Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Arkansas
Public universities are all over Arkansas doctoral programs in education. In our school listings, you’ll see a flurry of familiar acronyms, including ASU, ATU, and U of A. Public often means reasonable tuition rates, so it’s worth evaluating those programs carefully. Still, make a little room for Harding—it’s the largest private university in the state. You can easily compare them by following the links to curricula and costs.
But listings are just the start. In this Ed.D. guide, you’ll also find a discussion of the state’s online doctorate in education programs, links to hidden funding opportunities (e.g. U of A Ed.D. scholarships), and a handy guide to licensure requirements. We’ve also put together a large career section, with great resources on administrative jobs and salaries (e.g. Administrator’s Compensation Survey). You can decide what Arkansas leadership organizations you wish to join or which conferences & training events you’d like to attend.
Online Doctor of Education Programs in Arkansas
Online Ed.D. Providers in Arkansas
- University of Arkansas (CAEP-accredited)
What to Know About Arkansas Online Ed.D. Programs
U of A rules the roost for Arkansas online doctorates in education. That’s not a bad thing—the university has plenty of aid to offer (see our Doctoral Funding section); it’s CAEP-accredited; and it’s actively involved in initiatives like the Arkansas Leadership Academy. We’re also pleased to report that per credit tuition for U of A online doctorates is extremely affordable for in-state and out-of-state students.
Do you already hold an Ed.S. and a valid teaching license? Check out the cohort-based, 42-credit Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, which contains a solid chunk of qualitative and quantitative research (e.g. Experimental Design in Education) and 18 credits of a dissertation. The coursework is 100% online, but Ed.D. students must attend an intensive weekend seminar in each semester.
Are you interested in leadership positions in education, business or industry settings? The 96-credit Online Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education is a mix of 100% online coursework and occasional meetings on campus. It’s also competitive—U of A wants to see solid GRE scores and previous work experience. In the Graduate Catalog, the Ed.D. portion of the curriculum is 63 credits plus any master’s-level courses approved by the committee. So we’re assuming external master’s degree credits can be transferred, but talk to the program coordinator.
Do you want to focus on adults and postsecondary education? The 96-credit Online/Blended Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning comes in two flavors: the Adult Education Leadership Cohort (42 hours of master’s degree coursework can be transferred) and the Community College Leadership Cohort (33 hours of master’s degree coursework can be transferred). 75% of the coursework is online and there are six face-to-face campus sessions per year.
Note: Not seeing what you need? Our overview of online doctoral programs in education has an all-in-one listing of online Ed.D. programs throughout the U.S.
Doctoral Education Funding in Arkansas
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
It’s not always easy to find internal doctoral funding options for Ed.D. programs in Arkansas (e.g. institutional scholarships, assistantships, tuition breaks, etc.). To save you time & frustration, we’ve highlighted as many opportunities as we could locate. You’ll probably need to supplement these sources by applying for external aid (e.g. federal & private loans, tuition reimbursement from work, etc.). The Office of Financial Aid and the Graduate School can help with those procedures.
And though it’s an external source, we want to flag up the ADHE’s Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP), which offers tuition reimbursement grants to Arkansas teachers and administrators. Folks can apply for reimbursement for up to six college credit hours completed for each academic year, not to exceed $3,000.
Arkansas State University
The College of Education & Behavioral Science (COEBS) has info on COEBS Scholarships. Be sure to check out the section on Educational Leadership, Curriculum, and Special Education, since there are at least two awards for doctoral students, including the Dr. Eugene W. Smith Research Fellowship.
Another useful site is ASU’s section on Graduate Students: Paying for College, where you’ll find info on tuition & fees, assistantships, grants, scholarships, and loans. According to the Ed.D. handbook, the Center for Excellence in Education offers Graduate Assistantships to a limited number of qualified doctoral students.
Arkansas Tech University
Award hunters should take a look at Scholarships at Arkansas Tech, which has separate sections for all types of awards, including ideas for external scholarships. In addition, the Graduate College has some useful advice on Funding Your Degree and info on Graduate Assistantships. Ask the Ed.D. Program coordinator for more info.
