The Arkansas Department of Education mandates that all teachers have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for initial licensure. Prospective teachers must also complete an educator preparation program at an approved Arkansas college or university and meet the student teaching requirements. The Arkansas system of educator licensure has a two-tier system: Initial, or Provisional Certification (1-3 years), and a Standard Certification (5 years). Initial certification is granted upon completion of a teacher preparation program. The Initial Teaching License can be typically converted to the standard, five-year educator license. Provisional license is issued to experienced teachers with at least 3 years of prior teaching experience (as can be the case with teachers seeking certification via a Reciprocity or MAT routes). Provisional license can be converted to a standard license when the necessary requirements are met. For candidates without an earned degree in teacher education, Arkansas also offers a number of alternative routes to licensure. A useful comparison of available alternative routes and their requirements can be found here. For additional information about certification, please, consult the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.