How to Become a Teacher in Arkansas

More than 230 public school districts in Arkansas serve an excess of 468,000 students each year, and teachers with Arkansas teacher certification make sure that these students receive the education they need. As in most states, those interested in an Arkansas teaching license must complete at least a bachelor’s degree, though professional educators with master’s or doctoral degrees become eligible for higher salary schedules. Many teachers in Arkansas choose to pursue these higher degrees, and more than 45% have attained them. This article will outline some of the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a teacher in Arkansas, as well as the required steps to enter this field.

Education Requirements

Teachers in Arkansas must have at least a bachelor’s degree to pursue traditional education licensure. Such degrees may be obtained from traditional schools or online teaching schools in Arkansas, so long as the schools have the proper educational accreditation. Alternative routes to licensure involve the completion of educator preparation programs, which give those interested in receiving an Arkansas teaching license the necessary educational background for teaching in Arkansas. Those enrolling in these programs usually have bachelor’s degrees in other fields but are interested in transitioning to teaching positions.

Arkansas Teaching Certification

The Initial Arkansas Teaching License is a three-year teaching license which allows one to teach in traditional preschool through grade 12 (P-12) settings, including public and private schools. The Standard Teaching Licenses is a five-year renewable license which allows one to teach in Arkansas public schools. There are six levels and areas of licensure, Early Childhood (P-4), Preschool/Early Adolescence (P-8), Preschool/Young Adulthood (P-12), Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence (4-8), Adolescence/Young Adulthood (7-12), and Post-Secondary (Above grade 12).

Applications for teaching licenses are available from The Office of Educator Licensure.

Required Tests

Candidates seeking Initial or Standard licensure must pass the required basic skills assessment tests, content assessment(s) for the specific licensure area(s) sought, and pedagogical assessment. Candidates seeking Initial licensure in Early Childhood Education, Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence, or Secondary Social Studies (7-12) must also complete a three-credit-hour course in Arkansas history.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out of state candidates can apply for a one-year provisional teaching license or a standard five-year teaching license if they hold a valid teaching license issued by another state. A three-hour Arkansas History course will be required for Arkansas licensure for Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School licensure areas and for Secondary Social Studies. More details about licensure by reciprocity are available on the Arkansas Department of Education website.

Helpful Resources

Arkansas State University-Main Campus

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2105 E. Aggie Road
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 972-2100

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Arkansas Tech University

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Administration Bldg 200; 1509 N Boulder Ave
Russellville, AR 72801-2222
(479) 968-0389

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Central Baptist College

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1501 College Avenue
Conway, AR 72034
(501) 329-6872

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Crowley's Ridge College

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100 College Dr
Paragould, AR 72450
(870) 236-6901

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Harding University

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915 E. Market Ave.
Searcy, AR 72143
(501) 279-4000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters

Henderson State University

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1100 Henderson Street
Arkadelphia, AR 71999-0001
(870) 230-5000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

John Brown University

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2000 W University St
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
(479) 524-9500

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Ouachita Baptist University

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410 Ouachita St
Arkadelphia, AR 71998-0001
(870) 245-5000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors

Southern Arkansas University Main Campus

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100 E. University
Magnolia, AR 71753
(870) 235-4000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

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2801 S University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204
(501) 569-3000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

University of Arkansas at Monticello

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Highway 425 South
Monticello, AR 71656
(870) 367-6811

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

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1200 N University Mail Slot 4789
Pine Bluff, AR 71601
(870) 575-8000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

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5210 Grand Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649
(479) 788-7000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate

University of Central Arkansas

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201 Donaghey Ave
Conway, AR 72035-0001
(501) 450-5000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

University of the Ozarks

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415 N College Ave
Clarksville, AR 72830
(479) 979-1000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Williams Baptist College

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60 W Fulbright Avenue
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476
(870) 886-6741

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
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