LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In an effort to recruit, train and retain K-12 teachers in Arkansas, an organization has gifted UA Little Rock with a grant that will allow them to work in a collaborative program to achieve that mission. 

Over the next 3 years, UA Little Rock and Southern Arkansas will receive in total, $1.6 million dollars as a phase 2 grant from Forward Arkansas as part of their Education Program Design Collaborative. 

With this grant, UA Little Rock is focused on creating an experience for future teachers that will have them ready for the classroom on day one in their field by giving them hands-on experience. 

“It’s all about impacting students, that’s why we’re here. “If teachers don’t have the opportunity to practice, then it takes a while like it did me when I was first teaching,” Assistant professor, Leslie Sharp said.

Sharp says with the grant, teaching candidates will get that practice with paid residencies, giving them a chance to work in local school districts. 

The idea is to give teacher candidates an opportunity to have a year-long paid internship with a teacher partner. 

Sarah Beth Estes, who will serve as one of the investigators of the grant say it’ll better education for the entire education system.

“We are developing a model that will ensure that students are better educated in the state,” Estes said.

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