Published on June 3, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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University Headquarters (HQ) is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class unbiased rankings. The team at University HQ strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlights the best programs for education in Arkansas.

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What is Education?

Arkansas, known as "the Natural State", is not only home to beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities, but it also boasts a strong education system. Whether you're a student looking to further your education or a professional seeking new employment opportunities, Arkansas has something to offer for everyone.

Arkansas is divided into 239 school districts, serving over 1,000 public schools with over 475,000 students in total. The Arkansas Department of Education manages their education system to ensure quality instruction for students, teachers, and administrators alike. In terms of higher education, Arkansas is home to several accredited universities and colleges. Some notable institutions include the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University, and the University of Central Arkansas. These universities offer a wide range of programs and degrees in various fields, ensuring that students have ample opportunities to pursue their desired career paths.

Arkansas' education sector plays an essential role in providing employment opportunities to its residents. According to the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, its education sector employed over 146,000 individuals in 2017. This figure includes teachers, administrators, support staff, and other professionals working within educational institutions throughout Arkansas.

Teachers constitute a significant portion of the education workforce in Arkansas, with the state employing over 41,000 teachers in public schools alone. These educators play a crucial role in shaping the minds of Arkansas students and ensuring their academic success. Additionally, there are numerous employment opportunities outside of teaching within the education sector. These include administrative roles, counselors, librarians, and support staff who contribute to the smooth functioning of educational institutions.

Students interested in completing education programs - whether in elementary education, physical education, business education, technology education, and other teaching programs - can find plenty of degrees offered online and in-person throughout the state.


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Online Education Degree Programs in Arkansas

A teacher is not just someone who stands in front of a classroom and imparts knowledge. They are much more than that. A teacher might be considered a guiding light, a mentor, and a source of inspiration for their students. They play a crucial role in shaping the future of society by nurturing young minds and instilling in them the knowledge, skills, and values they need to succeed in life.

At their core, teachers are educators; their responsibility lies in designing and delivering lessons tailored to meet the diverse learning needs of their students. A good teacher knows their subject well enough that they can translate complex concepts into easily digestible terms for students.

A teacher is a facilitator of learning. They encourage students to explore and discover knowledge on their own by providing the necessary resources, guiding them through the learning process, and fostering a love for lifelong learning. They inspire curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, helping students become independent learners who can adapt to an ever-changing world. But teachers can also act as role models, and they help their pupils develop essential life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, and collaboration. A good teacher creates a safe learning environment where pupils feel free to express their ideas freely without judgment from others or make mistakes without feeling judged for doing so.

Online Associate Degree in Education (AS)

An associate degree in education can be a steppingstone to a fulfilling career in the field of education, though you’re going to need a bachelor’s degree for nearly all full teaching positions. Even so, these programs can equip students with foundational knowledge in teaching methodologies, child development, and educational psychology. Not only do they provide a solid academic foundation for aspiring educators, but they may also offer practical experience through teaching practicums and classroom observations.

Students can gain valuable insights into classroom management and instructional strategies at this level of education. Additionally, many associate degree programs offer specialized tracks such as early childhood education or special education, allowing students to focus on areas that align with their career goals. This targeted approach ensures that graduates are well-prepared to meet the specific needs of diverse learners in today's classrooms.

National Online Rankings - Best Associate Programs

Online Bachelors Degree in Education (BS)

A bachelor's degree in education opens a world of opportunities for those passionate about shaping the next generation. With an emphasis on both theoretical and practical knowledge, these programs equip future educators with the skills needed to engage and inspire students. From learning about pedagogy and classroom management to understanding educational psychology and curriculum development, the diverse curriculum of an education degree ensures that graduates are well-prepared to meet the challenges of today's classrooms.

Moreover, earning a bachelor's degree in education not only provides individuals with the necessary qualifications for teaching positions but also allows them to specialize in specific areas such as early childhood education, special education, or subject-specific instruction. Additionally, students have the chance to gain real-world experience through student teaching placements and internships, enabling them to apply their classroom learning in authentic educational settings. Overall, pursuing a bachelor's degree in education offers a fulfilling path toward making a meaningful impact on young minds and contributing positively to society’s future.

