Those seeking to obtain a teaching degree in Arkansas should be aware of important information as they set out on their career path, including:
Also included here is a list of additional resources and a comprehensive directory of fully accredited teaching degrees in Arkansas.
Arkansas requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to become a professional teacher, and has 18 accredited teacher preparation programs offered through colleges and universities. The starting salary for those with a teaching degree in Arkansas is $30,525, with the average salary at $47,472. Approximately 34 percent of teachers in Arkansas have a master’s degree. These teachers can expect a salary bump of $3,970 per year over teachers with only a bachelor’s degree.
There are many options for financial aid, including grants and scholarships, for teaching programs in Arkansas. Among the varied options are:
Arkansas State Assistantship Program
Information on the availability, benefits and stipends available for teaching assistant programs at Arkansas State University.
Arkansas State Teacher Assistance Resource Program
The STAR program offers 250 awards of $3,000 to $6,000 each year. Students agree to teach in an approved Arkansas public school for a specific period of time, or they must repay the award.
Arkansas Tech University College of Education
Arkansas Tech University offers seven different scholarships for students majoring in education.
The Arthur Monroe Shride Memorial Scholarship
An Arkansas State University scholarship for full-time incoming freshman from Randolph County who are majoring in Elementary Education and have an interest in teaching the value of nutrition and physical fitness.
Northwest Arkansas Bilingual Teacher Scholarship
A competitive scholarship for bilingual Hispanic students attending University of Arkansas, Fayetteville or at Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville with the intention of becoming teacher who is bilingual in Northwest Arkansas.
State Teacher Education Program (STEP)
The STEP program helps repayment of outstanding federal student loans after obtaining a teaching degree in Arkansas.
Teacher Opportunity Program
The Teacher Opportunity Program allows for grants to reimburse tuition up to six (6) college credit hours completed for each academic year, not to exceed $3000.
University of Arkansas Teaching Assistantship
Information on the availability, benefits, and stipends available for teaching assistantships through the University of Arkansas Math Department.
Obtaining a teaching degree in Arkansas requires passing a number of state-specific exams, which are outlined by the Arkansas Teacher Standards and Practice Commission, in addition to the completion of an accredited teaching certification program.
Minimum Certification requirements include:
There are alternate programs to obtaining a teaching degree in Arkansas, including the Non-Traditional Licensure Program, which allows a candidate with a bachelor’s degree or higher to work as a teacher while completing the necessary requirements for a teaching license, and the Professional Teaching Permit, which allows working professionals to teach up to two class periods a day in their professional area of focus.
Important Note: Arkansas has reciprocity agreements for teachers from out of state who move to Arkansas. This requires documentation of the exams taken for the out-of-state license, which may be accepted in lieu of exams for a teaching degree in Arkansas. Also, the state requires that all candidates for teaching licenses in Arkansas that focus on early childhood, elementary, middle school area, or secondary social studies education complete three credit hours in Arkansas history.
In order to renew a standard five-year teaching license, teachers in Arkansas must complete 60 hours of development training annually.
The following resources provide additional information about becoming a professional teacher in Arkansas and maintaining this status.
Arkansas Department of Education
Information regarding public school systems in Arkansas for teachers and parents.
Arkansas Department of Labor
The Arkansas Department of Labor provides insights on the labor market and job openings in the state.
Arkansas Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Arkansas Bureau of Labor Statistics provides detailed insights to the labor market, salaries and other work related data for the state.
Arkansas Education Association
AEA is a professional organization for educators that works for improvements in terms of salary and working conditions in the state.
Arkansas State Teachers Association
ASTA is a statewide, non-union teachers membership association.