Why Choose Arkansas?
What You Need to Know
Becoming Certified to Teach
- How is teaching certification structured in this state/region?
- What costs are associated with certification?
- Is a master's degree required?
- I have a bachelor’s degree. Can I teach?
- If I attain certification by completing the subject area examination, do I still have to complete any professional development?
- What are the acceptable degree majors?
Certification will be obtained within two years through Teach For America – Arkansas. Teach For America is a state-approved route to alternative certification.
All corps members have the opportunity to become fully certified with standard five-year licensure in at least one subject during their two years, and initial licensure is dependent upon passing a series of tests that must be taken before the summer training institute. You must take and pass at least one standard teacher certification exam in the summer before you begin teaching. Upon your acceptance and confirmation into the Arkansas region, you will be given preparation materials and step-by-step directions on registering and taking your exam. This exam can be taken in various locations across the United States.
The state of Arkansas also requires corps members to participate in all of Teach For America – Arkansas’s professional development activities, as well as enroll in the nine graduate credit hours earned during the Teach For America summer training Institute.
Your certification will be obtained within two years through Teach For America – Arkansas. Teach For America is a state-approved route to alternative certification.
Your initial, two-year certification is free. Conversion to your standard five-year license at the completion of your corps commitment costs $75. Your other costs include testing and payment for background checks.
No. However, many corps members have opted to obtain a master’s degree during their corps commitment, taking advantage of both in-person and virtual programs (in-state and out-of-state), and have received degrees in a variety of fields, ranging from school leadership to history education. Some options include: Teach For America’s partnership with the Johns Hopkins Graduate School of Education, the Arkansas IMPACT Fellowship through the University of Arkansas, and the University of Central Arkansas.
A bachelor’s degree alone does not make you eligible for employment, though specific coursework is not required. You must have a minimum GPA of 2.7, clear all required background checks, and pass applicable exams.
Yes, you have to complete professional development throughout your corps commitment.
All degree majors are acceptable.
Placement School Locations
Subjects And Grade Levels
- English Language Arts
- Music (Band, Choir)
- Social Studies
Helena-West Helena, a town of only 11,000 people on the skirts of the Mississippi River, is a warm and beautiful community. Its stately main street, Cherry Street, and its Southern hospitality make it the quintessential Delta town, while its 25-year relationship with Teach For America makes it an example of what partnership and local leadership can accomplish for kids. Helena boasts both a traditional public school district and a charter school system, and Teach For America has long partnered with each in its efforts to ensure their children have access to rigorous and enriching educational opportunities. Beginning with its first corps in 1991, corps members and alumni have become valued and active members of this incredible community. Many have even chosen to make Helena their long-term home. Helena is truly a vibrant place to live and teach. From local start-up programs for new entrepreneurs to the monthly Cherry Street Fair, celebrating town pride and bringing tourism to the Delta, Helena is a town in its renaissance. Surrounded by fields of corn and cotton, Helena reflects so many of the opportunities you can find in the Arkansas Delta.
Get to Know What's Next Pine Bluff
What originally started as a tour of college campuses in the summer of 2014 for a small group of students from Pine Bluff, Arkansas has today grown into an independent non-profit committed to providing educational and leadership opportunities for students throughout the city.
What’s Next Pine Bluff (WNPB) was founded in partnership by a coalition of Teach For America corps members, local teachers, and Pine Bluff community members. It now serves over 100 students each week! Students attend courses focused on academic support, leadership development, and life skills. They participate in weekly college and career-readiness classes, travel to colleges and universities, prepare for college-admissions exams, and lead local community-service projects. Over the summer, students serve as fellows participating in and leading programs addressing local food security, youth mentorship, and community cleanup projects. This year, students visited fourteen colleges across four states, participated in the National College Signing Day, and partnered with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to open a new community park.
Thanks to the entrepreneurship of local citizens working alongside our alumni, What’s Next Pine Bluff is providing life-changing opportunities for hundreds of incredible young Arkansans, demonstrating what a community can do when it comes together for children.