Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Routes to Educator Licensure

Traditional Educator Preparation Program in Arkansas

The Office of Educator Effectiveness at the Arkansas Department of Education is responsible for approving programs of study that lead to licensure for pre-school through grade 12 teachers, administrators and other school personnel. These educator preparation programs must reside in professional education units accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and comply with standards of their respective specialized professional associations and the state.

There are 20 four-year college/universities that have been approved by the Arkansas Department of Education to offer professional educator preparation programs. Specific subject areas and levels of licensure are offered by each institution. The Educator Preparation Programs Matrix may be used as a guide for selecting institutions to prepare individuals to be licensed as teachers, administrators or other school personnel.

Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure

The Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure (APPEL), formerly known as ADE Non-Traditional Licensure, is an alternative route to teacher licensure administered by the Arkansas Department of Education. Enrollment in this program allows a candidate with a bachelor’s degree or higher to be employed as a classroom teacher while completing the necessary requirements for a Standard Arkansas Teaching License.

The program is a two-year preparation track that includes:

  • Appropriate employment as a classroom teacher 
  • Assessments
  • Evaluation and feedback via the state’s teacher evaluation model
  • Face to face and online Instructional Modules
  • Mentoring for the duration of time in the program
  • On-the-job professional learning
  • Culminates with a submission to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, and must have passed the state mandated assessments. 

Each APPEL participant (as Teacher of Record in a classroom) is also assigned a certified mentor who provides support and focused feedback to improve teacher quality. APPEL participants are mentored for the duration of their time in the program.

Upon successful completion of the program, participants receive a Standard Arkansas teaching license.

Further information can be found on the following ADE webpage:

Non-Traditional MAT, MED, MTLL through Selected AR Colleges and Universities

The non-traditional MAT, MED, MTLL route to educator licensure is administered through those Arkansas colleges/universities that have been approved by the Department of Education to offer programs at the ECH P-4, MCH 4-8 or Secondary 7-12 level.

Depending on how the programs have been approved, participants may be employed as a classroom educator at the same time they are completing the requirements for their Master’s Degree and full educator licensure. 

For further information on this route to licensure, please contact the MAT, MED, MTLL program coordinator in the Education Department of the college/university you choose to work with or you may contact the Licensure Officer.

Non-Traditional Teach For America

Further information on this non-traditional licensure program can be found by visiting

Arkansas Teacher Corps

The Arkansas Teacher Corps provides an accelerated path to teaching for high achieving, service minded graduates and professionals from all majors and backgrounds. Accepted applicants will be placed in full-time, paid teaching positions in high-need districts across the state for 3 years. Additional information can be found at

Provisional Professional Teaching License

The Provisional Professional Teaching License is a three-year, provisional Educator license issued to an experienced professional for the purpose of teaching on a part-time or full-time basis as teacher-of-record in an Arkansas public school.

To obtain a Provisional Professional Teaching License for middle childhood grades (4-8) Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies or secondary grades (7-12) content areas, a candidate must:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Provide an official transcript reflecting a Bachelor’s Degree from an institution of higher education that is regionally or nationally accredited by an accrediting organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
  • Document a minimum of three (3) years of working experience in the specific content area of the class to be taught.  Verification should be completed by previous employer listing specific job duties and dates.
  • Provide documentation of an offer of employment to teach classes for credit in an Arkansas public school.
  • Submit a statement of justification expressing the relevance of the applicant’s specific experience/credentials to teach the content subject area.   
  • Have two (2) professional letters of recommendation relating to content area experience submitted by references to the Office of Educator Licensure.
  • Pass all appropriate state-mandated basic skills assessments for the specific licensure area(s) sought.
  • Pass the appropriate state required content knowledge exam(s) for the content area to be taught. 
  • Clear the required Arkansas State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Child Maltreatment Central Registry background checks.
  • Submit an application requesting the Provisional Professional Teaching license.
  • Submit the professional development training for child maltreatment, teen suicide prevention, and parental involvement.  Arkansas History professional development must also be completed when licensing in any Middle Childhood or Secondary Social Studies area.

The holder of a Provisional Professional Teaching License shall complete twenty-four (24) hours of training in pedagogy as determined by the ADE in the first year of licensure.  These twenty-four (24) hours of training in pedagogy shall be in addition to and not considered a part of the professional development required for teachers by state law or by their employing public school district.  The Provisional Professional Teaching License shall be revoked if the professional fails to obtain the required training within one (1) year of the date of licensure.  Training provided on the Frameworks for Teaching may count as the pedagogy hours.

The Provisional Professional Teaching License will be converted to the standard, five-year educator license upon providing documentation of:

  • Having completed the third year of teaching under the Provisional Professional Teaching License.
  • Undergoing a summative evaluation at the end each year of the three (3) years of provisional licensure. 
  • Successful completion of the required pedagogy assessment for the licensure area.
  • Is identified by the employing school district as proficient or above on a summative evaluation under 6-17-2805, for the third year of provisional licensure.
  • Is recommended for full licensure by the superintendent of the employing school district.
  • Paying the applicable licensure fee.
  • Submitting an application requesting the five-year, standard educator license.

Applicants for the Provisional Professional Teaching license are encouraged to contact the Office of Educator Licensure at 501-682-4342 for information on the required testing for any licensure area they may be interested in or for clarification on the required background checks.

All applications along with the required documentation will be sent to the Office of Educator Licensure.  Please submit the application, official transcripts, letter of justification and verification of content specific work experience for evaluation before proceeding with additional requirements.

Further information about this program may be found in the Rules Governing Educator Licensure.


For more information, please contact:

Melissa Jacks, Public School Program Coordinator
Office of Educator Licensure
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 106-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone:  501-682-4342
Fax:  501-682-4898

State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

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Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

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