Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application process?

After submitting your online application, the first phase is to complete four short virtual activities. Next, you will complete a video interview where you answer questions from Academy staff. After your Zoom interview, if you are currently teaching outside the Academy partner districts, you will hear if you are granted conditional acceptance, pending an offer by one of our partner school districts. Finalists will be invited to interview with school partners. Applicants who are offered a job by a partner school district will be offered final admission to the Academy. If you are currently teaching within an Academy partner district, you will be offered final admission following the video interview.

 All candidates will also apply with the University of Arkansas Graduate School by April 15th. In order to receive final acceptance for the Equity Fellowship, all candidates must be accepted by the Graduate School.

Who is eligible?

We’re looking for talented and motivated teachers from a variety of subjects and grade levels. We prefer teachers to have three to six years of teaching experience with a valid teaching license. Current Arkansas teachers as well as those out of state are encouraged to apply. In rare circumstances, admissions requirements can be waived in the case of an exceptional candidate for the program. For a full listing of our admissions requirements, visit our Admissions Process page.

What are you looking for in an applicant?

We want educators who have a passion for improving educational access and an interest in resolving educational inequities. We look for teachers who have demonstrated evidence of equity or social justice work outside of their teaching position. Our teachers exhibit incredible self-awareness, efficacy, and determination. They understand the importance of communication and relationship building and they have strong instructional practices and skills. Successful candidates will be ready to engage in a rigorous graduate school program. 

 We also look for teachers who are willing to engage in conversations and examine the intersections of equity, systemic racism, power, policy, and education. All candidates should have a growth mindset about equity and systemic racism.  

What experience do I need to have?

All applicants are required to have a teaching license. You will need to have taught full time for at least two full semesters. We prefer applicants with three to six years of classroom experience.

The majority of our school partners require certification. The Academy staff can assist with transferring your certification if you are currently licensed in another state.

What is the process for waiving the GPA, licensure, and teaching experience requirements?

The GPA, teaching license, and teaching experience requirements can be waived in special circumstances. After your application is submitted to the Arkansas Academy, it will be reviewed to determine if you meet all of the admissions requirements. If it is determined that you do not meet the GPA, licensure, and/or teaching experience requirements, you will be given the opportunity to apply for a waiver by providing additional information to the Academy.

What materials do I need to submit for application?

You will need to submit a current resume and cover letter. You will also need to complete the full online application.

What should I write in my cover letter?

Your cover letter is a great way to show us your passion for teaching and for addressing educational inequity. Specifically, please describe why you want to join the Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity.

Who should I list as my references on the application?

Please list individuals who know you well and can speak about your experience as a teacher. At least one of your references should be a former supervisor.

What should I do if I experience technical difficulties while completing the application?

If you experience technical difficulties when completing the application, please immediately email Autumn Lewis at and include available information about the problem you are experiencing. We are happy to assist with troubleshooting. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with issues of technical difficulty that we are informed about after the close of an application deadline, so please reach out as soon as possible if you experience trouble.

When will I hear if I am accepted?

Candidates who do not currently teach in an Academy partner district will learn of their final acceptance following the in-person district interviews in May. An out-of-district candidate will receive final acceptance to the Arkansas Academy after receiving and signing a contract with a partner district.

Candidates currently teaching in an Academy partner district will learn of their acceptance about six weeks after applying for the Equity Fellowship. 

All candidates must also receive acceptance to the University of Arkansas Graduate School to receive the Equity Fellowship.

What can I expect when completing the short activities?

As part of the admissions process, you will complete four short virtual activities. These activities measure your content knowledge, time management skills, and pedagogical skills. We have designed these activities so that each can be completed in 30 minutes or less, although some may take much less time. Please note that as part of one of the short activities, you will be required to submit a short video of yourself teaching the guided practice portion of a lesson to your class. The video should be between 12 and 15 minutes long.

What can I expect from my interview with school districts?

After receiving conditional acceptance from the Arkansas Academy, you will be invited to interview with school districts’ staff members. You may interview with district HR staff, principals, assistant principals, or a combination of these individuals. School district staff will share more about their district and ask questions to determine if you are a good fit to work in their district. You district interview is a great opportunity to ask questions about living and working in Arkansas.

If I am not admitted to the Academy, can I apply again?

Applicants may not apply more than once during the same academic year, but we encourage you to apply again the next year. Our selection standards can provide a great opportunity to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and qualifications for our program.

How can I learn more about applying for admission to the University of Arkansas Graduate School?

To learn more about the application process for the University of Arkansas Graduate School, please visit their website linked here. This page will provide additional information about eligibility and application requirements.

How long is the master's program?

Two years. Students will take courses in the summers before the first and second school years and the coursework will continue through the first and second school years. Students in the program take one to two courses per semester. 

What are the fees for obtaining a master's from the University of Arkansas?

Participants in the early cohorts, including this year’s group, will have their master’s degree fully subsidized. Costs for future students depends on funding levels. The Academy will cover all tuition, fees, and textbooks for Equity Fellows. All Equity Fellows are required to pay the $60 application fee that is required at the time of application to the University of Arkansas Graduate School.

What can I expect from my comprehensive exam at the time of graduation?

The Master’s in Educational Equity candidate must pass a comprehensive examination administered by the department. The exam consists of a digital portfolio documenting professional growth and actions to improve student learning through culturally responsive instruction. The student presents and orally defends to faculty in the Department of the Curriculum and Instruction.

What happens when I finish the master's degree?
We hope that you continue to serve areas that need the most support in Arkansas. Given the teacher shortages and number of high-need schools in the state, there are many opportunities to make a difference. We’re optimistic that people will stay beyond the two years of the program and make a commitment to educational equity in the state of Arkansas.
I'm out of state. Will you help me relocate to AR?

We encourage you to apply! Arkansas faces a teacher shortage and we’re looking for educators from all over the country to make a difference in our great state. Out-of-state applicants have the opportunity to apply for a relocation stipend that is distributed depending on need and relocation distance. We support all applicants with a stipend, a fully-subsidized master’s degree, and a full-time teaching job.

I've never taught before. Is this program for me?

Developing a career in education is one of the most profound ways to make an impact in your community. The University of Arkansas has several traditional master’s programs as well as an alternative pathway with the Arkansas Teacher Corps. We encourage you to explore these programs!

Who should I contact if I have questions that are not answered above?
If you have additional questions that are not answered above, please contact Autumn Lewis, Associate Director of Placement and Operations, at