National Online Rankings - Best Bachelors Programs

Online Masters Degree in Education (MS or MC)

Considering pursuing a master's degree in education can open a world of opportunity for educators passionate about advancing their careers. With this advanced degree, educators not only enhance their teaching skills but also gain expertise in curriculum development, educational leadership, and pedagogical research. A master's degree in education equips professionals to address the complex challenges faced within the education sector with innovative solutions.

In a competitive job market, a master's degree can also give educators an advantage by showcasing their commitment to ongoing professional development and excellence in the field. Additionally, this advanced degree provides opportunities for educators to specialize in areas such as special education, literacy instruction, or educational technology - making them highly sought after within schools and districts. And earning a master’s in education can lead to increased earning potential and career advancement opportunities within various educational settings.

National Online Rankings - Best Masters Programs

Online PhD Degree in Education (PhD)

A PhD in education offers a transformative journey through advanced research and scholarship, equipping professionals with the expertise to lead change in educational institutions. With a focus on educational policy, leadership, curriculum development, and other important subjects, doctoral programs enable educators to address complex challenges within the education system. Through rigorous coursework and hands-on research opportunities, students gain a comprehensive understanding of how to shape the future of education.

Moreover, pursuing a PhD in education provides individuals with the opportunity to contribute to the field through their unique perspectives and innovative solutions. In addition to acquiring specialized knowledge in areas such as educational psychology and diversity studies, doctoral candidates are empowered to become influential leaders who can drive impactful reforms at local, national, and international levels. Ultimately, those passionate about driving positive change within education find that a PhD program not only expands their intellectual horizons but also empowers them to make meaningful contributions that transform society for generations to come.

Online Education Certifications

In today's competitive job market, education certifications have become increasingly valuable for individuals looking to enhance their skill set and stand out from the crowd. Whether it's a certification in educational leadership, special education, or instructional technology, these credentials can make a significant impact on career prospects. In Arkansas, the demand for certified educators is on the rise, and obtaining specialized certifications can open doors to exciting job opportunities in the state's diverse educational landscape.

One key advantage of pursuing education certifications is the ability to specialize in a particular area of interest within the field of education. For example, educators with certifications in English as a Second Language (ESL) are well-positioned to meet the growing demand for language support services in Arkansas schools. Additionally, obtaining certifications related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education can help educators contribute to efforts aimed at enhancing students' skills in these critical areas. With Arkansas being an emerging hub for innovative educational practices and initiatives, having relevant education certifications can elevate an educator's professional profile and significance within their community.

Considering that standards and requirements for educators are continually evolving, staying abreast of the latest developments through certification programs is essential for providing high-quality instruction and student support services. Education colleges across Arkansas offer diverse certification options designed to equip educators with cutting-edge knowledge and skills needed to adapt to changing educational landscapes effectively.

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Become an Educator (Teacher) in Arkansas

If you have a passion for teaching and a desire to make a difference in the lives of students, becoming an educator in Arkansas might be the perfect career path for you. Whether you want to become a teacher, administrator, or counselor, here are the steps you need to follow to pursue a career in education.

  • Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

    To become an educator in Arkansas, the initial step should be earning your bachelor's degree either in education or the area you wish to teach. Be sure that the accredited program fulfills state certification requirements.

  • Step 2: Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program

    After earning your bachelor's degree, the next step in becoming a teacher will be completing an approved teacher preparation program. These programs consist of coursework covering educational theory, teaching methods, and classroom management, along with a student teaching experience.

  • Step 3: Pass the PRAXIS Exams

    In Arkansas, to become a certified teacher, you must first pass the PRAXIS exams, which assess both your knowledge of the subject you wish to teach as well as your teaching ability and teaching techniques. Depending on which grade level and topic area you intend to teach, specific exams may be required of you.

  • Step 4: Apply for Certification

    Once you have met all the requirements - bachelor's degree, teacher preparation program and passing PRAXIS exams - then it’s time to apply for certification through the Arkansas Department of Education. There are different levels of certification depending on your educational background and experience, so make sure to carefully read over requirements for any level you seek before beginning this process.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Education?

