The Arkansas Teacher Corps partners with school districts to recruit, train, license, and support committed Arkansans as empowered teachers facilitating excellent, equitable education every day. 

Arkansas Teacher Corps aims to: 

  • Strengthen the teacher pipeline in AR
  • Provide a grow-your-own pathway for AR schools
  • Increase student achievement

We would love to talk to you more about the program, so feel free to contact us by phone (479-575-6418) or email atc@uark.edu  with any additional questions. We offer 1-on-1 appointments via phone or video conferencing.

Any individual with a bachelor’s degree (or graduating with a bachelor’s degree by June of the application year) who can legally work in Arkansas is eligible to apply to become an ATC Fellow. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and a GPA of 3.0 or higher is highly recommended; however, an exception is possible if the applicant has a GPA of at least 2.9 on their last 60 hours of coursework.  

Applications are accepted between September and March every year and applicants may apply at any time. Applications will be reviewed after each of three yearly deadlines: Expedited – Nov 1, Early – Jan 1, and Regular – March 1. Review more information about the application deadlines on our Apply page.

To apply, interested applicants should submit an online application here. Applications consist of personal information, educational history, test scores, and open-response questions. Applicants must also submit a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcripts. For more information, please review the 2020 Pre-Application Worksheet.

Applicants are usually notified of Fellowship offers (or regrets) within a month of the application deadline and have a week to either accept or decline the offer. Check out our Apply page for more specific information about the timeline of each application deadline.

Accepted applicants from all deadlines (expedited, early, and regular) will begin Summer Institute together at the end of May of that application year and will begin teaching in their placement school that fall after the successful completion of Summer Institute. For more information, please visit our Summer Institute webpage.

Absolutely, as long as you are expected to receive your degree before June 2019, you are welcome (and encouraged) to apply at any time throughout your senior year.

All licensed teachers are encouraged to apply! All requirements and benefits for such Fellows will be the same as those of non-licensed Fellows.

  1. Apply: Individuals apply online before one of the application deadlines (Expedited: Nov 1, Early: Jan 1, and Regular: March 1). Applications consist of basic information, test scores, and open-response questions and applicants also attach a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcripts. For more information, please review the 2020 Pre-Application Worksheet.
  2. Interview: After each deadline, ATC staff will review the applications and successful applicants will be invited to a final in-person interview, known as an Interactive Selection Event (ISE), two or three weeks after the application deadline. ATC staff may also schedule an initial phone interview with applicants to collect more information about their application.
  3. Accept/Decline Fellowship: Applicants accept or decline Fellowship.

ISE is ATC’s version of an interview unlike any you’ve had before: 8-10 applicants come together for four hours to teach a 7-minute sample lesson, read and discuss several classroom scenarios, complete a practice test of math/reading skills, and an individual interview with ATC staff. Interviews will take place in Little Rock, AR unless otherwise noted, and out-of-state applicants may request a virtual interview if unable to attend in person. More detailed information will be shared by email with applicants invited to a final interview.

Yes. In these cases, out-of-state applicants may participate in an online version of the ISE. ATC staff will contact the applicant to arrange a virtual interview.

There is no direct cost to apply or accept a Fellowship with ATC. However, once accepted, you will be responsible for fees related to your teacher licensure: Praxis testing ($250-500), background check ($38.25), child maltreatment registry check ($10), etc. In order to help you with these expenses, ATC provides a transitional stipend at the start of Summer Institute.

It is possible for international applicants to have a school district sponsor their visa, but our program is not set up to completely coordinate this process. Applicants will need proper work eligibility to be accepted into the program and must be willing to take care of all work eligibility or visa paperwork required by their school districts. While some of the districts might offer assistance with work authorization or visas it is not guaranteed.

This is the temporary license that the Arkansas Department of Education grants to alternatively certified teachers (ATC Fellows) to use for the three year provisional period. Provisionally licensed teachers are subject to the same salaries and contractual conditions as fully licensed teachers (individuals who hold a standard 5 year license). Once the Fellow has completed their third year of teaching and an additional Praxis test, the license is updated to a standard 5-year teaching license.

These are the tests that are required in most states, including Arkansas, to become  a teacher. In order to teach any subject in Arkansas, depending on which teacher prep program,  individuals must complete Praxis testing. Please visit the ETS website to learn more about Praxis testing requirements in Arkansas. General information about Praxis testing:

  • Praxis 1, known as Praxis Core, consists of three subtests (Reading, Writing, and Math). These tests are designed to ensure the teacher satisfies basic knowledge requirements. As of January 2018, Praxis 1 is no longer a requirement for teacher licensure in the state of Arkansas; ATC does not require that applicants pass Praxis Core to be considered for a Fellowship, but passing Praxis Core scores will increase the overall quality of the application.
  • Praxis 2, known as Praxis Subject Assessment, is the specific test for the content area and grade level you will be teaching. For example, if the individual wants to be a Biology teacher, they must take and pass the Life Science/Biology subject assessment (#5235). Accepted applicants must take the Praxis Content test prior to the start of Summer Institute. Please note that Praxis subject assessments are only available to be taken within certain testing windows.
  • Praxis 3, known as Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT), must be taken before the start of the Fellow’s third year and is the last test before receiving a five-year standard teaching license.

