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Arkansas Alternative Certification Programs

It’s not uncommon to change career paths. For those who want to begin a teaching career after earning a different degree, Arkansas offers several alternative certification programs. These programs are designed to allow professionals to learn proper teaching methods without enrolling in a traditional full-time program. Here is a look at a few of the programs offered.


Name: Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educational Licensure (APPEL)

Program Mission and Overview:
The APPEL program provides college-educated professionals the information and resources they need to successfully teach in the classroom. The program also involves learning from a teacher mentor.

APPEL participants can teach with a provisional license while completing the program and earning full licensure.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have a 2.5 GPA or higher in undergraduate work, or 2.75 in the last 60 credits.
  • Pass any required tests in the desired area of licensure.
  • Pass a criminal background check.

Those who have already completed a training program that included student-teaching are not eligible for APPEL. Applicants can find application instructions on the APPEL website.

Financial Information:
The APPEL program costs $1,200 per year, which is due in full at the beginning of the year.
The cost of the program includes:

  • Instruction
  • Books
  • Lunches
  • Materials

Any other costs, including living expenses, are the responsibility of the applicant.

Program Name: MAT, MED or MTLL through Arkansas University

Program Mission and Overview:
Prospective teachers can obtain alternative certification by pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Master of Education (MED), or Masters in Teaching, Learning and Leadership (MTLL).

These programs allow candidates to become certified teachers in Arkansas. Prospective teachers are allowed to teach while earning their master’s degree.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Prospective teachers must have a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
Candidates must also meet the specific requirements of the approved Arkansas college or university they choose to attend. Candidates can apply directly through an approved institution to enter the appropriate program. Some programs allow candidates to begin teaching before completing their master’s degree and obtaining educational licensure.

Financial Information:
Candidates are responsible for paying the tuition costs of the university or college they choose. Fees vary by school. Many prospective teachers seeking an MAT, MED or MTLL qualify for financial aid, including scholarships, grants, and federal or private student loans.

Program Name: Provisional Professional Teaching Licensure

Program Mission and Overview:
The Provisional Professional Teaching Licensure is designed to allow professionals to teach on a temporary basis with the option of progressing to a permanent licensure.

Provisional teachers can enter the field teaching grades 4 through 8 in the areas of math, language arts, science and social studies, or a variety of other areas for grades 7 through 12.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Candidates for a Provisional Professional Teaching Licensure must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution that is approved by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
  • Have three years of work experience in the subject area the candidate will teach.
  • Submit proof of an offer of employment at an Arkansas school.
  • Submit a statement explaining relevant experience and credentials.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation.
  • Pass all state-mandated basic skills and content knowledge exams for the specific subject area the candidate will teach.
  • Clear background checks.
  • Submit proof of professional development training for child maltreatment, teen suicide prevention and parental involvement. Prospective teachers must complete and submit an application for the Provisional Professional Teaching Licensure.

The provisional license can be upgraded to full licensure upon completion of three years of teaching, scoring proficient or above on a summative evaluation, completing a pedagogy assessment, obtaining a recommendation from the superintendent of the school district in which the candidate is employed and submitting a new application for full licensure.

Financial Information:
Candidates pay a $75 application fee for the provisional license, followed by an additional $75 for the full licensure upon completion of the above requirements.


Learn more about how to become a teacher in Arkansas

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