Alternative Teaching Certification in Arkansas

Arkansas' various alternative certification pathways allow people to teach in public, private, and/or charter schools in a wide variety of subject areas and grade levels. Keep reading for details about each type of alternative certification program. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Arkansas' Alternative Teaching Certification Pathways

Arkansas offers many alternative pathways to get a teaching license. Most of the pathways result in 2- or 3-year non-renewable provisional licenses. Read on to learn more about each of the alternative paths to licensure.

Education Requirements Bachelor's degree (minimum)*
Exam Requirements Appropriate Praxis exams; edTPA; Foundations of Reading test (if teaching elementary school)*
License Validity Period 2 years (APPEL Provisional Teaching License and TFA Provisional License); 3 years (ABCTE Provisional Teaching License, ATC Provisional Teaching License, and PPTL License)*
Annual Mean Salary (2018, Arkansas) $33,150 (preschool); $46,180 (kindergarten); $48,560 (elementary); $49,570 (middle school); $51,780 (secondary)**
Job outlook (2016-2026, nationwide) 7% (kindergarten and elementary school); 8% (middle school); 8% (high school)**

Sources: *Arkansas Division of Elementary & Secondary Education, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Overview of Alternative Routes to Licensure

Arkansas offers 6 main alternative ways to become certified as a teacher. If you hold a bachelor's degree and want to get your master's degree while earning a teaching license, follow the Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) track. Other alternative routes include the Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure (APPEL) program, the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) program, the Arkansas Teacher Corps (ATC) program, the Teach for America (TFA) program, and the Provisional Professional Teaching License (PPTL) program. Once you have met the requirements for certification, you can apply for provisional certification through the Arkansas Department of Education's Arkansas Educator Licensure System. Keep reading to learn more about each program; visit the Arkansas Division of Elementary & Secondary Education for complete details about each program.

APPEL and TFA Provisional Licensure

The APPEL pathway allows people who have a bachelor's degree in an area other than education to gain a 2-year provisional teaching license in order to teach either part- or full-time as an Arkansas teacher-of-record (while completing the program). To qualify for the program, you must be accepted to the APPEL program and complete APPEL instructional modules (including 3 weeks in June both years of the program and 8 monthly modules September-April both years of the program).

The TFA alternative pathway allows TFA program participants to work in a TFA partner school while completing their license requirements. To qualify as a TFA participant, you must have earned a bachelor's degree before the start of training; you must also have a 2.5 cumulative GPA (or better) and be a US citizen, national/legal resident, or have DACA status. Before you can receive your TFA provisional license, you will need to submit an application, your college/university transcripts, passing test scores, proof of employment through TFA, and a recommendation from a TFA licensure officer; you will also need to go through an interview process.

ABCTE and ATC Provisional Licensure

The ABCTE program leads to a 3-year provisional license that allows people to teach in a public or charter school. To apply, you must have a bachelor's degree (at minimum), undergo a background check, and pass the appropriate exams (including a Professional Teaching Knowledge exam). You must also to complete Professional Ethics Training and a professional development course.

The ATC program grants a provisional teaching license for people teaching in an ATC partner school; it is valid for all grade levels and subject areas (except for special education and counseling). To apply, you must submit an online application, relevant test scores, complete an essay, and, if selected, undergo an interview.

PPTL Licensure

Successful completion of the PPTL program results in a 3-year provisional teaching license that allows licensees to teach in any Arkansas public or charter school in almost any subject area (exceptions include special education and kindergartner through 6th grades). To qualify, you must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and have taught for 3 years in the area in which you're seeking licensure. You must also provide a statement that clearly shows how your experience relates to the subject area, pass all required Praxis exams, undergo a background check, and submit 2 letters of recommendation. Prior to the license being issued, you will also need to complete all required training courses (such as Professional Ethics Training) and submit your part- or full-time job offer or verification of employment.

MAT Licensure

If you already hold a bachelor's degree and are seeking a master's degree, you can follow the MAT pathway to get a provisional license allowing you to teach while completing your coursework. This pathway requires that you maintain a minimum GPA, pass the Praxis exam for your grade level and/or subject area, and undergo a background check and a Child Maltreatment Central Registry check. You must also complete required professional development courses and submit verification of employment teaching in the area of certification; employment can be in any Arkansas school. Once accepted into the MAT program, you must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.

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