Online Teacher Preparation Program



Online Teacher Preparation Program: Program Coordinator:Interim Department Chair:
Mashburn 150Amber BrantleySunny Styles-Foster
University of Central ArkansasPhone: 501.450.5461Phone: 501.450.5429
201 Donaghey
Conway, AR 72035


UCA is excited to announce the NEW Online Elementary, Special Education or Dual Elementary & Special Education Program. This fully online degree prepares candidates for licensure in either of the following areas K-6 Elementary, K-12 Special Education, or K-6 Elementary AND K-12 Special Education with a focus on equitable, inclusive access for all students.  The program has been designed for working adults who might hold paid positions as a paraprofessional, teacher’s aid, full time tutor, or other instructional positions within schools.
There are a number of opportunities that may provide funding to help cover the cost of this program, depending on your financial needs and employment situation. UCA Office of Financial Aid and the Arkansas Department of Education can help identify sources of financial aid. The program recognizes the significant need for teachers licensed in K-6 Elementary and K-12 Special Education, particularly in geographically isolated areas in the state. Our goal is to support ALL students in Arkansas with a high-quality teacher preparation program.

This online performance-based undergraduate program completion pathway is designed to prepare aspiring teachers for today’s classrooms. Upon completion of the program, candidates are expected to (a) understand and apply knowledge related to the social, historical, and philosophical foundations of elementary education; (b) possess knowledge and skills to effectively teach all content areas including literacy/reading, mathematics, science, and social studies; (c) know the way children learn and develop; (d) use knowledge of how children learn and develop to design and implement age appropriate instruction; (e) understand language acquisition, cultural influences on learning, emotional and social development, exceptionalities, diverse student populations, and inclusion and equity in classrooms and schools; (f) integrate technology into instruction and learning; (g) use research and developmentally appropriate practices in their teaching; and (h) know the roles and responsibilities of the profession of teaching.

The program also recognizes the changing and complex role of educators working with students with disabilities, and as such, prepares the candidates to (a) provide support and instruction to students with cognitive, physical, behavior, multiple, and/or health disabilities from kindergarten through 12th grade; (b) access the general education curriculum demonstrating a strong knowledge and skill set in academic content areas for instructing students with disabilities; (c) effectively collaborate and work closely with general education teachers, related service personnel, administrators, and families to ensure all students are given every opportunity to reach their full potential; and (d) understand and apply knowledge related to the social, historical, and philosophical foundations of special education.

This program is highly selective and enrolls a limited number of candidates each year. Based upon characteristics such as completion of prerequisite classes, employment in a school district, geographic location, recommendations, and academic qualifications will be used to evaluate applicants for selection. 

Candidates will choose one of three licensure pathways:

  • K-6 Elementary
  • K-12 Special Education
  • Dual license: K-6 Elementary and K-12 Special Education

If you are currently employed in an Arkansas Private School, you can see if your school is accredited and recognized by DESE by going to this link for the ANSAA.

If you are currently employed in an Arkansas Charter School, you can see if your school is on the list at the ADE Data Center link.

Transfer Agreement Site


Student Requirements:

Candidates admitted to this program MUST be employed as kindergarten-6th grade OR special education instructional support position by an accredited school with approved MOU due to the coursework implementation.

Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Science (AS) degree from a public two-year institution in Arkansas is required OR at least 60 credit hours and completion of the 35 hour State Minimum Core curriculum (as determined by the UCA Registrar’s Office, following a thorough review all official college transcripts); Anyone who has completed (or will complete) either a 2+2 Elementary Education or 2+2 Special Education pathway at one of our partner institutions will automatically meet the required coursework needed. Anyone not coming in under one of those agreements will undergo a transcript review to ensure required courses have been completed, before being admitted into the program.

GPA requirements include the following:

  • Cumulative 2.70 GPA or better
  • Cumulative 2.50 GPA or better with at least a 3.00 GPA in the last 30 credit hours

Important Dates:

October 1st – Applications Open

December 1st – Applications Due

December 20th – Cohort 1 Announced (notification via portal)

TBD – Online Orientation

January 11th – Spring Courses Begin