In Arkansas, teachers are certified on a performance-based licensure system, which means that teachers will be required to complete a novice training period before they can receive a standard teaching license. For current teachers, Arkansas recognizes reciprocity for all states and a number of foreign countries and territories. Arkansas also offers a non-traditional teaching track that allows prospective educators to earn their certification while working as a teacher.
Under Arkansas’ education board, new teachers will initially be employed under a performance-based licensure system. Under this track, teachers will need a minimum of a bachelor’s level degree, teacher preparation education, a passing score on Praxis tests I-III, and the approval of their mentor. To become certified through reciprocity, you’ll need to provide your certificate from another US state, or certain approved foreign countries and territories. Many teachers who become certified in this way will be required to complete a three hour Arkansas History course. If you prefer, Arkansas also offers a Non-Traditional Licensure Program that allows teachers with a bachelor’s degree or higher to complete the requirements necessary to become a teacher while employed as a classroom teacher. To follow this program, you’ll need to pass state mandated assessments, follow a two-year preparation track, and meet with a mentor.
Although Arkansas is not a highly populated state, it does have a few large cities, including Little Rock, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, and Pine Bluff. It has a number of different public school districts, and you can find teaching jobs in each of them through the Arkansas Public School Job Vacancy Announcements. It may also be helpful to investigate some of Arkansas’ critical academic shortage areas.
Teaching certificates in Arkansas are good for five years, during which educators are required to complete 60 professional development hours each year. To earn professional development hours, you can visit ArkansasIDEAS, which has a number of different options for professional development. These courses are free for licensed Arkansas educators. Additional ways to earn professional development hours include conferences, internships, mentoring, and research.