UNC Charlotte is North Carolina's urban research university. It leverages its location in the state's largest city to offer internationally competitive research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, and a focused set of community engagement initiatives. UNC Charlotte maintains a particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health and social needs of the greater Charlotte region. Our lush, wooded main campus is peaceful and self-contained, yet still in close proximity to the bustling city and is connected by a light rail line. More than 1,000 full-time faculty comprise the University’s academic departments and student enrollment now exceeds 29,000 students.
I always had a person that could answer my questions and guide me when it came to a difficult scenario. All of my professors at UNC-Charlotte strived to make the road to the career of my dreams as successful as they could.
- 48 monthsProgram DurationProgram duration can vary based on the number of courses taken per semester, summer semester enrollment, as well as other factors
- In-personProgram Format
- Nov. 01, 2020Application Deadline
If you share the belief that all children have the promise within them to become someone better, the UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education is here to help you every step of the way. Our nationally-accredited programs, award-winning faculty, and expansive extracurricular opportunities are designed to help our students make the absolute most of their education and form a solid foundation for their teaching careers. With five undergraduate major options and six undergraduate minor options, the Cato College of Education offers plenty of opportunity for future teachers and educational leaders. Our mission is to become leaders in equity, excellence and engagement, and we partner with regional school districts to allow our students to gain hands-on teaching experience in real-world settings.
Cato Scholarship for Education: This scholarship was established to provide support for incoming freshman and transfer students who plan to pursue studies within the Cato College of Education.
Students participating in the NC Teaching Fellows Program will receive forgivable loans if they commit to teach in a STEM or Special Education area. More information about this scholarship can be found at myapps.northcarolina.edu/ncteachingfellows.
Academic Work Study is available; students earn an hourly rate of pay and are awarded an average of $3,000 for the academic year.
Birth to Kindergarten (PK-K)
Earth Science (9-12)
Elementary Education (K-6)
Language Arts, Middle Grades (6-9)
Math, Middle Grades (6-9)
Science, Middle Grades (6-9)
Social Studies (9-12)
Social Studies, Middle Grades (6-9)
Special Education: General Curriculum (K-12)
Theater Arts (K-12)
Special Education: General Curriculum (K-12)
Theater Arts (K-12)
Program Semesters/Steps Overview
- Year One
Education students at UNC Charlotte begin their training in year one. In addition to university general education credits, education students take an Introduction to Education and Diversity in Schools course and an Introduction to Learners with Special Needs during their first two semesters. Students have the opportunity to participate in early clinical experiences at a variety of schools, work with their advisor to establish professional goals and create a four-year academic plan, and determine what grade level/subject fits them best.
- Year Two
Students continue to take general education courses, and, as they approach the 30-45 credit hour mark, also make plans to declare their major. Some students elect to declare one of the two academic minors in the Cato College of Education that lead to additional licensure areas.
- Year Three
Most students enter their professional education courses, including courses focused on instructional design, diversity, child development and teaching practice. Students participate in a variety of clinical experiences in regional schools and practice what they are learning in their professional education coursework.
- Year Four
Students continue to take professional education coursework and focus their clinical experiences within the context of a year-long internship. Fourth-year students spend one to two days a week at their internship site in semester one and move into full-time student teaching with their clinical educator in the second semester. They also use university-provided resources to prepare for and take licensure exams as required by the State Board of Education.
- Hands-On Experience
One of the primary goals of the Cato College of Education is to give future teachers genuine, hands-on classroom experience before they graduate. From their first course in the program, students are involved in clinical experiences at a variety of different schools and are able to work with master teachers to rehearse and practice the concepts they are learning in the classroom. Students in their final year in a program participate in a year-long internship experience. In the first semester, students are in the classroom approximately one to two days per week, getting to know the school and classroom climate and continuing to practice what they are learning. This culminates in a 15-week student teaching experience during the second semester. Students work closely with trained clinical educators, site supervisors and university faculty to rehearse best practices and gain confidence and experience.
- Preparation for Diverse Populations
The Cato College of Education at UNC Charlotte strives to be a leader in educational equity, engagement and excellence. Our faculty members are engaged in cutting-edge research related to students with special needs, struggling readers and culturally relevant instruction. Because of our commitment to diversity, we host an on-campus speaker series and conferences specifically focused on fostering equity, diversity and social justice that are open to faculty, students and the greater community.
All of our students take Foundations of Education and Diversity and Introduction to Learners with Special Needs within their first year. Additionally, we offer courses such as Theories and Practice for Equity in Diverse Education and Modification Instructions for Learners with Diverse Needs.
- Mentoring & Coaching
As a part of the internship experience, our students are assigned a current practicing teacher, referred to as a clinical educator, to work alongside over the course of the year. Additionally a site supervisor is assigned to the student to help coach and guide them throughout the process—particularly during student teaching. The site supervisor visits the school frequently and provides students with feedback as they work to hone their skills. The clinical educator and site supervisor collaborate to work closely with students and help them develop into impactful educators.
- Program Commitment to Improvement & Excellence
The Cato College of Education is committed to continuous improvement and is working to make sure that our students have the best experiences possible. Our Office of School and Community Partnerships (OCSP) has identified schools in local districts, based on data, to form a partner school network that will house the core of student clinical experiences. The partner school network is a collection of principals and school leaders. Student teachers will be placed within the partner school network, and UNC Charlotte will provide summer training for the teachers that work alongside them. Site supervisors affiliated with the Cato College of Education will be placed at the partner schools to help supervise and coach student teachers as they practice.
- American Indian or Alaskan Native
- Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
- Two or more races