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  • Waterloo, ON

Leaders Join Forces to Help Solve North Carolina’s Teacher Shortage

Press Release

D2L, the leader in learning technology, announces that two flagship universities of the University of North Carolina System, North Carolina State University (NC State) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), have used Brightspace to launch a joint Competency-based Education (CBE) program. The CBE program is the first of its kind in the region, designed to certify thousands of people to teach in schools across North Carolina.

According to a 2015 report by the State Board of Education, North Carolina employs more than 4,300 lateral entry teachers, but they leave the profession at a rate that is 79 percent higher than other states. NC State and UNC have created this program to address this widening teacher shortage, which will provide a new certification path for lateral entry teachers  people who have knowledge and expertise in a particular subject, but do not have a teaching license.

CBE is a learning model that prioritizes student’s “mastery” of skills and learning outcomes over the time spent in a classroom. As a result, the student’s real-world experience and skills are recognized, making the pace of learning more individualized and accelerated. The online program, offered on both campuses, will make it easier for lateral entry teachers to receive the training they need while remaining in their jobs.

“It is critical that we recruit and retain teachers across the State to provide a quality education and learning experience to thousands of our students,” said Michael J. Maher, Assistant Dean for Professional Education and Accreditation at the NC State College of Education. “To meet this challenge, we needed a partner that could train teachers with a program tailored to modern learners. D2L was the clear choice for that partner.”

A pilot phase will be conducted this fall with 80 lateral entry teachers, with a second phase next spring semester. The program is designed to quickly expand and scale across the state to train more teachers as required, potentially reaching 5,000 students.

“We can attract more lateral-entry teachers by offering a flexible learning experience that fits teacher development into an already busy life,” said Diana B. Lys, Assistant Dean of Educator Preparation and Accreditation for the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Brightspace provides our faculty with the ability to reach lateral entry teachers wherever they are. We also benefit from D2L’s expertise in CBE strategic planning, design services and ongoing change management consulting, to ensure success every step of the way.”

“We are thrilled to be working with UNC and NC State to help educate the best teachers in the region through the latest advances in technology and pedagogy with this CBE model,” said John Baker, President and CEO of D2L. “Helping teachers grow is particularly exciting because it is an opportunity to prepare the next generation to dream bigger and live a life to their fullest potential.”



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 110 master’s, 64 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s 317,000-plus alumni live in all 50 states and 156 other countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.



NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. The university began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts, and today stands as a pre-eminent research enterprise that excels in science, technology, engineering, math, design, the humanities and social sciences, education, textiles and veterinary medicine. NC State students, faculty and staff take problems in hand and work with industry, government and nonprofit partners to solve them. The university’s 34,000-plus high-performing students apply what they learn in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures they leave here ready to lead the workforce, confident in the knowledge that NC State consistently rates as one of the best values in higher education.



D2L’s Brightspace is a learning management system (LMS) that helps schools and institutions deliver personalized learning in a classroom or online to people anywhere in the world. Created for the digital learner, Brightspace is cloud-based, runs on mobile devices and offers rich multimedia to increase engagement, productivity and knowledge retention. The platform makes it easy to design courses, create content and grade assignments, giving instructors more time to focus on what’s most important: greater teaching and learning. At the same time, analytics reports track and deliver insights into the performance levels of departments, courses or individuals.

Brightspace was recently named the #1 LMS in Higher Ed by Ovum Research and #1 in Adaptive Learning by eLearning Magazine. In addition, Aragon Research included Brightspace in its highly coveted Hot Vendors In Learning list.



D2L is the software leader that makes the learning experience better. The company’s cloud-based platform is easier to use, more flexible and smart. With Brightspace, companies can personalize the experience for every learner to deliver real results. The company is a world leader in learning analytics: its platform predicts learner performance so that companies can take action in real-time to keep employees on track. Brightspace is used by learners in higher education, K-12 and the enterprise sector, including the Fortune 1000. D2L has operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Singapore.


Press Contacts

Jason Kinnear
Lightspeed PR
[email protected]

D2L Media Contact

Tory Waldron

Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, D2L Corporation

[email protected]

Twitter: @D2L

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