Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How We Help Every North Carolina Student Thrive

About the NC Education Corps

PSUs partner with NCEC to assist teachers and widen the circle of support for students.

NCEC helps recruit, educate, and activate corps members to provide quality social-emotional and academic support for a PSU’s students. 

PSUs hire corps members and pay for their time ($13.15- $25/hour, based on experience). PSUs may use an array of public funds, including GEER funds, ESSER II and eventually ESSER III funds to compensate corps members. PSUs support corps members with site-based coordination and supervision, and with monthly coaching and development.

Additional support for teachers and students

  • NCEC helps recruit, train, and activate corps members at minimal cost to PSUs.
  • Corps members assist teachers by providing social-emotional support and high-impact literacy tutoring in phonics and phonemic awareness to students grounded in the science of reading and science of reading instruction.

Leveraged Funds

  • Corps members can be paid with federal title funds, including Title I, III and V, GEER funds through August 2023, and ESSER II and III funds, in addition to other PSU funding sources.
  • Additional private funds have been raised to support NCEC efforts to recruit, educate, and activate corps members and PSUs.


  • Recognition by NCEC, the SBE, NCDPI, and the Office of the Governor.
  • Opportunity to elevate the stories of and support for students and families in your schools.

K-3 students must learn to read well and with confidence in order to read to learn, and COVID-19 has made this harder. 

North Carolina Education Corps is joining the effort to advance reading proficiency grounded in the science of reading across North Carolina.

NCEC is doing its part by recruiting corps members to work as tutors who emphasize social-emotional learning and high-impact literacy tutoring that is grounded in the science of reading and reading instruction.

High-impact tutoring has been proven to provide significant learning gains for students in need. The National Student Support Accelerator led by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University has identified five program characteristics that have proven to accelerate learning, including: 

  1. Substantial time with multiple sessions per week, which includes equitable access with tutoring delivered during the school day sessions that supplement, and do not replace, classroom instruction
  2. Sustained and strong relationships between students and tutors
  3. Close monitoring of student knowledge and skills 
  4. Alignment with school curriculum, and
  5. Training and oversight of tutors to assure quality interactions.

Our Corps Members

Corps members come from diverse backgrounds and are typically university and community college students and recent graduates, adults who are active community volunteers, and retirees. 

Our diverse corps members are unified by a passion for helping students and commitment to service. 

All applicants are vetted through North Carolina Education Corps’ application process. Top applicants are recommended to PSUs and are then vetted a second time through a PSU’s hiring processes.   

We leverage the extended NCEC network and work hand-in-hand with PSU liaisons to recruit corps members. NCEC creates a recruitment toolbox that includes social media graphics, email copy, job descriptions, PDF’s and a press release for each PSU partner and key influencers. We use this, in collaboration with schools, to pitch media outlets, post on social channels, and get a post on strategic email blasts. NCEC also invests in social media advertising and job posting sites. 

Corps members work directly with school-based reading coaches/specialists to administer tutoring sessions with K-3 students on a 1:1 or small group basis. Tutoring sessions focus on phonics and phonemic awareness and reinforce literacy skills introduced by teachers. All tutoring is aligned with state-level standards and grounded in the science of reading and reading instruction.  

Corps members work consistently with the same students over the course of a school year, corps members can build strong relationships with students, modeling and nurturing effective social and emotional skills and supporting academic growth. 

In 2022-2023 we anticipate adding a new corps member position: tutor coordinator. Corps members serving as tutor coordinators will recruit, train, and coordinate local volunteers to serve as literacy tutors 3-4 hours a week. 

Corps members are hired by PSUs and typically work part-time (PT) at either 10-15 or 29 hours/week. 

In the application to join NCEC, PSUs identify how many corps members and the hours of service needed. 

College students are typically available for the 10-15 hours/week positions. PSUs need to offer flexibility, building tutoring schedules that work with teachers' instructional schedules as well as corps member semester class schedule. 

Older adults and retirees are better suited to work 20-29 hours/week. 

PSUs are encouraged to offer full-time (FT) 40-hour/week positions to attract and keep top talent. In our experience, the most impressive and impactful candidates desire FT employment. These candidates are also easier to retain. 

Coming soon: In 2022-2023 corps member roles will expand to include volunteer coordination. These corps members will recruit, train, and coordinate volunteers who have 3-4 hours/week available to serve as literacy tutors. This will turbocharge progress toward a future where every K-3 student has access to a high-quality literacy tutor.

As part of the recruitment process, NCEC and the PSU work together to craft a job description that includes a typical weekly schedule tailored to the corps member’s part-time/full-time status. This gives schools and applicants a clear understanding of how the hours are distributed throughout the week. 

Each school works directly with new corps members to create a schedule that meets students’ academic needs for tutoring, given the agreed-upon hours per week. For part-time hires, we’ve found that schools that offer flexibility and work with the corps members’ scheduling constraints have had more success recruiting and retaining talented corps members.

Corps members work as employees of partner PSUs from late September through mid-May. During this time, corps members are supported and participate in NCEC professional development provided by the NCEC team, including a group of instructional support coaches. 

Yes. After the first year of service, though no longer obligated to the corps, PSUs may extend employee contracts, or transition their corps members to permanent, FT staff. 

The cohort-based professional learning establishes our collective and individual “why” as we confront the needs of early literacy in NC. Each corps member receives pre-service and in-service development during their one-year commitment. Learning sessions build knowledge around high-impact tutoring, the science of reading, and the delivery of reading instruction with an emphasis on phonics and phonemic awareness. PSUs are asked to include corps members in complementary learning opportunities, so corps members can effectively use the local resources and curriculum provided by school-based supervisors or reading specialists/coaches. 

psu funding

Corps members must be paid at least $13.15/hour. PSUs may offer a higher wage in order to attract and retain talent. In spring 2021, PSUs paid corps members up to $20/hour to attract and retain talent. 

PSUs can use the following kind of estimate to draft a budget: 

15 hrs/wk x $14.50/hr average wage x 32 wks =$6,960 per corps member

29 hrs/wk x $14.50/hr average wage x 32 wks = $13,456 per corps member

40 hrs/wk corps members are eligible for state benefits. These positions attract and retain the strongest candidates, an important consideration for PSUs looking at North Carolina Education Corps as an education workforce development pipeline.

PSUs can use an array of private and public funds to pay corps members for their time including, federal title funds, ESSER II, and soon, ESSER III funds. Click here for an overview of federal COVID-19 relief funds.

Federal Title Programs, including Title I, III, and V.  

ESSER II - through September 2023 -Click here for draft planning allotments

ESSER III - through September 2024  (Coming soon)

North Carolina Education Corps is a public-private partnership. While PSUs pay for corps members’ time, NCEC has secured additional public and private funds to pay for backbone operations, corps member recruitment, corps member professional development and ongoing coaching, and ongoing PSU support throughout implementation.  

Have more questions? Access our Intro Video.

You can also reach out to Pam Hartley,
Director of District Partnerships.