The Arkansas Teacher Corps recruits, trains, and supports exceptional, social justice-oriented individuals to serve as teachers for Arkansas students who need them the most.

  • Decrease Uncertified Teachers and Vacancies: Currently, many school districts in Arkansas are in need of quality teachers to fill vacancies in their schools. Our Fellows will be placed in these geographic and content areas to respond to these vacancies. Our teachers will fill those positions for three years.  Moreover, because each ATC Fellow is to be fully certified at the end of three years, the ATC program aims to also help to fill these positions long-term by providing new, high-quality, certified teachers into the Arkansas teaching workforce.
  • Increase Student Achievement: Our program is designed to take exceptional, motivated college graduates and help them to become great teachers. Studies have shown that strong teachers can make significant learning gains with all of their students, regardless of their students’ previous levels of achievement (Hanushek, Kain, Rivkin, 2005). Our training program provides ATC Fellows the necessary tools to be effective teachers; various analyses of ATC teachers have shown them to be as effective or more effective than their school and/or district peers.

We would love to talk to you more about the program, so feel free to contact us by phone (479-575-6418) or email  with any additional questions.

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.  

Applicants are welcome to apply to one of three application deadlines per year (Expedited : November 1st, Early : January 1st, and Regular : March 1st). Applications for the 2019 Cohort open up in August of 2018.

Applications are submitted online; for more information about the application process, see “What is the application process?”, below. Applications for the 2019 Cohort open up in August of 2018.

We cannot guarantee exact dates for the program acceptance timeline this early in the year, but once an application deadline has passed ATC will notify all applicants of the expected timeline (which specific dates) for that specific application cycle.  In order to provide you with a better idea of how the general timeline will work, a good rule of thumb would be:

If you apply for the Expedited (by 11/1) application cycle you should know of your Fellowship offer status before the Christmas Holiday.

If you apply for the Early (by 1/1) application cycle you should know of your Fellowship offer status before February 1st.

If you apply for the Regular (by 3/1)  application cycle you should know of your Fellowship offer status before April 1st.

Regardless of which application period you apply in (Expedited Deadline : November 1st, Early Deadline : January 1st, and Regular Deadline : March 1st), you will begin Summer Institute at the same time as the other ATC Fellows of that cohort year (Late May, Early June of that application year). You will also begin teaching at the same time (July, August of that application year). For more information about Summer Institute, please see “What is Summer Institute?” below and make sure to 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 : November 1st, Early : January 1st, and Regular : March 1st). Applications consist of basic information, test scores, and open-response questions and applicants also attach a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcripts.
  2. Interview: After applications are submitted, ATC staff review the applications and respond in one of three ways:
    • Applicant is invited to a final in-person interview, known as an Interactive Selection Event (ISE), which generally  takes place within two-three weeks after the application deadline; or
    • Applicant is invited to participate in a phone interview after which the applicant could be invited to the final interview; or
    • Applicant is not offered Fellowship with ATC
  3. Accept/Decline Fellowship

This is ATC’s version of a final interview. ISE is a 3-4 hour final interview broken down into 4 segments. Applicants selected to attend ISE are provided with clear expectations, instructions, and logistical information within a week of the event. Depending on how many applicants we have, their availability, and where the applicants are traveling from the event is held either in Little Rock, AR or Fayetteville, AR and could take place any day of the week. The four different segments are as follows:

  1. Sample Lesson – Applicants will teach a 5-7 sample lesson. The instructions and expectations for the sample lesson are provided to the applicants in advance of ISE.
  2. Group InteractionApplicants interact with one another and ATC staff via responding to prompts provided by ATC Staff.
  3. Writing Response
  4. Formal Interview

Yes. In these cases, 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 covering some of the cost to license you: Praxis testing, background check, child maltreatment forms, etc. In order to help you with these expenses, ATC will disburse an initial stipend payment in the spring.

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 individuals must complete both Praxis 1 and Praxis 2 testing. Please visit the ETS website to learn more about Praxis testing requirements in Arkansas. General information about Praxis testing:

  • Praxis 1, also known as Praxis Core, consists of three subtests (Reading, Writing, and Math). These tests are designed to ensure the teacher satisfies basic knowledge requirements. Praxis Core tests are available to be taken in one sitting (Praxis Core Combined #5751) and are available to be taken every day of the week at most ETS testing centers. Please see the Praxis Core exemption chart below.

*Praxis 1 is not a requirement in the state of Arkansas as of January 2018.

*The Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) is an outdated Praxis assessment and is not applicable to ATC Fellowships.

*ATC does not require that an applicant pass a Praxis test in order to be considered for Fellowship, however, passing Praxis scores, especially passing Praxis 2 (content) scores, will increase the quality of an application.

  • Praxis 2, generally referred to as Praxis Content, is the specific subject 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 Praxis 1 (Core) and Praxis 2 (Life Science/Biology #5235). Accepted applicants may wait to take the Praxis 2 test after the Summer Institute, but they must register for the test during the summer and complete the test prior to September. Praxis Content tests are only available to be taken within certain testing windows.
  • Once the ATC Fellow has completed their second year of teaching, they will be required to take the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT).

