How to Become an Education Administrator in Arkansas

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Learn how to become an Education Administrator or School Principal in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Department of Education grants 4 education administrator licenses:

  • Building Level Education Administrator – for a school principal, assistant school principal, or vice-school principal in grades P-8 and 5-12)
  • Building Level Education Administrator/Arkansas Correctional Schools – for a school principal, assistant school principal, or vice-school principal in the Arkansas Correctional Schools (grades 5-12)
  • Curriculum/Program Education Administrator – for a school leader responsible for program development and administration in a specific area
  • District Level Education Administrator – for a superintendent, assistant superintendent, or deputy superintendent (grades P-12)

All candidates for the Education Administrator’s license must hold a current Arkansas Standard Teaching License.

Academic Obligations

To acquire an Initial Building Level Education Administrator License:

  • Finish a graduate degree program in Educational Leadership from an NCATE- accredited Arkansas institution and hold 1 of the following degrees:
    • Master’s degree in Educational Leadership
    • Master’s degree in Education
    • Master’s degree in a content/endorsement area

To acquire a Standard/Advanced District Level Education Administrator License (as there is no Initial License for this category):

  • Finish a graduate degree or an advanced educator education that reflects the standards of District Level Education Administrator Licensure from an NCATE-accredited Arkansas institution

Approved administrator license/educational leadership preparation programs for both classes of administrative licenses may be found here.

Assessments

If you are pursuing an Initial Building Level Education Administrator License, you do not need to pass any assessment to acquire it; beyond the Praxis I, II, and III, you will already have passed to acquire your educator’s license. At the end of your induction period (1 to 3 years after obtaining the initial license), you will take the required assessment for education administrators, the Praxis School Leaders Licensure Assessment. This will help you to acquire your Standard Building Level Education Administrator License.

Suppose you are seeking a Standard/Advanced District Level Education Administrator License. In that case, you will already have passed the Praxis School Leaders Licensure Assessment when you acquired your Standard Building Level Education Administrator License. Now, you must pass the required assessment for District Level Administrators, the Praxis School Superintendent Assessment.

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

Building Level Education Administrator:
If you are pursuing an Initial Building Level Education Administrator License, you must have 4 years of teaching experience in the classroom, as a school counselor or as a school librarian. You must also possess completed a practicum in your Educational Leadership program, verifiable by your institution’s licensure officer.

To transform your Initial Building Level Education Administrator License to a Standard Building Level Education Administrator License, you must have been employed as a Building Level Education Administrator in an Arkansas, public school for at least 50 percent of the day at least 1 year. This induction phase will be no more than 3 years in duration and include mentorship, training, and completing a required assessment. When your mentor feels that you have met the Standards for Beginning School Administrators, they will recommend you for a Standard Building Level Education Administrator License.

District Level Education Administrator:
Suppose you wish to acquire a Standard/Advance District Level Education Administrator License. In that case, you must also have met the experience obligations for Building Level Education Administrator. Additionally, you must hold a valid Building Level Education Administrator license and have at least 1 year of experience as a Building Level Education Administrator.

Background Check Requirements

You must possess current statewide and national criminal background checks, conducted by the Arkansas State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, on file. You must also possess a current Child Maltreatment Central Registry check, conducted by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, on file before education administrator licensure.

They can also direct you to the proper location to successfully complete the mandatory fingerprinting process. You must successfully complete the forms and return them to the Identification Bureau of the Arkansas State Police, #1 State Police Plaza Drive, Little Rock, AR 72209; (501) 618-8500. The Department of Education pays all fees associated with the criminal background check.

State Contacts

If you need additional info about Arkansas institutions that offer educational leadership programs, make contact with the Professional Education Unit Leaders and Licensure Officers at Arkansas colleges and universities.

For additional info about administrative licensure in Arkansas, call the Professional Licensure Department of the Arkansas Department of Education at (501) 682-4342.

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