Background Checks, Early Field, and Praxis Progression

Background Checks

Per DESE regulations and a new law passed in the Spring of 2020, ALL candidates are required to have an AELS background and child maltreatment check on file.

If you are already on a Provisional License, you are good to go! If you do not have a background check on file with the Arkansas Educator Licensure System, you must complete the full background check process, before you are allowed to move forward with any coursework. This requirement has been updated and we must now ensure ALL candidates have their proof uploaded and a full background check on file with the AELS.

How do you know if you have one on file and how do you access proof for your screenshot? Go to the Arkansas Educator Licensure System page. Then, enter your information. If you have a record on file, it will bring it up. 

**Please note: For program purposes, these checks do not have to be within the last year. We can accept them if they have cleared within the past few years. This is especially true if you are working as a sub or in a district in another capacity. If you aren’t sure, email Mr. Ward,

For details regarding background checks, you may go to the OCS site: Please do not delay in getting this taken care of, as you must make an appointment to have fingerprints made.

EVERYONE must upload proof of cleared checks by doing the following:

Login to your Blackboard and go to the Community Tab. Then, select MAT Orientation (if you do not have this, email Mr. Ward, so he can add you).

Then, go to the Trainings and Certificates tab on the left.

Then, scroll down to the document and certificate upload folder. The proof of background and child maltreatment should be the first one.

You should upload your FULL Page showing that your checks have all cleared:

Early Field

While the MAT program is fully online, there are many classes that provide you with an opportunity to have early field experiences. For details regarding early field policies and requirements, please see the Early Field Handbook linked below. It is your responsibility to read and be aware of the policies within the handbook.

Early Field Handbook

If you have your own classroom, it is likely that most of these experiences can be completed in your own classroom (some observation of other teachers may be required). If you are not currently the teacher of record, you will have to make room in your schedule to ensure you can complete the required field. Please do not take a class with field, if you know you will be unable to meet the requirements.

Mandated Reported Training

Teachers are considered by law as mandated reporters. As part of your field experiences, you must complete the Arkansas Mandated Reporter Training every year. You must show proof to your instructor, before you will be allowed to go into the schools. The training is free. 

Mandated Reporter Training –

ALL Candidates must provide proof of mandated reporter training to their course instructor, if field work is required and you are working with kids in any capacity.

Praxis Progression for MAT Candidates

Praxis Subject Area exams (depending on your area) are required for your Provisional AND for your eligibility to enter Internship. We strongly encourage you to take these ASAP and as early in the program as possible.
If you are in K-6 (Elementary), you are also required to take the Foundations of Reading assessment. The timeline for this test is during your internship semester OR AFTER you have taken all of the literacy courses and elementary courses (MAT 6320, MAT 6314, MAT 6374, and MAT 6338).
The progression is as follows:
1. Praxis Subject Area Assessment (ASAP, or at the 12-15 hour mark, or for your provisional, but required before eligible for internship–no exceptions)
2. Pedagogy Assessment: The state recently removed the PLT exam as a requirement for licensure. Instead, they are allowing preparation programs to use their own assessments to show pedagogical knowledge. We are currently allowing candidates to use passing scores for the Summative Assessment during your Internship as your Pedagogy Exam. Please keep in mind that you may still want to take the PLT, IF you think you may want to eventually pursue an administrative position or district specialist/interventionist position. If you choose to go ahead and take the PLT, we will submit that to ADE, so they have proof of completion. IF you are K-6 Elementary Education, you will be required to pass the Foundations of Reading exam, before your license will be issued.