*Praxis tests are available at most ETS centers

*More information on Praxis testing requirements in Arkansas can be found here:

No, you may apply and accept a Fellowship prior to completing your Praxis testing. Once you formally accept your Fellowship, however, you will be required to complete Praxis 2 (content) testing before you begin Summer Institute. To learn more about the Praxis requirements, please visit:

Generally Praxis tests cost around $150.00 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:

Fellows are required to attend the 7-week Summer Institute (tentatively scheduled to begin late May/Early June in 2019) and begin teaching in the Fall of 2019. Fellows also commit to attend a series Saturday PD events throughout the year (three each semester – usually in August, September, November, January, February, and April). Fellows teach in school districts for 3 years under normal teacher contracts as they become provisionally licensed to teach in Arkansas through ATC. After they complete their 3-year commitment and meet all licensure requirements, graduating Fellows will receive a standard 5-year teaching license.

Individuals who accept the Fellowship will participate in Summer Institute in late May or early June of that year. The seven-week Summer Institute serves as the initial step of the ATC professional development required to become a licensed teacher in Arkansas. During Summer Institute, lodging and some meals are provided by ATC; however, Fellows are entirely responsible for travel to/from Summer Institute and the majority of meals. Fellows receive an initial $3,000 to assist summer costs and basic living expenses during Institute. Fellows will receive more information during Summer Institute about the transition to their placement community, but in general Fellows should be prepared to move into housing in their placement community in late July or early August. Many public schools begin their beginning-of-year PD the second week of August.

For more information regarding Fellow Development please visit:

The 2019 Summer Institute will be based in Jonesboro, AR with summer school teaching taking place in Osceola School District. Fellows will live in dormitories on the Arkansas State University campus and be bussed to Osceola daily for summer school teaching. Training sessions will take place in both locations.

ATC Fellows are paid in two ways:

  1. They are paid teaching salaries by their districts (as they are provisionally licensed teachers of record). In Arkansas schools teaching salaries differ by district. Generally our Fellows salaries range between the state minimum of $30,122.00 and $36,832.00 for individuals with a bachelor’s degree.
  1.  ATC supplements each Fellow’s teaching salary with stipend payments totalling $15,000.00 over the course of the three years. The following table shows the stipend schedule for 2019 Fellows:
Payment 1 June before Year 1 $3,000.00
Payment 2 September of Year 2 $3,500.00
Payment 3 September of Year 3 $4,000.00
Payment 4 June of Year 3 $4,500.00

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 visit the ADE’s information pages regarding teacher recruitment and retention:

ATC currently partners with over 30 schools across roughly 20 high-needs districts in the eastern and southern parts of Arkansas. Fellows are committed to teaching all three years of the Fellowship in the district in which they are placed. See more information about our placements on our website here: 

Although the specific qualities regarding what deems a school to be high-need are debatable across many educational forums, generally these are schools that have substantial difficulty hiring and retaining teachers and that serve student populations with a high poverty index and/or a high minority rate. ATC aims to place teachers in high-need schools.

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 2018-2019 school year, the ADE has identified the following content areas as critical shortages:

  • Art
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • English Language Arts (ELA)
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • French
  • Journalism
  • Library/Media *
  • Mathematics
  • Middle Childhood
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish
  • Special Education *

*ATC is not able to place teachers in these subject areas.

*Also under § 6-85-109 (Academic Challenge Scholarship – Priority for Teaching Commitment), there are financial incentives for teaching areas specifically listed in the law. More information about these financial aid programs can be found at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Financial Aid Office. Call 501.371.2000 or click on

First, when applying to ATC, applicants will include preferences in the following areas:

  1. Where you want to teach (which geographic region of Arkansas)
  2. What subject you want to teach
  3. What grade level you want to teach (K-12)

This gives ATC an initial indication of what the potential Fellow is interested in and/or willing to teach. ATC takes this information into consideration during the selection process.

Second, after the applicant has accepted a Fellowship and is in the process of onboarding, ATC will again assess Fellow preferences in those same three areas. Once Fellow preferences are secured, ATC will move forward with Fellow placement by matching the Fellows’ preferences with the needs of high-need school districts – based on “teacher requests” submitted by those districts. ATC strives to effectively accommodate all of Fellows’ preferences (geographic area, subject area, and grade-level) while maintaining a focus on fulfilling district needs. ATC also works to initiate placement for all Fellows at the same time and aims to have all Fellows placed before the start of Summer Institute.

In placing a Fellow, ATC will follow the unique protocol required per district. In some cases, the ATC Fellow will submit a formal application to the district and a formal interview will be set up. In some cases contracts are immediately provided by district after initial contact is made. ATC does not have final say in how all districts hire but essentially works as a facilitator between Fellow and district that sees the process through finish.

In some cases applicants may accept a Fellowship while currently serving in an ATC placement district – this initial Fellowship offer will generally be contingent on an agreement about final  district placement for that specific Fellow.

In some cases applicants join ATC hoping to find placement in a specific ATC placement school or with a specific group of Fellows – ATC welcomes these cases and will work to facilitate placement that works for all Fellows involved, however placements are always contingent on the combination of Fellow preferences and district requests.

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.