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 Zoom (video) interview with Academy staff. After your Zoom interview, 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.
Applicants apply for and commit to the master’s program after they’ve signed the contract with the partner 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.
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. 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.
What experience do I need to have?
All applicants are required to have a teaching license. You will need to have student taught along with one year of classroom experience, or have participated in an alternative teacher training with two years of classroom experience. 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 materials do I need to submit for application?
You will need to submit a current resume, cover letter, and unit plan. You will also need to complete the full 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 address the following questions in your cover letter:
- Describe why you want to join the Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity.
- Share any significant academic gains you have achieved in a professional setting, citing specific evidence and data.
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 email@example.com 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.
What can I expect when completing the short acticities?
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.
What can I expect in my Zoom (video) interview?
Your Zoom interview will last approximately one hour and will take place with Academy staff. We want to hear more about your interest in the program, your background, and your commitment to addressing educational inequities through classroom instruction.
When will I hear if I am accepted?
Candidates will learn of their final acceptance following the district interviews in April. A candidate will receive final acceptance to the Arkansas Academy after receiving and signing a contract with a partner district.
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 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?
All new University of Arkansas master’s programs must be approved at the state level. This master’s program is expected to be approved by spring 2019. 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.
You will be responsible for the cost of books and course materials.
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.