The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Labor recently approved the Arkansas Teacher Residency Apprenticeship Program, making it one of only eight in the country to receive the national designation.
Arkansas’ program, which is designed to increase the teacher pipeline, is one pathway through the Arkansas Teacher Residency Model. Through the apprenticeship program, which will launch next fall, participants will serve as apprentices at schools while earning a wage. Upon completion, the apprentice will have a four-year degree, a teaching license, and a nationally-recognized apprenticeship certification.
U.S. Department of Labor program approval allows the state to use $2.2 million in federal apprenticeship dollars to cover tuition costs up to $12,000 per participant in Levels 3 and 4 (juniors and seniors) and to pay $2,500 per semester for master or lead designated teachers who will serve as journeymen and mentor the apprentices. ADE’s program will fund up to 100 apprentices in Levels 1 and 2 (freshmen and sophomores) and an additional 100 in Levels 3 and 4.
“We are excited to be among the few states that are offering an apprenticeship pathway to becoming a teacher,” ADE Secretary Johnny Key said. “This program serves as another great opportunity to recruit and retain exceptional teachers. Master or lead teachers can share their expertise with apprentices, and apprentices who complete the program will hold a teaching license in addition to a nationally-recognized apprenticeship certification. The program is a win-win for everyone.”
Partners joining ADE to implement the program include education service cooperatives, school districts, and educator preparation programs. ADE will serve as the sponsor for the program by reviewing and approving applications from potential participants and districts and will allocate funds to education service cooperatives. Education service cooperatives will work with the master or lead designated teachers to record apprentices’ progress toward completing the program and will subgrant the funds to journeymen and education preparation programs.
Educator preparation programs will work with school districts to align programs to the needs of districts, as well as provide a pipeline of qualified students for the program. They also will provide related technical instruction to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship program.
Districts will select and hire apprentices to fill current needs within the district as well as provide 10 to 20 hours of face-to-face assistance for students. The salary will be a progressive wage starting at $15 an hour and will include benefits and credit toward teacher retirement. Districts also will provide a master or lead designated teacher to mentor the apprentice.
Interested school districts, education cooperatives, and education preparation programs can use the information below to learn more about the apprenticeship opportunity.
Arkansas Teacher Residency Apprenticeship Informational Flyer
Arkansas Teacher Residency Apprenticeship Benefits
Arkansas Teacher Residency Guidebook
ADE will be hosting six trainings this winter for districts, education service cooperatives, and education preparation programs to prepare for the application and implementation of apprentices in their schools in the fall of 2023. Listed below are the set training dates and locations. Registration will be available on escWORKS in the coming weeks.