The Arkansas Department of Education 12.9% of students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in 2017-2018 were special needs students. This number illustrates the continued need for special education teachers in the state of Arkansas. If you're interested in becoming a special education teacher in Arkansas, read on to learn more about this career field's specific certification requirements.
Special Education Certification Requirements in Arkansas
|Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Arkansas (2019)*||$49,880 (Kindergarten & Elementary School); $50,760 (Middle School); $50,080 (Secondary School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Education, with a specialization in special education|
|Testing Requirements||Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712), Writing (5722), and Mathematics (5732), and appropriate Special Education Specific Certifications|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Educational Requirements to Become a Special Education Teacher in Arkansas
Individuals wishing to teach special education in Arkansas will need to earn a bachelor's degree in special education through an approved university or college training program. Students will take a variety of courses during their training program to prepare them for working with special needs students. Relevant coursework can include the following: an introduction to learning and behavior analysis; an overview of technology for the inclusive classroom; and, career development and transition planning for students with disabilities.
Students will need to complete a student teaching assignment as part of the undergraduate degree training. This assignment is usually completed during students' senior years and may last one or two semesters.
Certification Requirements to Become a Special Education Teacher in Arkansas
After students complete their bachelor's degree, they will need to obtain certification to teach special education. The state of Arkansas requires that teachers in all licensure areas successfully pass three exams, which are all Praxis exams administered via computer.
The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE) test proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. Candidates will need a passing score of 156 in reading, 162 in writing, and 150 in mathematics. It should be noted that teachers have the option to take all three exams at once via the Core Academic Skills for Educators: Combined Test (5751).
Teachers will then need to take a Praxis test that will test their proficiency in their chosen area of special education.
The Early Childhood/Special Education Integrated (B-K) is a first-time licensure and contains three exams. Candidates will need a score of 160 on the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (5023), a score of 160 on the Education of Young Children (5024), and a score of 157 on the Principles of Learning and Teaching: Early Childhood (5621).
The Special Education (K-12): Core Knowledge and Applications (5354) is for candidates enrolled in a program prior to Fall 2017. They must earn a score of 151 to pass. Candidates must then take an exam for their chosen level of special education:
- Principles of Learning and Teaching: K-6 (5622): A passing score is 160.
- Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 (5623): Students will need to earn 160 to pass.
- Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 (5624): Individuals will need 157 to pass.
Candidates enrolled in a program starting in Fall 2017 will need to take the Special Education (K-12): Core Knowledge and Applications (5354) and earn 148 to pass. They will also need to take Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (5511) and receive a passing score of 148. Candidates will also need to pass a reading test.
Arkansas also offers the following endorsements to current licenses:
- Early Childhood Special Education (B-K),
- Gifted and Talented (K-12)
- Special Education (K-12)
- Special Education: Hearing Specialist Endorsement
- Special Education: Resource, and Special Education: Visual Specialist
Candidates will need to successfully pass the Arkansas State, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Child Maltreatment Central registry background checks. This includes student teachers, first time licenses and license renewals, as well as candidates' first teaching positions or change of employment.
Certification Resources for Arkansas Special Education Teachers
Students can better prepare for their state certification exams by utilizing the below courses:
- Praxis Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education: Practice & Study Guide
- Praxis Special Education: Practice & Study Guide
- Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators - Mathematics: Study Guide & Practice