Arkansas Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements

An Arkansas Qualified Teacher designation is required for an individual in the state to teach certain subjects in the classroom. Find out what it takes to become an Arkansas Qualified Teacher.

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The Arkansas Qualified Teacher designation (AQT) signifies an educator's preparedness and content knowledge in a given subject. This designation has been designed as a state teaching standard and requires a knowledge assessment for each applicable subject. Discover the purpose of the AQT designation and learn more about what it takes to receive this special designation.

Arkansas Teacher General Information

Average Salary for Teachers in Arkansas (2017)* $48,110 (Elementary School); $49,130 (Middle School); $50,990 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree required
Degree Field Must have demonstrated content knowledge in the Core Academic subject being taught
Testing Requirements Praxis Content Knowledge assessment

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Purpose of the AQT Designation

An AQT designation is not a pathway to becoming a licensed teacher. The AQT designation only allows a teacher to demonstrate content knowledge in their area of instruction in the case that their license requirements have been waived. Until recently, the federal No Child Left Behind Act required specific provisions to become a Highly Qualified Teacher. With the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act, these requirements were removed. In their place, the Arkansas Department of Education created certain standards for individuals to become Highly Qualified Teachers in the state. An AQT certification is required for the following subject areas:

  • Elementary Education
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Foreign Language
  • Math
  • Music
  • Art

Education Necessary for AQT Designation

To become an Arkansas Qualified Teacher, a candidate must earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The most direct route for receiving Bachelor of Arts in Education would be to attend one of the state's more than 40 institutions of higher education. These programs will ensure a student is adequately prepared to teach in the classroom.

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Content Knowledge Testing

There are several ways in which a teacher may demonstrate their content knowledge to fulfill the requirements of the Arkansas Qualified Teacher program.

Pass a Content Exam

The Arkansas State Board of Education approves Praxis content exams for AQT designation. These exams are specific to the subject, content, and grade level in which a prospective educator will teach. Out-of-state teachers may be eligible for an AQT designation by passing a content exam in their previous state.

Have a Qualifying Degree

If, while in school, a teaching candidate majors in the content area in which they wish to teach, they will be eligible for an AQT designation. This applies to advanced degrees, as well.

Receive Enough College Credit

In lieu of a specific major, a candidate can receive an AQT designation by taking an adequate number of college credit hours. To demonstrate content knowledge, 18 credit hours must be taken in the desired content area.

Receive National Board Certification

National Board Certification is a valid option for an AQT designation. These certifications are specific to each content area.

Have Relevant Work Experience

Teachers who have already worked in the content area to be taught for at least one year are eligible to receive an AQT designation. The employment must have required the teacher to demonstrate skills and knowledge of the subject in which they wish to teach. They must also have two professional letters of recommendation from employers or supervisors.

Additional Resources for Arkansas Teachers

Additional information regarding Praxis tests and preparation for Arkansas teachers can be found through the link below.

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