Our program, the Arkansas Teacher Corps (ATC), serves high-need school districts in Arkansas by helping them to fill their annual teacher vacancies with outstanding, specially trained, and effective teachers who serve them for 3 years. This paid service opportunity/adventure/challenge awaits all students that believe all children should have the right to an equitable education. We provide 3 years of outstanding training and support. This is not a traditional teaching model. This is new. This is groundbreaking. This is the work that needs to be done, and your students can do it.
Individuals that submit online applications before one of the two remaining application deadlines (1/3/17, and 3/5/17) will begin teaching in the fall of 2017.
Individuals interested in the program may reach out to us anytime (via email/phone – see below). Below you will find more information and an FAQ. Please remember to pass this information on to interested students.
Arkansas Teacher Corps
“All Arkansas students will have the agency to pursue extraordinary lives through excellent, equitable education that empowers them intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically.”
Who can apply to become an Arkansas Teacher Corps Fellow?
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 2.7 and a GPA of 3.0 or higher is highly recommended.
Read more: Becoming a Fellow (Link to page)
What if I am not an education major?
The lack of teachers in some regions of Arkansas has led to the adoption of alternative certification programs that allow individuals holding a bachelor’s degree the opportunity to become licensed teachers through a number of alt-cert teacher programs. ATC is one of these. We provide 3 years of outstanding training. For more information about our vision for our teachers, please click here.
When do I apply?
Individuals may apply online before one of the three application deadlines throughout the school year (expedited decision in Oct, early decision in Jan, and regular decision in March of each application year).
I am a Senior and I have not completed my degree, may I still apply?
Absolutely, as long as you are expected to receive your degree before June 2017, you are welcome (and encouraged) to apply at any time throughout your senior year.
What is my commitment?
If offered a Fellowship, aspiring Fellows will be required to attend the 7-week summer institute (tentatively scheduled to begin late May/Early June in 2017) and begin teaching in the Fall of 2017. 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 as standard 5-year teaching license.
What is a provisional license?
This is the temporary license that the Arkansas Department of Education allows alternatively certified teachers (ATC Fellows) to use for the three year provisional period. Once the Fellow has completed their third year of teaching, the license is updated to a standard 5-year teaching license. Provisionally licensed teachers are subject to the same salaries and contractual conditions that fully licensed (individuals that hold a standard 5 year license) are.
I am already licensed to teach (or will be licensed to teach in May), may I still apply?
Absolutely, licensed teachers are welcome to apply. Their expectations for participation will be just the same as non-licensed Fellows (all Fellows will attend Summer Institute).
What is the application process?
- Individuals apply online before one of the application deadlines (expedited decision in Oct, early decision in Jan, and regular decision in March of each application year).
- Applications consist of basic information and require a handful of additional documents to be attached (cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcript). To learn more about the application, including more info on these additional documents please click here.
- After applications are submitted, ATC staff review the applications and respond in one of three possible ways:
- Applicant is invited to a final in-person interview, known as an Interactive Selection Event (ISE), and this takes place generally within two-three weeks after the application deadline; or
- Applicant is invited to participate in a phone interview so that ATC can gather more info, after which the applicant will either progress to the final interview or denied; or
- Applicant is not offered Fellowship and other avenues to being a teacher are recommended
- Applicants that are invited to the Interactive Selection Event (ISE) will choose which ISE location/time is most suitable for them. They will choose between:
- Fayetteville, AR ISE
- Little Rock, AR ISE
*Applicant will have a choice between the AM session and the PM session
*ISE lasts for about 4 hours
What happens at the Interactive Selection Event?
Four things happen at Final Interviews:
- Applicants perform a 4-7 minute sample teaching lesson
- Applicants complete a thoughtful response to a writing prompt
- Applicants participate in a group discussion/project
- Applicants participate in a formal interview with ATC staff
I live far away and I am not able to attend a Final Interview, am I still able to apply?
Yes. In these cases ATC offers an online Final Interview via skype. When applicants move into the Final Interview part of the selection process (when applicants are offered a Final Interview) they will communicate with ATC staff to set up a skype interview.
What is Praxis testing?
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.
- 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 1 tests are available to be taken in one sitting (Praxis Core Combined #5751). ATC will cover the costs of your first attempt at the Praxis 1 test if the accepted applicant registers and takes the test prior to the start of Summer Institute.
- Praxis 2 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.
- 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:
Is it true that if I score high enough on the ACT, SAT, or GRE that I may be exempt from taking the Praxis Core?
Yes, please see the chart below for Praxis Core Exemptions:
Must I complete Praxis testing before I submit an application?
No, you may apply and accept Fellowship without having completed praxis testing as long as you have completed a college degree with a minimum GPA of 2.7. Once you formally accept your Fellowship, however, you will be required to complete praxis testing before you begin teaching. To learn more about the Praxis requirements, please visit: https://www.ets.org/praxis/ar/requirements
How much does praxis testing cost?
Generally Praxis tests cost around $150.00 per test. Beginning in 2017, ATC will pay for Praxis 1 testing for all 2017 Fellows. At this point, we are considering how the timeline will work and the details will be forthcoming.
