Academy provides alternative path to first-time teachers license

Henderson State University Teachers College will provide an alternative path for non-licensed employees working in Pre-K settings to earn a first-time teachers license in Early Childhood Pre-K.

The Early Childhood Pre-K Alternative Preparation Teacher Academy will be funded by a $356,337 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education for the 2022-23 school year.

The grant request was written and submitted by Dr. Glenda Hyer, assistant professor of special education, and Dr. Charlotte Wright, chair of advanced instructional studies and special education. Wright will serve as the grant director.

“Pre-K teachers create a foundation which all future learning is built upon for young learners,” Wright said. “This grant provides a much-needed pathway for great Pre-K employees across the state working in the field to obtain licensure at no cost.

“In addition, it allows Henderson’s Teachers College to continue serving the State of Arkansas and producing great teachers.”

The grant will cover all costs associated with coursework, licensure, and testing at no expense to the participants.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in Early Childhood Education, or at least 18 hours of Early Childhood Education coursework as part of a bachelor’s degree or higher. They must have been employed in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 in a setting serving three, four, and five-year-olds in Arkansas.

Applicants must also work in one of the following settings:

  • Pre-kindergarten in a public school (Arkansas Better Chance, Head Start, district program)

  • Education Service Cooperative

  • ABC pre-kindergarten in a non-public school setting (Arkansas Better Beginnings Level 3)

The Early Childhood Academy at Henderson will require three courses (nine hours) starting in July 2022. All classes will be online with both synchronous and asynchronous instruction.

Participants who meet the grant requirements will complete the following courses:

  • Summer Term – EDU 5993 Workshop: Early Childhood Orientation (beginning July 5)

  • Fall Term – EDU 5573 Early Childhood Curriculum and EDE 6703 Early Childhood Practicum

“We know that the work of Pre-K teachers is valuable, meaningful, and essential, and we are excited to be a part of their preparation,” Wright said.

For more information, contact Wright at