The Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) in elementary education provides a strong foundation for students wanting to teach kindergarten through sixth grade. This 120-hour program provides graduates with a comprehensive understanding of teaching young learners and of the need for a learning environment that is responsive to students’ developmental needs.
UA Little Rock’s Elementary Education program is committed to educating students to become teachers who meet the needs of diverse communities across the state and region. Our faculty believe that enhancing the lives of children will ultimately nurture competent citizens for our community and society. Elementary educators are fundamental to helping children navigate the world around them by showing students that learning is relevant, useful, fun, and important.
Job Security and Advancement
While the licensure requirements vary from state to state, teachers who have established a good work ethic and reputation don’t have to worry about finding a job. Because teachers are in such high demand across the United States, you have almost guaranteed job security – especially kindergarten and elementary school teaching positions which are expected to increase by 7% by 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For admission to Fall and Spring, applicants must:
- Be admitted to UA Little Rock. View the steps to apply.
- Have completed RHET 1311 and RHET 1312 English Composition, ACOM 1300, MATH 1321 or MATH 1302 with a grade of C or greater in each of these courses;
- Have completed all core requirements with an overall degree plan cumulative GPA of at least 2.7; or have completed an Associate’s degree from an accredited college that meets university core requirements;
- Submit passing scores on the ACT or other accepted basic skills exams (see Testing and Admissions Requirements)
- Contact the Undergraduate Advisor for Teacher Education to complete the admission application.
Once admitted, students are required to maintain a 2.75 GPA, with at least a C in all courses specific to the elementary program. Read descriptions of the elementary education courses.
Complete Background Check and Child Maltreatment Training:
Before you can be placed in a school for your field experiences or internship, you must have an approved background check in the Arkansas Educator Licensure System (AELS). Please contact the Director of Licensure and Placement for directions to complete this process. You must also complete your Child Maltreatment Mandated Reporter training. Once you have completed the 60-90 minutes of self-paced training you should download your certificate of completion and store it in your files for future use and licensure.
Graduation Requirements and Licensure
- Completion of all courses on degree plan with grades as required and passing scores on all required Praxis content area exams (see Licensure Officer for correct exams to take).
- Entry of all required artifacts into Chalk and Wire and submission of these artifacts for assessment in Chalk and Wire.
- Submission of Graduation Application by announced deadline.
- Graduation and Educator Licensure are two separate processes. Please contact the Director of Licensure and Placement for guidance through the Educator Licensure process during the semester you apply for graduation.
Work During Your Internship
Undergraduate students in traditional licensure programs may earn income working in K-12 schools during their internships as a parafroessional. Any student enrolled in a School of Education program who would like to complete their internship as a paraprofessional or substitute teacher must first have the approval of their Program Coordinator, the Director of Teacher Licensure and Placement, and the Director of the School of Education. To work as a substitute, please contact Heather Newsam for the most up-to-date information given the recent changes at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- Interns may apply for open paraprofessional positions in any K-12 school in the state. Students must meet the hiring school’s requirements for a paraprofessional, which often can include holding an associate’s degree or completing 60 hours of undergraduate course work. Some schools may ask their paraprofessionals to complete the ParaPro Assessment as well.
- Interns enrolled in the Elementary Education and Middle Childhood Education programs must work as instructional or academic paraprofessionals in classrooms that meet the requirements of the internships in which they are enrolled each semester. For these programs, a paraprofessional position in a Special Education classroom will not meet program and licensure requirements.
- Interns enrolled in the Special Education program may only work as Special Education paraprofessionals under the supervision of licensed special educators. Their paraprofessional positions must meet the grade level and disability level of the internships in which they are enrolled each semester.
- While it is unlikely that students enrolled in the Education Minor program will be able to find instructional or academic paraprofessional positions in their content area and at their grade level, they may also work as paraprofessionals during internship if the position matches the requirements of the internship course.