Arkansas Teacher Certification for Special Education

Arkansas employs special education teachers at all grade levels. Interested individuals can gain a better understanding of the certification process with this guide. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Process to Become a Special Education Teacher in Arkansas

Special education teachers will receive training to work with students who have mental, physical, emotional, or learning disabilities or who need special attention. Teachers will need to possess a bachelor's degree and pass the appropriate Praxis tests in order to teach in Arkansas.

Required DegreeBachelor's degree
Degree FieldEducation
Required TestsPraxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, edTPA test, Praxis content tests in special education for desired grade levels/areas
License Renewal PeriodFive years
License Renewal RequirementsNew background checks and annual professional development
Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Arkansas (2018)*$46,870 (Preschool)
$49,740 (Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers)
$50,790 (Middle School Teachers)
$51,430 (High School Teachers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)*8% (Special Education teachers nationally)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Traditional Route to Teacher Licensure

There are many institutions in the state of Arkansas that offer bachelor's degree teacher training programs. A standard teaching license will be awarded after candidates complete their bachelor's degree and meet testing and background check requirements. The standard teaching license is valid for five years.

Testing Requirements

Arkansas requires that all prospective teachers pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test, which measures proficiency in math, reading, and writing. Prospective teachers must also pass the edTPA test, which focuses on improving teaching performance.

Special education in Arkansas has a number of endorsement levels including early childhood, K-12, visual and hearing specialists, and resource teachers in subjects like science, English, and math. For certification in early childhood/special education integrated (B-K), individuals must pass the following tests: Principles of Learning and Teaching in Early Childhood, Education of Young Children, and Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education. Special education K-12 teachers will need to pass the Special Education: Core Knowledge Praxis test, a foundations in reading assessment, and the Praxis Applications and Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge. Those wishing to be endorsed in a particular area like hearing specialist must take additional tests in the subject area(s).

Arkansas Background Check Process

Special education teachers must pass several background checks to receive their standard teaching license. They will submit an online background check consent form. The first step is to get their fingerprints taken at an approved Live Scan facility for Arkansas State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background checks. They will then need to submit a notarized form for the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry Check.

Standard Teaching License Renewal Process

The renewal for a standard teaching license can start during the fifth year of a teacher's license. Special education teachers will need to apply for new background checks via the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry, FBI, and Arkansas State Police for each renewal. They will submit an online renewal application and pay the application fee. It should be noted that some school districts will cover the cost of license renewal.

Standard Teaching License Professional Development Renewal Criteria

Special education teachers who worked continuously and completed professional development requirements should have their activities already recorded after July 1 when they complete their online renewal application. Teachers can attach the Verification Form for Professional Development signed by their administrator for any activities that are not listed on their application. Those who did not will need to indicate so on their application. Teachers who did not work continuously but completed professional development requirements can attach their certificates to their application.

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
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  • Southern Arkansas University Tech

    Campus Locations:

    • Arkansas: Camden
  • University of Arkansas at Monticello

    Campus Locations:

    • Arkansas: Monticello
  • South Arkansas Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Arkansas: El Dorado