With a bachelor's in education, the career possibilities are diverse and rewarding. Many graduates choose to pursue a career as an elementary or high school teacher, molding young minds and contributing to the growth and development of future generations. Others may find opportunities in educational administration, curriculum development, or education policy-making at local or national levels.

Additionally, some graduates might explore roles outside traditional classroom settings such as educational consulting, corporate training, or instructional design for online learning platforms. With this versatile degree, educators can make a difference in various fields while also enjoying stability and potential for growth within the ever-evolving field of education.

Furthermore, a bachelor's in education provides a strong foundation for those interested in pursuing advanced degrees and specializations within education. Graduates have the opportunity to further their studies through graduate programs that focus on areas like special education, school counseling, counseling psychology, literacy instruction, or educational leadership – such as college student personnel administration - expanding their knowledge base and opening doors to even more diverse career paths. Whether aiming to become an expert in a specific area of teaching or taking on leadership roles within educational institutions or advocacy organizations, individuals with a bachelor's in this field can chart fulfilling careers with ample opportunities for professional advancement and personal fulfillment.

Potential Careers for Education Graduates

Elementary School Teacher

An elementary education professional is responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing an instructional program in a learning environment that encourages and enables students to develop their academic potential. They create a positive learning atmosphere and deliver creative and engaging lessons to help students develop essential skills and knowledge.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education or a related field
  • Teaching certification/license as required by state regulations
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Patience, flexibility, and ability to work well under pressure
  • Passion for working with children and helping them reach their full potential

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, except special education in the US in 2022 was $61,620
  • The mean annual wage for elementary school teachers, except special education in Arkansas is $50,610
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Health Education Specialist

A health education specialist is responsible for creating, implementing, and assessing programs and initiatives designed to promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles. They can be found in several education and health professions. In doing so, this role often collaborates with community organizations, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders to address public health concerns while improving overall well-being.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in public health, health education, or a related field
  • Strong knowledge of public health principles, health behavior theories, and evidence-based practices
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to engage diverse audiences through various mediums
  • Experience in program planning, implementation, and evaluation
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite and other relevant software for creating educational materials

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for health education specialists in the US in 2022 was $59,990
  • The mean annual wage for health education specialists in Arkansas is $54,190
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Postsecondary Social Sciences Teacher

A postsecondary social sciences teacher is responsible for instructing students in a variety of social science disciplines at the college or university level. This role involves designing and delivering engaging lectures, leading class discussions, and assessing student performance through assignments and exams.

Necessary Requirements:

  • A doctoral degree in a relevant social science discipline
  • Previous teaching experience at the college or university level is preferred
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Demonstrated expertise in one or more social science disciplines
  • Ability to engage students from diverse backgrounds and foster an inclusive learning environment

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for social sciences teachers, postsecondary in the US in 2022 was $89,350
  • The mean annual wage for social sciences teachers, postsecondary in Arkansas is $91,500

Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers are responsible for creating an engaging learning experience for their grades 6-8 students including creating and implementing lesson plans, assessing progress reports, and providing guidance and support to enable academic success.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in Education or a related field
  • Teaching certification or license
  • Knowledge of middle school curriculum standards and best teaching practices
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Patience, empathy, and a passion for working with middle school students
  • Ability to adapt teaching methods to meet the needs of diverse learners

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for middle school teachers in the US in 2022 was $61,810
  • The mean annual wage for middle school teachers in Arkansas is $52,890
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Adult Basic, Secondary, and ESL Teacher

Adult basic, secondary, and ESL teachers are responsible for teaching adult students basic education, secondary education, English as a second language (ESL), and English as an additional language (EAD). Their duties involve creating lesson plans, leading engaging and interactive lessons, assessing progress, and tracking student success. These teachers may also work in career and technical education.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in education or a related field
  • Teaching certification or licensure
  • Experience working with adult learners and diverse populations
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of instructional strategies for teaching adult education and/or ESL
  • Ability to adapt teaching methods to meet the needs of individual students

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers in the US in 2022 was $63,130
  • The mean annual wage for adult basic, secondary education, and ESL teachers in Arkansas is $51,460
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