How to Become a Teacher in Arkansas
There has been never been a better time to apply to become a teacher in Arkansas. With nearly a third of all teachers in the state retiring within the next decade, the Arkansas Department of Education is actively seeking new educators to fill these positions.
However, becoming a teacher in Arkansas isn’t something you can just jump into – some specific steps and processes need to be followed. You’ll need to obtain teaching certification from the state, which includes:
- Obtaining a bachelor’s degree
- Completing an accredited educator preparation program
- Passing tests designed to check core skills and subject knowledge
- Applying for a teaching license
This article will provide an overview of what’s required of someone who wants to become certified as an educator in Arkansas, from initial requirements to obtaining your teaching license.
With this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to start your journey toward becoming a teacher in The Natural State!
Get Your Arkansas Teacher Certification
There are several steps you need to take if you’d like to become a certified teacher in the state of Arkansas, such as satisfying educational prerequisites, completing a teacher certification program, passing any required tests, and filing your application. Let’s break each of those down.
1. Meet Educational Background Requirements
In Arkansas, the first step to becoming a teacher is meeting educational background requirements. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Along with a background check, this is the minimum qualification you will need to begin your teaching journey. You can check the approval of your institution by accessing the Directory of Institutions on the Higher Learning Commission’s website.
2. Complete a Teacher Certification Program
Once you have your bachelor’s degree in hand, the next step to becoming a teacher in Arkansas is to apply for an accredited teachers certification program. You can find a list of approved programs on the Arkansas Division of Elementary & Secondary Education Website.
While Arkansas doesn’t strictly require a set amount of study hours in a teacher training program, it’s generally expected that graduates should have done about 60 full school days, or 420 hours, of hands-on teaching practice or real-world teaching experience.
There are alternative programs for aspiring teachers without a bachelor’s degree or a degree unrelated to education. iteach offers one such program as an affordable option to traditional teacher certification.
With a low enrollment fee of just $99 and available payment plans, their four-step alternative teacher certification program equips you with the necessary skills to succeed in the classroom while earning full pay. Get your teaching license and make your mark as a teacher with iteach’s efficient, cost-effective path.
3. Pass Required Tests
Depending the subject or grade level where you want to teach, you may also need to fulfill a three-credit course requirement in Arkansas history. This step is essential for meeting the education standards and criteria set by the state authorities.
Prospective teachers must continue their professional development with seven hours of focused learning in areas such as:
- Scientific reading instruction
- Child maltreatment
- Family and community engagement
- Teen suicide prevention and awareness
- Dyslexia awareness
- Human trafficking awareness
With each successful assessment, you are one step closer to realizing your dream of becoming an educator.
Renewing Your Teaching License
To renew your teaching license in Arkansas, you must:
- Obtain a credential in scientific reading instruction.
- Compile new background assessments.
- Fill out and print the consent form and pay for state police and FBI screenings.
- Undergo electronic fingerprinting with the assigned transaction ID.
- Submit a Child Maltreatment Registry Form.
- Go online to renew your application.
- Pay the $75 application fee unless provided by your school district.
- Record any professional advancement accomplished in the preceding five years; if you still need to fulfill the necessary qualifications, mention it on your form.
Remember that licenses are valid for five years from January 1 of the issued year. Make sure to renew your license during the fifth year.
Teaching Careers in Arkansas
With one out of every four schools in the country requiring multiple teaching positions to be filled – and Arkansas is no different – the statistics are clear. Teaching in Arkansas is a great career choice, with starting wages at just over $40,000 and an average rate of more than $50,000 per year.
What’s more, iteach offers an alternative to the traditional accreditation process with their alternative teacher certification program – allowing you to complete your coursework on your own schedule while keeping costs low.
With all these factors in mind, why not apply now to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity and become a teacher in Arkansas?
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I get a teaching certification in Arkansas?
To get a teaching certification in Arkansas, you will need to meet educational background requirements, complete an educator preparation program, and pass state-required tests.
First and foremost, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. In addition, a background check is also required. After you’ve completed your degree, the next destination on your journey is an accredited teacher certification program. While the state of Arkansas requires no specific number of study hours, the general expectation is that you’ll have completed roughly 60 full school days, or 420 hours, of hands-on teaching practice or actual teaching experience.
Once you’ve completed your certification program, you’ll need to pass specific tests. This includes the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test and any related Praxis Subject Assessments (or the Praxis II) specific to your desired subject or grade level. Furthermore, you might need to fulfill a three-credit course requirement in Arkansas history. Lastly, remember that learning doesn’t stop once you pass the exams. Prospective teachers are expected to dedicate at least seven hours of focused learning to specific areas, such as scientific reading instruction and child maltreatment. After you’ve navigated through these steps, you’ll be fully prepared to apply for your teaching license in Arkansas and launch your exciting career in education!
2. Can I teach in Arkansas without certification?
You may teach in private schools in Arkansas without a certification. To teach in public schools, however, certification is a necessity. All Arkansas teachers must meet the educational and licensing requirements laid out by the Arkansas Department of Education. These stipulations include holding a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or completing an approved teacher certification program.
In addition, aspiring teachers must also pass required exams such as the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test, along with any relevant Praxis Subject Assessments (Praxis II) related to their chosen subject or grade level. Even when considering alternative routes to certification, it’s important to note that these pathways still require applicants to meet certain qualifications and fulfill specific requirements, such as a bachelor’s degree. In short, while you can teach in private institutions without a certification, obtaining a teacher certification is a must to teach in Arkansas public schools.
