New Community Fellowship


The Arkansas Teacher Corps (ATC) is excited to launch the Community-Sponsored Fellowship (CSF) for eligible partner schools to nominate and support unlicensed school staff as ATC Fellows working toward standard teacher licensure. This new “grow-your-own” teacher training pathway may be just the right fit for a novice teacher you’ve hired last minute or a paraprofessional, long-term substitute, or community member looking to change careers.

ATC partners with school districts to recruit, train, and support committed Arkansans as empowered teachers facilitating excellent, equitable education every day. From the Mississippi Delta in the east to the Piney Woods of the southwest, we applaud your commitment to the students across our state. Together, we can ensure that all students are empowered as rigorous learners, resilient individuals, and responsive leaders regardless of race/color, socioeconomic status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ability/disability, and religion.

Since 2012, ATC has recruited over 170 outstanding new teachers within Arkansas and out-of-state, but we’ve found many of our most successful Fellows are either from or already living in the community where they teach. Why go looking elsewhere for solutions when you can find diamonds in your own backyard!

 Ms. Carter (left), a native of nearby Parkin, and Mr. Garcia (right), a Blytheville resident, were already teaching business on licensure waivers at Forrest City High School and Blytheville High School respectively when they were selected for the ATC Fellowship in 2018. Since then, both have grown into instructional leaders within ATC and their schools.

“Before ATC, I lacked the know-how of being a teacher and the structure of curriculum,” Ms. Carter says of her journey as an ATC Fellow. “Now, I feel more and more prepared to take on the school year and the day-to-day challenges of teaching! Monitoring and adjusting is my daily language and I love it!”

“Since joining ATC, my mindset about teaching has drastically evolved,” adds Mr. Garcia. “I now focus on building my students’ investment and agency through relationship-building, authenticity, and rigorous-but-achievable expectations.”


The Community-Sponsored Fellowship is all about finding the diamonds in your own backyard! We know that the best and most committed teachers for our students are already living and working right here in our communities.

Community-Sponsored Fellows participate in the same training as traditionally recruited Fellows (including the 7-week summer institute, year-round classroom coaching, and over 36 hours of training annually) to earn their five-year standard teaching license at the end of the three-year Fellowship. The sponsoring district pays an annual fee of $5,000 per CSF to provide for their participation in the summer institute and ongoing training, with the remainder of the fellowship cost covered by our funders and other generous donors through the ATC Society.

Although Community-Sponsored Fellows are not eligible for the stipends provided to recruited Fellows, CSFs have the opportunity to earn a FREE M.Ed. in educational equity through our partnership with the Arkansas Academy of Educational Equity — by committing to a fourth year at their placement school, Fellows are able to begin the Academy’s degree program concurrently to the ATC Fellowship. Additionally, ATC also provides Community-Sponsored Fellows with licensure resources, testing study materials, and other wraparound supports like access to mental health services.