When do I apply for Fellowship?
Applications for 2017 Fellowships (Fellows begin teaching in Fall of 2017) are open from August 24th through March 5th. In order to accommodate applicants, ATC offers three deadlines (Expedited Decision, Early Decision, Regular Decision). All applications submitted in the 2016-17 cycle are considered for a 2017 Fellowship. The first page of the application will give you all the instructions on completing and submitting the application and supporting documents.
Where do ATC teachers serve?
Currently ATC has teachers placed in the areas below. ATC is not limited to the districts listed below. ATC will consider serving in any Arkansas school district deemed high-need.
What grade levels do ATC teachers teach? ATC is recruiting and placing individuals to teach middle school, junior high, and high school (K-12).
What is a critical shortage academic subject area?
Every year the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) compiles a list of subjects representing the highest need for teachers in Arkansas. For the 2016-17 school year, the ADE has identified the following content areas as critical shortages:
- Agriculture Science & Technology
- Computer Science
- Family and Consumer Science
- Library Media
- Physical Science (Chemistry, Physics)
- Special Education
ATC places individuals to teach in all of the above subject areas (except library media and special education) and more. Applicants interested in teaching art, computer science, mathematics, physical science, and Spanish will be reference and most likely easier placed in a partner school.
Do I get to pick where I can teach? How do placements work?
When you apply you will include preferences in the following areas:
- Where you want to teach (which geographic region of Arkansas)
- What subject you want to teach
- What grade level you want to teach (K-12)
Once you are accepted into the program we will have a “placement call” where we confirm your preferences. Then ATC works to place you in a geographic area, subject area, and grade-level that you are comfortable with. That being stated, our top priority is the students and it is always possible that we are not able to find the applicant the perfect placement. We ask our applicants and Fellows to have some flexibility when it comes to placements.
I live in or am from ____________ (high-need area/district ATC currently serves), can I teach here?
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 this particular district. If accepted, we would certainly work to have you placed there or find a placement that you are comfortable with (you could possibly be close to home while still filling our placement requirements).
I will graduate in ___ can I apply?
The Arkansas Teacher Corps can accept applications from individuals with all majors and backgrounds who will have a bachelor’s degree or higher by June 2017.
I have ___ degree am I eligible?
The Arkansas Teacher Corps can accept applications from individuals with all majors and backgrounds who will have a bachelor’s degree or higher by June 2017. The majority of our placements are in math, science and English, but we often have requests in other areas. Flexibility is key in regards to placement subject.
What is my compensation?
ATC Fellows are paid in two ways:
- 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.
- Individuals that hold a master’s degree or a doctoral degree are paid more.
- For more information on what teachers make in Arkansas, please visit: http://www.arkansased.gov/public/userfiles/Fiscal_and_Admin_Services/Publication%20and%20reports/Salary%20Reports/Teacher_Salary_Schedule_2015-2016.pdf
- 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:
|Payment 1||June of pre-Year 1||$3,000.00|
|Payment 2||September of Year 2||$2,500.00|
|Payment 3||September of Year 3||$4,500.00|
|Payment 4||June of Year 3||$5,000.00|
*The graduated stipend payment chart displays current plan for 2017 and is subject to change (the overall total of $15k will not change).
Are there additional monetary incentives in addition to my teaching salary and the $15,000.00 stipend from ATC?
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 given they fill the subject and geographic area requirements, for more information please visit the ADE’s information page regarding teacher recruitment and retention: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2015/Meeting%20Attachments/410/I14363/Teacher%20Recruitment%20and%20Retention.pdf
What is a high-need school?
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 serious 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.
I have student loans; will serving through this program help me?
Absolutely, the options for teachers needing student loans deferred or forgiven seem to multiply, with some changing slightly, every year. In many cases you can qualify for student loan forgiveness by serving through Arkansas Teacher Corps. ATC is not currently staffed to administer the deferment and forgiveness of Fellow’s student loans (many types of loans exist) and recommends that potential applicants do their research prior to joining. They can start by visiting the following website: http://thecollegeinvestor.com/student-loan-forgiveness-programs-by-state/arkansas-student-loan-forgiveness-programs/
What is Summer Institute?
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:
Is there a cost to apply or to be a part of the program?
There is no direct cost to apply or accept a Fellowship with the program. However, once accepted you will be responsible for covering some of the cost to license you: Praxis testing, background check, child maltreatment form, etc. In order to help you we will pay you an initial stipend payment of $3,000.00 in the spring. In the spring of 2017 we will also be offering to pay for Praxis testing. *please see above
If I become licensed through the Arkansas Teacher Corps, will I be able to use my license in another state once I complete my three year Fellowship?
Absolutely. Generally you will still have to jump through a hoop or two, but transferring your license to another state is pretty simple (differs by state). Please visit the following page regarding licenses and reciprocity:
I want more information about the program.
It is possible for international applicants to have a school district sponsor their VISA but our program is not set up to coordinate this. 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 could offer assistance with work authorization or visas it is not a guarantee.