Elementary Education


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Executive Director, School of Education: Dr. Monica Riley
Phone: 479-788-7908
Advising Coordinator: Kim Tomlinson
Location: Math-Science Building, room 111
Phone: 479-788-7942
For information on the AAS in Early Childhood Education contact: The Advising Center
Phone: 479-788-7400
The Advising Office's Location: Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center rm 232
School Website: School of Education

Undergraduate Catalog

Degree Plans:

Special Programs:

Majors and Endorsements

The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education K-6, with an emphasis in both teaching skills and core knowledge, features faculty with extensive public school experience and significant academic credentials. This program provides the skills to serve as an elementary teacher in grades K-6. UAFS provides a guarantee to school districts that its graduates will be successful. This began with the class of 2005. The program is designed for students who have graduated in the top half of their high school class and who maintain a 2.75 minimum grade point average during their first two years of college. The School of Education is committed to excellence in teacher preparation through both classroom instruction and extensive field experiences with area school districts.

The Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education is a terminal degree program designed primarily for preschool workers and P-4 teaching assistants or para-professionals who are not interested in seeking entrance to a bachelor's degree program. Although some of the courses will not transfer to a bachelor's degree program, classes are specifically designed to address pre-school and early childhood education. Graduates will qualify for the CDA credential assessment.

The Pre-K Level, Age 3-4 Endorsement requires 13 credit hours of coursework.  By completing this coursework and the state required Praxis Assessment, licensed teachers can add this endorsement to their Arkansas teaching license and will be able to teach in a preschool classroom.  This endorsement is available to students who have been admitted to the teacher education program, as well as to licensed K-6 teachers who wish to add pre-k to their license.

The Special Education Resource Room Endorsement requires 12 credit hours of coursework. By completing this coursework and the state required Praxis Assessment, licensed teachers can add this endorsement to their Arkansas teaching license and will qualify to teach in a special education resource room.  This endorsement is not available to all licensure areas.   

The Certificate of Proficiency in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) requires 15 hours of coursework. By completing this coursework and the state required Praxis Assessment, licensed teachers can add an ESL endorsement to their Arkansas teaching license. They may also obtain the Certificate of Proficiency in TESL for the purpose of teaching English as a second language abroad.

What can you do with a degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education?

There are numerous career opportunities for individuals who graduate with a degree in Elementary Education. Public and private schools are in need of teachers qualified to teach at this level. Other opportunities consist of junior and community colleges as well as adult education centers. Further education may lead to specialization in counseling, media specialist, or administration.

Websites for Career Research

More places to research

  • Visit the Discover Arkansas website for information on Arkansas careers.
  • Visit the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Visit the National Council for the Social Studies.
  • Visit the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
  • Visit the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.


Why should you choose to major in Elementary/Early Childhood Education?

  • Take the lead in making learning enjoyable and challenging by integrating subject content through cooperative groups and hands-on activities to meet the needs of diverse populations in learner-centered classrooms.
  • Demonstrate and facilitate learning using technology skills to connect the virtual and academic worlds for the cyber generation.
  • Share a vision to make a difference in the lives of young children in preschool and grades K-6.
  • Class instruction at UAFS emphasizes meeting the needs of different learning styles and needs of children and is reinforced by numerous clinical experiences within Preschool and grades K-6 learning environments.

Application Procedures:

There is an application process, and requirements for admission may change over time. Students must meet admission requirements current at the time of their final application for admission to the teacher education program. Please see the School of Education web site for detailed listing of admission requirements.

Clinical Experiences

  • Public Schools
  • Private Schools
  • Professional Development Schools
  • Childcare Centers

School of Education Partnership Map

Internship Opportunities:

  • Public Schools in Arkansas and Oklahoma

Undergraduate Research Opportunities:

Academic Clubs, Organizations, and Honor Societies:

  • Future Educators Association Professional (FEAP) is a student leadership organization comprised of early childhood, elementary, middle level, and secondary education majors. The organization provides opportunities for members to explore the teaching profession in a variety of ways. FEA Professional, sponsored by Phi Delta Kappa International, helps prepare pre-service teacher candidates for transition into the education profession as the next generation of teacher leaders.
  • Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) is an International Honor Society in Education, an organization with ninety-five year tradition rich in honor and excellence. Membership is by invitation only.
  • Collegiate Middle Level Association(CMLA) is a professional organization for all Middle Level Teacher Education majors or those interested in the education of young adolescents. This association offers members a chance to interact with others interested in Middle Level Education on both a professional and social level, and hear guest speakers who facilitate discussion about current topics concerning Middle Level Education.

Graduates are employed with:

  • Fort Smith Public Schools
  • Van Buren Public Schools
  • Greenwood Public Schools
  • Sallisaw Public Schools
  • Prairie Grove Public Schools
  • Alma Public Schools
  • Booneville Public Schools

Accreditation and Recognition

Education programs are approved by the Arkansas Department of Education and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Elementary K6 program is a new program and is aligned with the Elementary Program CAEP, K6, Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS) and Science of Reading (SoR) standards required by the Arkansas Department of Education. The Middle Childhood Education Program is nationally recognized by the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE). Secondary Education Programs are delivered in their respective colleges in coordination with the School of Education. The Biology with Life/Earth Science Teacher Licensure Program is nationally recognized by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The English with Teacher Licensure Program is nationally recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The History with Social Studies Teacher Licensure Program is nationally recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The Mathematics with Teacher Licensure Program is nationally recognized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The Music with Teacher Licensure Program is accredited by National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The Spanish with Teacher Licensure Program is nationally recognized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). In addition, the School of Education offers an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education and a preschool education credential. Candidates pursuing the Elementary K6 degree can also receive an age 3-4 endorsement to add to their licensure area. All candidates may choose to pursue the Special Education Resource Room endorsement or the Teaching English as a Second Language certificate.


To Become a Teacher ranked UAFS School of Education #2 in Arkansas (2015) – To Become A Teacher understands that choosing the right program is never easy.  For this reason, they have streamlined the process.  With the aid of a complex algorithmic tool, they have reviewed, tested and documented the top education programs in the state of Arkansas for 2015. Notably, their criteria reflects prospective teachers’ top priorities.  For this reason, their rankings focus on total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, and over all return on investment. 


CHEA Award (2010) – The Council for Higher Education Accreditation has awarded the 2010 CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes to the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, one of four institutions in the nation and the only Arkansas university to receive one of the awards in 2010. The CHEA Award was established in 2005 to recognize institutions that have been exceptional in developing and applying evidence of student learning outcomes to improve higher education quality and accountability. A committee selected from higher education institutions, accrediting organizations and the public judged the winners on the basis of four award criteria: 1) articulation and evidence of outcomes, 2) success with regard to outcomes, 3) information to the public about outcomes; and 4) use of outcomes for educational improvement.


Finalist for the AASCU Christa McAuliffe for Excellence in Teacher Education Award (2009) – Recognizes innovative teacher education programs that document the success of their graduates and their impact on the students they teach. University of Arkansas - Fort Smith School of Education was a finalist for this honor.