The North Carolina Teacher Cadet Program is a structured course of study that encourages high school students to consider entering the education profession through the program’s long-term focus on “growing our own” public school teachers. Most importantly the program encourages high school students to attend college and to eventually teach in North Carolina public schools.

The program is implemented in cooperation with school districts across the state. Rural and economically-distressed counties, which have historically had trouble recruiting and retaining quality teachers when relying on other recruiting options, have become especially dependent upon the program. Many counties report it to be an invaluable tool in preparing students for teaching careers, and statistics have shown that students who grow up in these areas are more likely to return to them after college.

With the elimination of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, Teacher Cadet is now North Carolina’s only sustainable teacher recruitment initiative that grows our own public school teachers. Teacher Cadet develops future educators at the point in their lives when they are exploring future career choices.

Using an exemplary 21st Century curriculum and hands-on teaching field experiences, the program gives students a positive but realistic view of the educational profession. Students who complete the program develop a passion for the teaching profession and become strong advocates for it by recruiting others to take the course. Even if a student elects to not pursue education as a career choice, the individual is better informed, more apt to engage in positive public education initiatives, and overall be a more engaged citizen of North Carolina.

The program has come full circle with former cadets now instructing in Teacher Cadet classrooms. Careers in education are supply and demand positions. Therefore, while the North Carolina Teacher Cadet Program cannot create job opportunities, we strive to provide a diverse, well-educated, teaching workforce to fill North Carolina’s demands.

Statistics show that states with strong public schools attract businesses and other economic growth opportunities. Creating strong public school educators is central to creating strong public schools.



To encourage academically able students who possess exemplary interpersonal and leadership skills to consider teaching as a career and to provide these talented future community leaders with insights about teachers and schools so that they will be community advocates for education.


The North Carolina Teacher Cadet Class is designed for high school juniors/seniors who are interested in the field of education and have followed the college preparatory curriculum. Teacher Cadet is a fun and informative class for anyone interested in education (whether the student decides to become a teacher or not). The curriculum is divided into four units:  The Learner, The School, The Teacher and Teaching, and Culminating Activities. It is also designed to teach students about different personality types, learning styles, and development-physical, social, and moral.


Based on a recent survey of 1,211 North Carolina public school teachers, the IMPACT of the Teacher Cadet Program has shown:

25%+ who were Teacher Cadets in high school became a Teaching Fellow

31%+ who were Teacher Cadets in high school received a teaching scholarship of some kind (Teaching Fellow, PTSL, etc.)