Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process // Licensure Requirements // Fellowship Commitment // Fellowship Placement

Why does Arkansas Teacher Corps exist?

The Arkansas Teacher Corps recruits, trains, and supports exceptional, social justice-oriented individuals to serve as teachers for Arkansas students who need them the most.

I want more information about the program.

We would love to talk to you more about the program, so feel free to contact us by phone (479-575-6418) or email atc@uark.edu  with any additional questions.

Application Process

Who can 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 2.75 and a GPA of 3.0 or higher is highly recommended; however, an exception is possible if the applicant has a GPA of at least 2.9 on their last 60 hours of coursework.  

When do I apply?

Applicants are welcome to apply to one of three application deadlines per year (Expedited : October 30th, Early : January 3rd, and Regular : March 5th). Applications for the 2018 Cohort open up on August 21st, 2017.

How do I apply?

Applications are submitted online; for more information about the application process, see “What is the application process?”, below. Applications for the 2018 Cohort open up on August 21st, 2017.

When will I know if I am accepted?

We cannot guarantee exact dates for the program acceptance timeline this early in the year, but once an application deadline has passed ATC will notify all applicants of the expected timeline (which specific dates) for that specific application cycle.  In order to provide you with a better idea of how the general time line will work, a good rule of thumb would be:

If you apply for the Expedited (by 10/30) application cycle you should know of your Fellowship offer status before the Christmas Holiday.

If you apply for the Early (by 1/3) application cycle you should know of your Fellowship offer status before February 1st. 

If you apply for the Regular (by 3/5)  application cycle you should know of your Fellowship offer status before April 1st. 

When do I begin my Fellowship?

Regardless of which application period you apply in (Expedited Deadline : October 30th, Early Deadline : January 3rd, and Regular Deadline : March 5th), you will begin Summer Institute at the same time as the other ATC Fellows of that cohort year (Late May, Early June of that application year). You will also begin teaching at the same time (July, August of that application year). For more information about Summer Institute, please see “What is Summer Institute?” below.

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 2018, you are welcome (and encouraged) to apply at any time throughout your senior year.

I am already licensed to teach (or will be licensed to teach in May), may I still apply?

Sure, licensed teachers are welcome to apply! All requirements and benefits for such Fellows will be the same as those of non-licensed Fellows.

What is the application process?

  1. Apply: Individuals apply online before one of the application deadlines(Expedited : October 30th, Early : January 3rd, and Regular : March 5th). Applications consist of basic information, test scores, and open-response questions and applicants also attach a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcripts.
  2. Interview: After applications are submitted, ATC staff review the applications and respond in one of three ways:

  1.  Accept/Decline Fellowship

What is the Interactive Selection Event (ISE)?

This is ATC’s version of a final interview. ISE is a 3-4 hour final interview broken down into 4 segments. Applicants selected to attend ISE are provided with clear expectations, instructions, and logistical information within a week of the event. Depending on how many applicants we have, their availability, and where the applicants are traveling from the event is held either in Little Rock, AR or Fayetteville, AR and could take place any day of the week. The four different segments are as follows:

  1. Sample Lesson - Applicants will teach a 5-7 sample lesson. The instructions and expectations for the sample lesson are provided to the applicants in advance of ISE.
  2. Group Interaction - Applicants interact with one another and ATC staff via responding to prompts provided by ATC Staff.
  3. Writing Response
  4. Formal Interview

I live far away and not able to attend the Interactive Selection Event; am I still able to apply?

Yes. In these cases, applicants may participate in an online version of the ISE. ATC staff will contact the applicant to arrange a virtual interview.

Is there a cost to apply or to become an ATC Fellow?

There is no direct cost to apply or accept a Fellowship with ATC. However, once accepted you will be responsible for covering some of the cost to license you: Praxis testing, background check, child maltreatment forms, etc. In order to help you with these expenses, ATC will disburse an initial stipend payment in the spring. In the spring of 2017, we will also provide funding for Praxis testing.

International students

It is possible for international applicants to have a school district sponsor their visa, but our program is not set up to completely coordinate this process. 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 might offer assistance with work authorization or visas it is not guaranteed.

Licensure Requirements

What is a provisional license?

This is the temporary license that the Arkansas Department of Education grants to alternatively certified teachers (ATC Fellows) to use for the three year provisional period. Provisionally licensed teachers are subject to the same salaries and contractual conditions as fully licensed teachers (individuals who hold a standard 5 year license). Once the Fellow has completed their third year of teaching and an additional Praxis test, the license is updated to a standard 5-year teaching license.

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. Please visit the ETS website to learn more about Praxis testing requirements in Arkansas. General information about Praxis testing:

*The Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) is an outdated Praxis assessment and is not applicable to ATC Fellowships.

*Praxis tests are available at most ETS centers

*More information on Praxis testing requirements in Arkansas can be found here:

https://www.ets.org/praxis/ar/requirements

Is it true that if I score high enough on the ACT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT 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 my application?

No, you may apply and accept a Fellowship prior to completing your Praxis testing. 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 one Praxis test for all 2017 Fellows. Details will be forthcoming.

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?

Most states in the U.S. have reciprocity agreements with Arkansas, which allows teachers licensed in Arkansas to transfer their certification to another state. Please visit the following page regarding licenses and reciprocity: http://www.teaching-certification.com/teaching/arkansas-teacher-reciprocity.html

Fellowship Commitment

What is my commitment?

Fellows are required to attend the 7-week Summer Institute (tentatively scheduled to begin late May/Early June in 2018) and begin teaching in the Fall of 2018. Fellows also commit to attend a series Saturday PD events throughout the year (three each semester - usually in August, September, November, January, February, and April). 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 a standard 5-year teaching license.

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:

http://arkansasteachercorps.org/about-us/teacher-development/

Where is Summer Institute?

We expect that the 2018 Summer Institute will be held in Osceola, AR.

What is my compensation?

ATC Fellows are paid in two ways:

  1. 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.

2.  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 for 2017 Fellows:

Payment 1

June before Year 1

$3,000.00

Payment 2

September of Year 2

$3,500.00

Payment 3

September of Year 3

$4,000.00

Payment 4

June of Year 3

$4,500.00

Are there additional financial 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 if they fill the subject and geographic area requirements. For more information please visit the ADE’s information pages regarding teacher recruitment and retention:

http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2015/Meeting%20Attachments/410/I14363/Teacher%20Recruitment%20and%20Retention.pdf

http://scholarships.adhe.edu/

Fellowship Placement

Where do ATC teachers serve?

ATC currently partners with over 30 schools across roughly 20 high-needs districts in the eastern and southern parts of Arkansas. Fellows are committed to teaching all three years of the Fellowship in the district in which they are placed. See more information about our placements on our website here: http://arkansasteachercorps.org/partnerships/where-we-serve-2/

How does ATC aim to place their future teachers?

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.

What grade levels do ATC teachers teach? ATC is recruiting and placing individuals to teach K-12, with highest preference for junior high and high school positions.

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 2017-18 school year, the ADE has identified the following content areas as critical shortages:

        

        *ATC is not able to place teachers in these subject areas.

Do I get to pick where I can teach? How do placements work?

When applying to ATC, applicants will include preferences in the following areas:

  1. Where you want to teach (which geographic region of Arkansas)
  2. What subject you want to teach
  3. What grade level you want to teach (K-12)

ATC works to accommodate Fellows’ preferences with regard to geographic area, subject area, and grade-level. That being stated, our top priority to fulfill the needs of our partner districts and serve Arkansas’ students. Therefore, as a program, we appreciate applicants with 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 any particular district.  If accepted, we would certainly work to have you placed there.