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Press Release

Appalachian State University and East Carolina University added to the program

RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission has unanimously selected Appalachian State University and East Carolina University as new partner institutions for the program beginning in 2024-25.

These two institutions will join the existing eight partner colleges and universities in offering initial teacher licensure programs in STEM education, Exceptional Children education and elementary education.

Last year, the General Assembly passed a law expanding the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program from eight to 10 institutions. Through a competitive process, 15 proposals from colleges and universities were submitted for review by the commission. Proposals were judged on a number of criteria, including program data, institutional support and practical experiences for participants, as well as an institution’s potential impact on geographic diversity and number of applicants.

“The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission received a large number of quality applications from all parts of the state and commends all the institutions that submitted for the excellent work that they are doing,” said Commission Chair Joy Smith. “We are excited to be able to address the deserts in Teaching Fellows institutions that existed in the eastern and western parts of the state with the naming of these two institutions to the NCTF program.”

NCTF Commission Vice Chair Patrick Brennan added: “Our public schools are the cornerstone of North Carolina’s foundation. The number and quality of proposals to be a partner institution with the NCTF program shows a strong commitment to the teaching profession. I am pleased that we are adding both Appalachian State University and East Carolina University as partner institutions, as not only do these campuses graduate a significant number of teachers, but they also do a great job of preparing them to make an impact in schools across North Carolina.”

“Welcoming the next generation of educators is one of the most important things we do as a public university,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “Now that two of the UNC System’s largest educator preparation programs are included in Teaching Fellows, we hope to see the teacher pipeline expand to help match the substantial need in North Carolina’s school districts.”

The Teaching Fellows program is a competitive, merit-based forgivable loan program providing tuition assistance of up to $10,000 per year for qualified students committed to teaching elementary education, special education, science, technology, engineering, or math in a North Carolina public school. The purpose of the program is to recruit, prepare and support future teachers who attend institutions of higher education in North Carolina.

The 10 NCTF partner institutions in 2024-25 are:

Appalachian State University
East Carolina University
Elon University
Fayetteville State University
Meredith College
North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
NC State University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Pembroke