3. How long does it take to get teacher certification in Arkansas?
If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can earn your certification in 12-18 months by completing a post-baccalaureate or alternative teacher certification program. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, it takes about 4 to 5 years to become a teacher in Arkansas. However, the actual timeline can vary depending on several factors. This estimate typically includes the four years it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree, followed by completing a teacher certification program and gaining hands-on teaching experience, which can add up to another year. The certification program’s length can vary, but it generally involves about 60 full school days, or 420 hours, of practical teaching practice. It’s important to understand that these are general guidelines. Individual timelines can differ based on your circumstances and the pace at which you complete your studies and certification requirements.
However, there are quicker alternatives available. For example, with an alternative program like the Online Teacher Certification offered by iteach, you can expedite this process and be ready to teach in the classroom in as little as one year. This efficient, cost-effective path provides you with the necessary skills to succeed as an educator while keeping your timeline to a minimum.
4. Can you become a teacher in Arkansas without a degree in education?
Yes. If you have a bachelor’s degree that is not in education, you can become a teacher in Arkansas by completing an alternative teacher certification program.
The iteach alternative teacher certification program is designed to equip aspiring teachers like yourself with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education – with a GPA of 2.5 or higher – with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the classroom.
With iteach, you can enroll for a low fee of just $99 and take advantage of their payment plans. Their four-step alternative teacher certification program offers a convenient and affordable path to earning your teaching certification. It allows you to learn at your own pace while gaining valuable hands-on experience in the classroom. By the end of the program, you’ll be well-equipped to make a lasting impact on your students and launch a successful teaching career in Arkansas.
5. How long does my teacher certification last in Arkansas?
A teacher certification in Arkansas is valid for five years, starting from January 1 of the year it’s issued. If you obtain your license on any date within a particular year, its validity will stretch until the end of the fifth year. For instance, if you were granted a license on June 1, 2023, it would be valid until December 31, 2027. As this end date approaches, it becomes imperative to begin the renewal process to maintain your legal teaching status in the state.
The renewal process in Arkansas is comprehensive and designed to ensure educators stay updated with essential knowledge and practices. To renew, teachers must acquire a credential in scientific reading instruction, This ensures they are well-versed in the latest literacy education techniques. They must also undergo fresh background assessments and provide consent for state police and FBI screenings and electronic fingerprinting. Teachers also need to submit a Child Maltreatment Registry Form, another protective measure for students.
The actual renewal of the application is done online for efficiency, accompanied by a $75 application fee, which some school districts might cover. Finally, any professional advancements achieved in the previous five years must be recorded. If any required qualifications remain unmet, they should be stated on the renewal form. Staying proactive about these requirements ensures educators can smoothly continue their teaching journey in Arkansas without interruptions.
6. How do I renew my teacher certification in Arkansas?
To renew your Arkansas teacher certification, you’ll need to obtain a credential in scientific reading instruction, go through background assessments, complete the essential consent form and pay for state police and FBI screenings and renewal application fees.
Electronic fingerprinting is also a part of the renewal process, and you’ll be assigned a transaction ID for this purpose.
Next, you must submit the Child Maltreatment Registry Form, ensuring you adhere to the highest child safety standards. Once these preliminary requirements are satisfied, you can head online to renew your application. The renewal comes with an application fee of $75. However, some school districts might provide for this, so it’s good to check beforehand. It’s also crucial to record any professional advancements you’ve achieved in the preceding five years. If you still need to fulfill any qualifications, be sure to mention these on your form.
Lastly, it’s important to note the validity period of the licenses. Licenses issued are valid for five years from January 1 of the year they were issued. Therefore, always ensure you renew your license during its fifth year to avoid interruptions in your Arkansas teaching career. Following these steps will ensure a smooth renewal process.
7. Can I teach in Arkansas without certification?
No, you cannot teach in Arkansas’s public schools without certification. All public school teachers in Arkansas must meet stringent educational and licensing requirements outlined by the Arkansas Department of Education. This entails securing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, finishing an approved teacher certification program, and passing specific exams. These exams include the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test. Depending on the subject or grade level you aim to teach, you might also need to take subject-specific Praxis Subject Assessments. However, there’s a silver lining for those who may not possess an education-related degree or are looking to expedite their journey into the classroom.
Alternative certification routes are available. iteach’s Online Teacher Certification program provides those with a bachelor’s degree in a non-education field the chance to teach. After enrolling in their program, you can embark on a teaching career even if your primary degree isn’t in education. This cost-effective route by iteach lets you dive into the classroom setting sooner while ensuring you’re ready to impart quality education.
8. How do I get approved to teach in Arkansas if I have a teaching certificate from another state?
If you’re a certified educator from another state or country looking to teach in Arkansas, you may apply for Arkansas teaching certification by completing the process of Licensure by Reciprocity. While Arkansas may recognize your out-of-state or foreign teaching license, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll automatically receive an Arkansas teaching license. Each license type is thoroughly evaluated, and additional requirements might be needed. For military veterans and their families, Arkansas has a streamlined approach. If already licensed in another U.S. region in good standing, they can swiftly obtain an equivalent Arkansas license. Start by requesting a Reciprocity packet from the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). Then, submit the required documents, including your current or expired out-of-state license, official transcripts, and content area testing results, if applicable.
Some teachers could be eligible for a Provisional license if they’ve met most but not all of the standard requirements. An example of this is proficiency in Arkansas History. Specific teaching roles in the state require this knowledge. Individuals can acquire this at accredited Arkansas institutions or through specialized courses. For educators hailing from countries outside the U.S., additional steps are involved. They’ll need to provide evaluated transcripts from specific agencies, prove their English language skills, and complete additional content area assessments. In essence, while Arkansas provides pathways for educators from different regions, they ensure teachers meets their standards of excellence.