State Level: NC



While an estimated 40% of college students express an interest in teaching, North Carolina and other states lose as many as 70% of those who are interested due to unnecessary barriers to entry, leaving districts and schools with an inadequate supply of teacher talent.


In 2019, BEST NC in partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and launched TeachNC, a digital recruitment platform, that cultivates and converts teaching candidates and streamlines the hiring process.


BEST NC is a coalition of business leaders committed to improving NC’s education system through policy and advocacy. Knowing that teachers are the most important in-school factor on student success, BEST NC prioritizes elevating educators and improving the educator pipeline.

Factors that precipitated the launch of TeachNC include declining enrollment in colleges of education; persistent teacher vacancies in math, science and special education; a poor perception of the teaching profession; and a fragmented system of teacher preparation, licensure and employment.

“Since launching TeachNC, more than 11,000 aspiring teachers have subscribed, and more than 2,000 applied to Educator Preparation Programs. Of those applicants, 59% reported they were not likely to apply without TeachNC’s support,” said Leah Sutton, Vice President of Policy & Advocacy for BEST NC, as of December 2021.

Visitors to the TeachNC website create a profile, and TeachNC guides them through the process of becoming a teacher, including educator preparation programs and affordability, licensure and employment. Teaching candidates receive customized emails.

“The licensure pathway can be particularly fragmented for industry professionals who want to transition to teaching,” said Sutton. “TeachNC guides them through the process and even gives candidates access to a teacher coach who can help answer questions about the profession.”

TeachNC includes a statewide jobs board that streamlines the 115 NC school districts recruitment efforts. Additionally, TeachNC encompasses a media campaign for radio, TV and social media that shifts the perception of the teaching profession and inspires prospective teachers.

The ultimate goal for TeachNC is to improve student outcomes by recruiting top talent into NC schools and classrooms.

Since 2018, The Belk Foundation has invested $300,000 in TeachNC.