Education Programs Cover All Areas of Teaching, Leading Schools
The College of Education and Health Professions offers many education degrees to prepare educators for all areas and levels of teaching and educational administration and continually adds programs to meet the state’s needs.
Teacher education has been a vital part of the University of Arkansas since its establishment in 1871. As a land-grant institution, the university takes seriously its responsibility to prepare as many high-quality teachers in an as many subject areas as possible.
The 2019 U.S. News and World Report ranked the college’s graduate education programs as a whole 36th among public institutions and 46th overall (out of 267 institutions assessed). U.S. News also ranked graduate education programs in the college as “Best Online Programs” in 2018.
A historical marker on the lawn between Old Main and Peabody Hall on the University of Arkansas campus memorializes the establishment in 1871 of a “normal department,” the term then used for teacher-training institutions, within the U of A.
The college offers both four-year and five-year licensure paths to teaching. Programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction cover career and technical education, childhood and elementary education, curriculum and instruction advanced degrees, educational leadership, educational studies, educational technology, secondary education, special education, and teaching English to speakers of other languages.
The Office of Teacher Education places more than 1,000 students in about 20 school districts every year. The office also has developed field placement opportunities in Peru and Sweden. It serves as the central source of information on Arkansas educator requirements and regulations for U of A students, which includes those in other colleges on campus, and other constituents.
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction received approval in the fall of 2018 to begin offering five new Bachelor of Arts in Teaching degrees for English education, French/German/Spanish education, and social studies education.
In addition to its traditional teacher-preparation programs, the college has developed new programs to address teacher shortages, particularly in areas of the state that face challenges in hiring teachers.
Arkansas Teacher Corps, which was developed in 2012 by the Department of Education Reform, is training, supporting and evaluating 55 teachers in schools across Arkansas this school year. Applicants selected as ATC Fellows must pass all required educator licensure tests and participate in ongoing professional development and coaching throughout their Fellowship.
The Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity was developed in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction to address teacher shortage in high-need school districts but is designed for already licensed, early-career teachers. Its inaugural cohort of 12 teachers completed a rigorous summer training program and is now teaching across the state.
Both of these programs are supported by the Arkansas Department of Education and by private foundations.
The Exercise Science Research Center (ESRC) is part of the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation and is housed in the HPER building. The center consists of four rooms equating to a total of about 6,000 square feet. The primary purpose of ESRC is to support the research, teaching, and service activities of Exercise Science faculty. Each member of the Exercise Science faculty has their individual research, teaching, and service goals. The laboratory director serves to facilitate and advocate for these activities.
Faculty and students in ESRC at the University of Arkansas are extremely productive. In the past two years, the ESRC has obtained more than $2 million in external funding, and faculty and students in Exercise Science published more than 44 peer-reviewed publications in 2017, with 59 research presentations and 31 invited lectures.
Faculty members in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction have received millions in federal and state grant funding to help prepare teachers in Arkansas to teach children who speak English as a second language. And, faculty in the program routinely partner with local school districts for educational opportunities not just in the summer, but year-round.
Programs in human resource and workforce development education and adult and lifelong learning focus on working with and educating adults.
The higher education program offers two areas of study in its master’s degree: organization and administration and student affairs. The counselor education program offers four concentrations, including clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and addiction counseling.