The College of Education has a section on COE Scholarships. The Meredith Susanne Floyd Scholarship is open to graduate candidates in the area of Educational Leadership in Building Administration or Curriculum and Instruction—ask the Ed.D. program coordinator if doctoral students qualify. In addition, Harding’s section for Graduate & Professional Students has more details on the cost of attendance and graduate assistantships.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
The Graduate School also has a section devoted to Financial Assistance, with info on Graduate Assistantships, general UALR Scholarships, Graduate Financial Aid procedures, and Payment Plans. The scholarship site contains a listing of all College of Education and Health Professions (CEHP) Scholarships. Have a look at the Charles D. and Angela C. Maynard and Angela Maynard Sewall Endowed Scholarship under General CEHP Scholarships.
University of Arkansas
The College of Education and Health Professions (COEHP) has instructions for applying to COEHP Scholarships and details on Graduate Assistantships for students in Higher Education programs. The Academic Scholarship Office has more info on university awards (listed in University of Arkansas AcademicWorks). In particular, see the:
- Donald R. Miller Memorial Endowment (Phi Delta Kappa) for doctoral students in education.
- Dr. Roy B. Allen Endowed Scholarship (ELCF) for Educational Leadership doctoral students.
- George S. Denny Memorial Scholarship for doctoral students in COEHP departments.
Considering the online Ed.D.? The University of Arkansas Global Campus offers W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarships to students in undergraduate and graduate online degree programs. Awards are based on financial need, academic merit, or significant community service. Ask if Ed.D. candidates can apply.
Note: If a university name is missing from the list, we didn’t find specific examples of Ed.D. funding beyond private & federal loans and external aid.
School Administration License Requirements in Arkansas
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) handles educator licensure for P-12 public school employees, including educators who need administrative licenses. There are three types of administrator licenses available in Arkansas:
- Building Level Administrator (i.e. principals, assistant principals, and vice principals in P-12 schools)
- District Level Administrator (i.e. superintendents, assistant /associate superintendents, or deputy superintendents)
- Curriculum Program Administrator (i.e. a school leader who is responsible for program development & administration and/or employment evaluation decisions)
The ADE does a good job of outlining administrative licensure requirements, but we’ve also provided a short summary of building level & district level qualifications below.
Wondering what degree you need for certification? ADE maintains a list of Approved Leadership Preparation Programs.
- Most prep programs for building level & curriculum program administrators are master’s degrees, certificates, and specialist programs.
- Prep programs for district level administrators often take the form of a specialist degree (i.e. Ed.S.) or certificate. However, there is one doctorate available—UA Little Rock’s ADE-approved Ed.D. in Educational Administration & Supervision.
Note: ADE’s section on administrative licenses contains details on Administrator Licensure Completion Plans (ALCPs) for folks who have been offered employment prior to attaining a license.
Building Level Administrator License
To earn the Building Level Administrator License, you must:
- Hold a master’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university in education, educational leadership, or a licensure content area. If the master’s degree isn’t in educational leadership, the ADE is going to want to see a transcript to ensure it meets licensure standards, including an internship. See the ADE’s list of approved leadership preparation programs.
- Hold a current Arkansas Standard Teaching License.
- Have at least 3 years of P-12 experience as a licensed classroom teacher, school counselor, or library media specialist.
- Receive a passing score on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment test.
Upon employment as a Building Level Administrator, you’ll be expected to participate in the Arkansas Beginning Administrator Induction/Mentoring Program, which takes 1-3 years.
District Level Administrator License
To earn the District Level Administrator License, you must:
- Hold a master’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university in education, educational leadership, or a licensure content area.
- Complete an ADE-approved graduate program, above and beyond a master’s degree, that reflects the standards for district level administrator licensure. This must include an internship. See the ADE’s list of approved leadership preparation programs.
- Hold a current Arkansas Standard Teaching License.
- Have at least 3 years of P-12 teaching experience.
- Hold a Standard Building Level Administrator (BLA) License or Standard Curriculum Program Administrator (CPA) License.
- Have at least 1 year of P-12 administrative experience as a licensed BLA or CPA.
- Receive a passing score on the School Superintendent Assessment test.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Arkansas
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps a watchful eye on employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state. Broadly speaking, there aren’t that many jobs for Arkansas K-12 and postsecondary education administrators. Like Mississippi, the state doesn’t have the infrastructure (or a ton of universities) to support high employment numbers.
But the PreK-12 administrators who are there are pretty committed. If you’re interested in joining them, ADE has put together an all-in-one resource for Arkansas Education Administrators, with links to the ADE Data Center and leadership support services.
