Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education 2021–2022 Special Education Resource Teacher Academy Announcement and Registration Information

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Learning Services
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Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; Test Coordinators; General Business Managers; Teachers; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors

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Invitation to Arkansas Educators:  

The Division of Elementary and Secondary (DESE) is pleased to invite Arkansas educators to apply to one of the Special Education Resource Teacher Academies.  The purpose of the Special Education Resource Teacher Academies is to provide current licensed public school educators in grades K-12 the opportunity to earn an additional Special Education Resource endorsement and participate in job-embedded professional development while receiving graduate school credit hours - at no cost to them. 

Additionally, educators obtaining this endorsement will be able to provide special education services within the general education classroom, as supplementary supports, or in special education classrooms. This will expand the district's ability to consider and offer a variety of special education service delivery models. With the growing emphasis on inclusive practices, this opportunity will assist in providing Arkansas school districts with the skilled staff needed to lead the nation in student focused “inclusive” education. 

Participating educators also will be part of the Novice Special Education Teacher Mentoring Program at their local education service cooperative, where they will receive additional coaching, professional development, regional networking opportunities, and support throughout the school year. 

All of the programs:
     • Include 12-15 hours of graduate coursework
     • Lead to a Special Education Resource Teacher Endorsement
     • Include some summer instruction to prepare teachers for the fall 2021 semester
     • Include ongoing supports throughout the school year
     • Are designed for completion of the Academy in one year
     • Are available at no cost to teachers (tuition, fees, and assessment costs are covered)

School districts are encouraged to think strategically about their current special education services and how this opportunity could open the door to better services for all students. DESE is partnering with Harding University in Searcy, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, and John Brown University in Siloam Springs to offer the academy. To participate in the academy, interested educators will apply with one of the partnering universities. 

To learn more, go to

If there are questions, please contact Matt Sewell or Lisa Johnson at:   or   




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