For many years, North Carolina has had a number of robust teacher recruitment efforts but has lacked a comprehensive plan for next steps to ensure that we attract high-quality teaching candidates for our state’s hardest-to-staff subject areas and schools. That is why we formed a teacher recruitment working group in 2020 with representatives from across the education landscape and including input from over 100 experts, including educators, researchers, and policymakers. This working group set out to examine the teacher recruitment landscape in North Carolina and develop a set of recommendations to move our state forward with a coordinated and impactful teacher recruitment strategy.
NC STRIDE Teacher Recruitment Action Plan
The culmination of the NC STRIDE work, so far, is the release of the NC STRIDE Teacher Recruitment Action Plan which frames the process through which the plan came together, shares the recommendations, strategies, and actions, and highlights areas of alignment with other education initiatives underway in North Carolina.
Recommendations & Strategies for Teacher Recruitment
NC STRIDE has identified eight primary Recommendations, 20 Strategies and over 150 Actions. The primary recommendations, shown below, are not in order of priority, they are all interrelated and equally important. To view the full list of Recommendations, Strategies, and Actions, please download the report above.
Establish a state-level teacher recruitment entity within DPI that will increase alignment between DPI, EPPs, LEAs, educators, personnel administrators, policymakers, educator support groups, and others.
- 1a. Create a cohesive strategy and statewide alignment for North Carolina teacher recruitment.
Data & Research
Routinely collect, monitor, and utilize data and research about best practices in recruitment in order to align them with North Carolina’s educator needs and resources.
- 2a. Collect, monitor, and utilize data and research.
Create and expand recruitment efforts at key entry points for teacher candidates - from secondary students to college students to mid-career professionals.
- 3a. Establish high school Grow-Your-Own programs in all school districts.
- 3b. Reimagine and expand career exploration through CTE in middle and high school – with the teaching profession as one part of the path that starts with a career inventory and leads to intentional exposure opportunities throughout high school.
- 3c. Ensure all high school career and college advisors (including the high school Career Advisors Program and the College Advising Corps program) have a teacher toolkit to encourage students to enter teaching, including multiple opportunities and pathways to the teaching profession.
- 3d. Expand recruitment within IHEs.
- 3e. Expand recruitment efforts in non-traditional places, e.g., non-licensed K-12 school staff, summer camps, church programs, retired military, etc.
Offer in-classroom and other relevant teaching experiences early and often for anyone who might be interested in teaching, providing them exposure to multiple environments and subject areas to help determine whether teaching is a good fit for them.
- 4a. Create more opportunities for students and professionals to try teaching before entering an EPP or residency program.
- 4b. Create a meaningful, paid statewide apprenticeship program/status that can fulfill student teaching requirements or help transition residency candidates into the profession before they become the teacher of record.
- 4c. Strengthen the EPP student teaching experience.
Develop specific, targeted hiring practices and incentives to fill critical vacancies, leveraging best practices in other industries and places to clearly align specific strategies with each unique type of staffing need.
- 5a. Increase hiring incentives and/or compensation to fill critical, persistent vacancies. Consider programs similar to those the military employs to ensure key positions are filled.
- 5b. Expand forgivable loan programs (e.g., NC Teaching Fellows) for students who intend to pursue teaching in hard-to-staff subjects or spaces.
- 5c. Enhance resources, training, and support for district personnel administrators.
Overhaul licensure policies and systems to support effective educators as they enter and advance through the teaching profession.
- 6a. Reimagine state teacher licensure policies and practices to reflect the professional expectations for similar high-skill professions.
- 6b. Modernize the teacher licensure systems to create a transparent and efficient experience for teacher candidates.
Marketing & Support
Sustain intentional marketing efforts that elevate the profession and connect to support systems for teacher candidates.
- 7a. Continue and expand research-based approaches to marketing and advertising the teaching profession.
- 7b. Expand TeachNC to ensure aspiring educators have the information and one-on-one supports they need to navigate the complex journey into the teaching profession.
Remove unnecessary barriers to entry from the EPP selection process and ensure EPPs are empowered to evolve their practices to prepare candidates for 21st-century demands on teachers.
- 8a. Identify and remove unnecessary EPP application and preparation barriers for candidates.
- 8b. Leverage the EPP Dashboard and examine the effectiveness of EPP options.
- 8c. Consider opportunities to improve the attractiveness, affordability, and success of EPP programs.