The LEADS section often contains an Arkansas Leadership Data report that profiles Arkansas administrators; you can also use ADE’s Statewide Information System Reports to view the numbers of Certified Staff & Teachers by school. ADE’s site on My School Info contains School Report Cards.
Wondering about the long-term prospects of a career in higher education? The Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) has a section devoted to Data & Publications on Arkansas public colleges & universities. The Comprehensive Report will tell you almost everything you need to know about an Arkansas institution, including its financial status.
Educational Leadership Salaries
You can find annual wage data for all kinds of Arkansas education administrators in the BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Arkansas. As you might expect, wages for elementary & secondary school education administrators are often in the bottom bracket, along with Mississippi and Louisiana.
You’ll see this phenomenon play out in the annual Teacher Salary Schedules published by the ADE’s Division of Fiscal and Administrative Services. U of A’s Office for Education Policy also posts wage reports (e.g. Superintendent’s Salary Database) in its section on Arkansas Financial Databases.
The news for Arkansas postsecondary education administrators is a little bit brighter. Wages are still not great, but they’re usually better than Mississippi and similar to Tennessee. ADHE posts the results of its annual Administrator’s Compensation Survey—with the name, title, salary, and benefits of each public university or college administrator—on its website. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette also monitors Arkansas Public College and University Salaries.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Conventional job sites (e.g. HigherEdJobs, Indeed, LinkedIn) will almost always contain openings for Arkansas educational leaders. But there are also a couple of state-specific job boards that have focused listings.
- AAEA has teamed up with SchoolSpring to sponsor Arkansas Education Jobs, which contains postings for PreK-12 administrative positions in Arkansas public schools (e.g. principal, director, superintendent, etc.).
- ASBA posts openings for Superintendent Jobs in Arkansas. It also conducts Superintendent Searches.
Educational Leadership Organizations in Arkansas
Educational Leadership Associations
- Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators (AAEA): One to bookmark. AAEA is a professional association that encompasses twelve state education administrator organizations. All school administrators who are members of the AAEA are also members of at least one of the constituent groups (see below).
- Arkansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Arkansas ASCD): Arkansas ASCD is dedicated to the development and support of leadership and best practices in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and supervision. It’s a state affiliate of the ASCD.
- Arkansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (ArACTE): ArACTE provides leadership in the education of professional school personnel in Arkansas. It’s a state affiliate of AACTE. See also the Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators (ArATE).
- Arkansas Education Association (AEA): AEA is Arkansas’s teacher union and a state affiliate of the NEA. Members include teachers, education support professionals, students, and school advocates.
- Arkansas School Boards Association (ASBA): ASBA is a private, non-profit organization that provides leadership, training, advocacy, and specialized services to school boards throughout Arkansas. It’s a state affiliate of the NSBA.
AAEA Constituent Groups
- Arkansas Association of Curriculum & Instruction Administrators (AACIA): AACIA is an organization dedicated to professionals who are involved in any phase of school administration related to curriculum and instruction.
- Arkansas Association of Career and Technical Education Administrators (AACTEA): AACTEA membership consists of professionals engaged in the administration of career and technical education programs.
- Arkansas Association of Elementary School Principals (AAESP): AAESP membership is open to Arkansas principals and folks who are employed in professional work related to elementary school principalship.
- Arkansas Association of Federal Coordinators (AAFC): AAFC is an organization dedicated to persons engaged in any phase of the administration of federal programs. Check out the AAFC Mentoring Program.
- Arkansas Association of Gifted Education Administrators (AAGEA): AAGEA membership is open to professionals who are involved in gifted and talented education administration or supervision. Check out the AAGEA Mentoring Program.
- Arkansas Association of Middle Level Administrators (AAMLA): AAMLA represents Arkansas middle level principals and educators engaged in any phase of school administration—directly or indirectly—related to middle level education. It offers a small AAMLA scholarship for graduate study.
- Arkansas Association of School Administrators (AASA): AASA membership is open to Arkansas superintendents, assistant superintendents, and all central office school administrators who serve in public and/or private educational institutions, persons having instructional responsibilities in the field of educational administration, the State Department of Education, and the Department of Higher Education. Check out the AASA Mentoring Program.