Praxis tests are available at most ETS centers, and more information on Praxis testing requirements in Arkansas can be found at https://www.ets.org/praxis/ar/requirements

No, you may apply and accept a Fellowship prior to completing any Praxis testing. Once you formally accept your Fellowship, however, you will be required to complete the assigned Praxis Subject Assessment for your content area before you begin Summer Institute.

Most Praxis tests cost between $100 and $150 per test.

Most states in the U.S. have reciprocity agreements with Arkansas, which allows teachers licensed in Arkansas to transfer their certification to another state. Please visit the following page regarding licenses and reciprocity: http://www.teaching-certification.com/teaching/arkansas-teacher-reciprocity.html

Fellows teach in an ATC partner school district for three years as a teacher-of-record as they become provisionally licensed to teach in Arkansas through ATC. Fellows are required to attend the 7-week Summer Institute before they begin teaching, attend four Saturday professional development events (usually in September, November, February, and April), and fully participate in ongoing classroom coaching provided by ATC staff. After they complete their three-year commitment and meet all licensure requirements, graduating Fellows will receive a standard 5-year teaching license. Fellows are expected to complete all three years of their ATC Fellowship in the same school district.

Please see Summer Institute for more information.

ATC Fellows are hired directly by partner schools and are paid as employees of the school district just like traditionally trained teachers. In Arkansas, teaching salaries differ by district, but first-year teachers with a bacherlor’s degree often make between $32,000 and $36,000. Explore this interactive map for more information about minimum teacher salaries across the state.

ATC supplements each Fellow’s teaching salary with a $2,5000 Transitional Stipend paid in June before year 1 and a $2,500 Completion Award paid in June after year 3. All payments from ATC are taxable and reported to the IRS and miscellaneous income; Fellows are responsible for paying any applicable taxes.

 

In some cases, yes. The Arkansas Department of Education’s office for Teacher Recruitment and Retention offers bonus stipends for people that teach critical-needs subjects in smaller, high-need school districts. All ATC teachers are candidates for this additional funding if they fill the subject and geographic area requirements. For more information, please review this document Financial Aid and Incentives for Teachers from ADE.

ATC has partnered with over 30 schools across more than 20 school districts in the eastern and southern parts of Arkansas. Explore this interactive map for more information on Fellow placements.

ATC is recruiting and placing individuals to teach K-12, with highest preference for middle school, junior high, and high school positions.

Every year the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) compiles a list of subjects representing the highest need for teachers in Arkansas. For the 2019-2020 school year, the ADE has identified the following content areas as critical shortages:

  • Art (K-12)
  • Agriculture (7-12)
  • Chemistry (7-12)
  • Computer Science (4-12)
  • English Language Arts (7-12)
  • Family and Consumer Science (7-12)
  • French (K-12)
  • Library/Media (K-12)*
  • Mathematics (7-12)
  • Music (K-12)
  • Physics (7-12)
  • Spanish (K-12)
  • Special Education (K-12)*

ATC is NOT able to support licensure for library/media and special education positions.

When applying to ATC, applicants will indicate their preferences for the content area, grade level, and geographic region in which they would like to teach. This gives ATC an initial indication of the Fellow’s interest, and ATC takes this information into consideration during the selection process.

In April of each year, applicants will submit their preferences again, and ATC staff will then work to match Fellows’ preferences with the needs of our partner school districts. While we aim to place all Fellows in one of their top choices and to have all Fellows placed before the start of Summer Institute, we cannot guarantee this and Fellow flexibility is highly encouraged.

After assigning Fellows an initial placement, ATC will connect each Fellow to the identified placement school. ATC Fellows will then complete the district’s regular hiring process, usually involving a written application to the district and a formal interview school administrators. ATC does not have any control over a district’s decision to hire a Fellow recommended for their school, but ATC staff will work to facilitate the process to ensure that all Fellows are placed.

In some cases, applicants may accept a Fellowship while currently serving in an ATC placement district, and their initial Fellowship offer may be contingent on continuing employment with that district. Under ATC’s memorandum of understanding with the Arkansas Department of Education, we always aim to retain currently employed teachers at their district of employment.

While we would love to send you back to your hometown and we may have placed there in the past, we cannot guarantee that there will be a placement in any particular district.  If accepted, we would certainly work to have you placed there.

3 Routes to Becoming a Teacher in Arkansas

  1. Traditional Routes
  2. Non-Traditional (Alternative) Routes
  3. Residency Programs

*Most alternative programs are set up with a provisional model: you teach for a few years on a “provisional” license (this doesn’t affect pay) and then you can convert to a 5 year standard teaching license. At the end of the day, all of those programs process license applications to the ADE.

*Charter schools don’t generally require licensure, just a college degree

*A lot of schools have applied for a waiver (1240 licensure waiver) that allows for them to hire a teacher that is not licensed as long as they get licensed.