards cannot be deferred and therefore, prospective applicants are encouraged to apply only in the year prior to beginning their eligible pathway of study.

What if I still have questions?

For additional questions about the program or application, please email us at ncteachingfellows@northcarolina.edu.

For questions about loan forgiveness or cash repayment, please contact the State Education Assistance Authority at repay@ncseaa.edu or (919) 549-8614.