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Arkansas Teacher Certification

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To become a certified teacher in Arkansas, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating the site with new information on a regular basis. To stay up-to-date with the latest in teacher certification, please complete the form in the right sidebar.

Certification Requirements

Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 1/06/2015

The Arkansas Department of Education offers several routes to obtaining your educator licensure, including traditional routes (teacher preparation and professional pathways), alternative certification routes (non-traditional MAT, MED, and MTLL pathways) and provisional professional teaching licenses.

Arkansas Teacher Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Arkansas, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements.

Arkansas Teacher Preparation

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship. While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers specific to the State of Arkansas visit our Arkansas Teacher Scholarships page.

Traditional Educator Preparation Program

The Arkansas Department of Education recognizes 19 four-year colleges/universities that offer educator preparation programs, leading to licensure for preschool through 12th grade:


Arkansas State University Arkansas Tech University Central Baptist College Harding University
Henderson State University Hendrix College John Brown University Lyon College
Quachita Baptist University Philander Smith College Southern Arkansas University University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, Forth Smith, Little Rock, Monticello, Pine Bluff
University of Central Arkansas University of the Ozarks Williams Baptist College


Please view Arkansas’ Educator Preparation Programs Matrix for a guide to each school’s specific programs.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements.

TeachArkansas: Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure

The Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure (APPEL) is an alternative teacher licensure route available through the Arkansas Department of Education. To be employed as a classroom teacher, program enrollee’s must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and complete the necessary requirements for an Arkansas teaching license. The APPEL is a two-year program track that includes assessments, classroom teaching, portfolio development and teacher preparation classes.

Alternative Certifications

  • Non-traditional MAT, MED and MTLL route to educator licensure
  • Teach for America
  • Provisional Professional Teaching Licensure

Click here for more information about Arkansas alternative certification programs.

Arkansas Required Tests

Passing scores on the the Praxis I and II exams are required by the Arkansas Department of Education in order to obtain an Arkansas teaching license.


Assessment Test
Measures basic skills in three categories: reading, writing and mathematics. These tests are used to qualify candidates for both teaching licensure and entrance into educator preparation programs Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Assessment
Measures knowledge relating to general and specific subjects relating to K-12 educators’ teaching skills and classroom knowledge. Exams(s) cover 120 subjects. Test requirements are dependant on your certification requirements. Praxis II: Subject Assessments



Tests Offered/Required Certification Area
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics
Acceptance into Teacher Prep Programs (Traditional and Nontraditional)
Principles of Learning & Teaching: Early Childhood
Early Childhood: Content Knowledge
Middle School: Multiple Subjects (*Required for 5-6 Extension)
Early Childhood Education
Principles of Learning & Teaching: Grade K-6< br />Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Elementary Education
Principles of Learning & Teaching: Grades 5-9
Middle School: Multiple Subjects
(Additional content-specific testing is required depending on certification)
Middle School Education
Principles of Learning & Teaching: Grades 7-12
(Additional content-specific testing is required depending on certification)
Secondary Education
World Languages Pedagogy
Languages include: Chinese, ELL, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish
World Languages
Gifted & Talented: Gifted Education
Special Education: Hearing Specialist
Special Education (P-4) & (Infant/Toddler)
Special Education (4-12)
Special Education: Visual Specialist
Special Education


* Not all listed tests are required for each certification. Visit ETS.org for certification-specific requirements

Arkansas Certification Reciprocity

Arkansas will accept some teaching credentials from all but the following states: Alaska, Iowa, and Minnesota. Contact the Arkansas Department of Educationto inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

Arkansas Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Arkansas provides differential pay for teachers teaching in high needs schools and for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Arkansas has strong induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $43,380
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $45,770
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15 weeks of vacation per year
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Arkansas makes 139% of the salary of the average worker in Arkansas

Applying for Certification

Background Check

In order to obtain an initial teaching license, the state of Arkansas requires background checks via the following agencies: Arkansas State Police, Child Maltreatment Central Registry and the FBI. These background checks are also mandatory for those who wish to change school districts.

The state of Arkansas also requires all applicants to obtain fingerprint clearance, which can be done at any state law enforcement office and must be submitted (along with the accompanying application) to the Arkansas State Police Department.

Teachers-Teachers: Arkansas

Teachers-Teachers.com is an online database designed to allow certified teachers to search for job vacancies in desired school districts. Individuals are allowed to publicly search for teaching opportunities, but must register with the website in order to gain full access to district information within the state of Arkansas.

Arkansas Substitute Teacher Requirements

Please click here to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in Arkansas.

Contact Information

Arkansas Department of Education

Office of Educator Licensure

Four Capitol Mall, Room 106-B

Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

(501) 682-4342 – Contact

Additional links