- Arkansas Association of School Business Officials (AASBO): AASBO represents Arkansas school business officials who are concerned with issues such as school business management, fiscal accountability, and support for the effective delivery of instruction. It also offers voluntary certification. Check out the AASBO Mentoring Program.
- Arkansas Association of School Personnel Administrators (ArkASPA): ArkASPA serves the needs of educators engaged in any phase of school personnel administration.
- Arkansas Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP): AASSP membership is open to Arkansas school leaders involved in practicing—or teaching—secondary school administration and/or supervision.
- Arkansas Association of Special Education Administrators (AASEA): AASEA is a professional organization representing educators in special education administration or supervision, including those serving in public or private educational institutions. Check out the AASEA Scholarships for graduate study.
- Arkansas School Plant Management Association (ASPMA): ASPMA membership is open to all persons responsible for the management and day-to-day maintenance operations of educational facilities.
Note: Remember that state and national educator organizations often have funds and scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Check the website and ask about opportunities.
Educational Leadership Events in Arkansas
Educational Leadership Conferences
- AACIA Conference: This one-day conference for Arkansas’s curriculum & instruction administrators is often focused on a topic of particular interest (e.g. literacy). It occurs in late January/early February.
- AACTEA Conference: Career and technical education administrators will find plenty to talk about in this April conference.
- AAEA Annual Summer Conference: AAEA’s flagship event takes place over three days in July. AAEA also hosts a smaller, one-day Fall Conference in late October and a School Law Conference in June.
- AAFC Spring Conference: AAFC’s three-day conference for federal coordinators includes talks, mentoring workshops, exhibits, a legislative update, and more. It’s usually held in May. AAFC also hosts a three-day Fall Conference in September.
- AAGEA Conference: AAGEA’s signature conference is aimed at Arkansas educators and administrators who are involved in gifted education. It’s typically held in September.
- AASA Superintendent Symposium: This two-day summit for Arkansas’s district-level leaders is usually held in January.
- AASBO Conference: This popular two-day conference for Arkansas school business officials includes CASBO classes, leadership sessions, business lunches, and more. It takes place in February.
- AASEA Special Ed Conference: Over 200 Arkansas special education administrators, LEA supervisors, and school administrators attend this two-day conference on special education topics. It’s held in June.
- ArACTE Annual Conference: ArACTE’s two-day event in April is an opportunity for Arkansas education faculty to display current research in the field of education.
- Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Summit: This large four-day summit in June is a combined effort of ADE and Arkansas ASCD. It includes mini-conferences in multiple areas, including data & reporting, ESOL, school improvement, and more.
- ArkASPA Drive-In Conference: This one-day event in February is for Arkansas administrators who are interested in school personnel issues (e.g. EEOC).
- ASBA/AAEA Joint Leadership Conference: ASBA and AAEA’s combined one-day conference in May attracts district-level leaders and school board members from across Arkansas. ASBA also hosts a Summer Leadership Institute.
- Assistant Principal Workshop: This one-day event in January includes breakout sessions, a principal panel, and networking opportunities.
Educational Leadership Training
- AASA New Superintendent Training: AASA organizes two days of professional development activities for first-year Arkansas superintendents in July.
- Arkansas Center for Executive Leadership (ACEL): Run by Arkansas Tech University, ACEL is a program providing advanced leadership training for school administrators (e.g. principals and superintendents).
- ArkASPA New Personnel Administrator Workshop (HR Boot Camp): This focused bootcamp in September includes sessions in areas like worker’s compensation, records, licensure, and more.
- Arkansas Leadership Academy: Located on the U of A Fayetteville campus, the Academy is a collaborative partnership that consists of many members, including state professional organizations (e.g. ASBA, AEA, etc.). It runs a number of leadership Institutes and the Master Principal Program, which is designed to develop leadership skills of Arkansas principals through three phases of professional development.
- ASBA Seminars: These workshops aren’t just for school boards. Superintendents and school leaders may want to sign up for training in School Law, Administrative Directives, and more.
- CASBO Classes (AASBO Certification): CASBO classes provide training & credit hours for new business managers who are pursuing the Certified Arkansas School Business Official (CASBO) credential.
- Leader Excellence and Development System (LEADS): LEADS is a multi-faceted training & evaluation program for school administrators developed by the ADE. Check out the Summit Sessions, Leadership Quest, and other professional development opportunities.