Frequently Asked Questions
Professional Development Requirements for Teachers and Administrators
The Arkansas Department of Education under the governing and approval body of the State Board of Education has established rules pursuant to professional development for teachers and administrators (i.e., Act 1185 of 2005, Act 2095 of 2005, Act 2318 of 2005, Act 2007 of 2005, Act 1183 of 2005, Section 28 of Act 2131 of 2005, Ark. Code Ann. 6-17-704, and Ark. Code Ann. 6-15-201).
The purpose of professional development is 1) to develop a high quality professional development system for all administrators, teachers, and certified instructional support personnel and 2)to improve knowledge and skills in order to facilitate individual, school-wide, and district-wide improvements for the purpose of increasing student achievement. Professional development is defined as "a coordinated set of planned learning activities that are based on research, are standard-based, and continuous."
1) How many hours must a teacher or administrator obtain yearly?
Beginning with the 2005-06 year and subsequent years, all certified employees of Arkansas public schools shall complete sixty (60) hours of approved professional development each year. For the 2006-07 school year, these hours will be reported from July 1 thru May 31st. For the 2007-08 and subsequent years, the hours will be reported from June 1 thru May 31st.
2) What specific requirements of the 60 hours must a teacher or administrator meet yearly?
Must obtain six (6) hours in the area of educational technology AND two (2) hours of professional development required by law or rule connected to the educators professional growth plan.
Must obtain six (6) hours in the area of educational technology AND two (2) hours of professional development required by law or rule, and receive yearly training in data disaggregation, instructional leadership, and fiscal management.
3) When will I be held accountable for obtaining my sixty (60) hours
The thirty six (36) approved hours earned annually will be required to renew a teacher or administrator's license in order to maintain a valid teaching license. In addition, teachers and administrators are evaluated yearly in the Little Rock School District on their attainment of the required hours.
4) How many hours of professional development can I receive from an approved college course and what courses count?
A three-hour undergraduate or graduate-level college course counts fifteen (15) hours of professional development if the course is related to the teacher's subject area in which the teacher currently teaches, is part of the requirement for obtaining additional certification in a subject matter or is approved course by ADE that may be eligible for professional development credit. No more than half of the required 36 hours may be met through college credit hours.