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More People Taking Arkansas Teacher Prep Courses

Professor teaching in seminar roomThis article originally appeared in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and the excerpt below is reprinted with permission.

A recent three-year drop in the number of people enrolled in Arkansas teacher preparation programs appears to have bottomed out, and the number is on the upswing, preliminary data from the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education show.

The number of enrollees in the state’s teacher preparation programs for 2018-19 was 4,443.

That is almost 400 more enrollees than the 4,062 enrolled in the 2017-18 year and 854 more than the 3,589 teacher candidates enrolled in 2016-17, according to the state data. The most recent total, however, falls short of the 5,258 program enrollees in 2013-14.

The teacher preparation enrollment data will be included in the state’s next annual Educator Preparation Program Report that is released by the state agency in early summer.

Ivy Pfeffer, the state division’s deputy commissioner, attributed the higher counts to “really careful focus and attention” in recent years on recruiting individuals to the teaching profession and retaining current teachers.

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