School and Ranking Information
There are only five schools in the Little Rock area with teaching programs. Based on ranking information, program offerings, and degrees awarded, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas - Little Rock, and Philander Smith College are ranked among the best in the area. All three schools were ranked by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) in 2014. The teacher education programs at all three schools are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and are approved by the state.
- Winner: The University of Central Arkansas was ranked in the top 75 among southern universities. It offers bachelor's and master's degrees and a post-graduate certificate.
- Runner-Up #1: The University of Arkansas - Little Rock offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as a post-graduate certificate. It was one of the best regional public schools in the South.
- Runner-Up #2: Philander Smith College was ranked one of the top 100 Southern colleges, but it only offers a bachelor's degree.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||University of Central Arkansas||University of Arkansas - Little Rock||Philander Smith College|
|Rankings||66th best regional university in the South in 2014*
26th best regional public school in the South in 2014*
|Voted 195th best national university by high school counselors in 2013*|| 72nd best regional college in the South in 2014*
29th best among historically black colleges and universities in 2014*
|Location||Conway, AR (25 miles from Little Rock)||Little Rock, AR||Little Rock, AR|
|School Type||4-year, public||4-year, public||4-year, private not-for-profit|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)|| $7,333 (undergraduate, in-state),
$12,830 (undergraduate, out-of-state);
$5,257 (graduate, in-state),
$9,322 (graduate, out-of-state)**
|$6,854 (undergraduate, in-state),
$16,066 (undergraduate, out-of-state);
$6,476 (graduate, in-state),
$13,476 (graduate, out-of-state)**
|Education Degrees and Certificates Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees; postgraduate certificate||Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; postgraduate certificate||Bachelor's degrees|
|Education Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||292**||265**||4**|
|Most Popular Education Program (2011-2012)||Master's Degree in Teacher Education and Professional Development (83 awarded)**||Master's Degree in Secondary Education and Teaching (33 awarded)**||Bachelor's Degrees in Early Childhood Education and Teaching (2 awarded) and Middle School Education and Teaching (2 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class||41%**||20%**||31%**|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator.
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Winner: University of Central Arkansas
- Almost 100% of full-time beginning undergraduates received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
- Master's program in teaching received the Association of Teacher Educators' Distinguished Program award in 2010
- Kindergarten/pre-school education and teaching was the 4th most popular major at the university in 2011, according to USNWR
- The graduate education program belongs to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
UCA offers several teacher education programs for undergraduate and graduate students. The programs that prepare students for a state license are the bachelor's and master's degrees in early childhood, middle level, and secondary education. There are also master's degrees offered in reading and special education for those who are already licensed. Those in the undergraduate program in early childhood education can opt to take additional special education classes, adding an extra semester to the program. The middle level program prepares students to teach grades 4-8 and focuses on either English and social studies, or math and science. The bachelor's degree programs in secondary education vary depending on the chosen major, but the subjects available include English, math, science, foreign languages, art, and music.
The master's-level programs in teaching generally take five or six semesters to complete, and most of the classes are offered online. The programs require one semester of student teaching, but those who obtain a provisional teaching license and find a teaching position while completing the program can also fulfill the requirement. Certificate options include the Gifted and Talented Graduate Certificate.
Runner-Up #1: University of Arkansas - Little Rock
- Over 95% of full-time beginning students received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
- The undergraduate acceptance rate in 2012 was almost 100%, according to NCES
- Student-faculty ratio was 15:1 as of 2012, according to NCES
- Home to the Center of Literacy, which partners with local schools to help increase literacy in the state; the center also conducts research
The Little Rock campus of the University of Arkansas has several undergraduate and graduate-level teaching programs. The bachelor's degree programs prepare students to obtain a teaching license and are offered in early childhood education and middle level education. The middle level program requires students to choose a concentration from either math and science, or social studies and English. Undergraduates who want to become licensed at the secondary level can minor in secondary education and choose from a number of subjects, including English, math, science, foreign languages, social studies, music, and art.
The master's programs in middle level education and secondary education are designed for those who already have bachelor's degrees and want to obtain a teaching license. Those who are accepted into either of these master's programs have the option to apply for a provisional license and begin teaching while completing the program. There are also graduate degrees available in special education, reading education, and curriculum and instruction. Certificates are offered in areas such as advanced placement (AP) teaching.
Runner-Up #2: Philander Smith College
- The school has an open enrollment policy
- 100% of full time beginning students received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
- Student-faculty ratio of 10:1 as of 2012, according to NCES
Philander Smith College is a United Methodist school with three programs that prepare students for a state teaching license. The programs are in early childhood education, middle level education and vocational education/business technology, and each results in a bachelor's degree. The middle level program can focus on English and social studies, or math and science. All of the programs require 14 weeks of student teaching. Before being accepted into the programs, students have to pass basic skills exams, take introductory education courses, and complete 30 hours of internship experience in a local school. To stay in the programs, students must join the Student Arkansas Education Association and pass the appropriate subject area exam. A non-licensure program in physical education is also available.