Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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A Division of the Arkansas Department of Education

Preparation for School Leader Licensure


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Administrators in Arkansas schools play a key role in the education of all students, being responsible for daily management operations and most importantly, instructional leadership for all.
An administrator license, issued by the state, allows one to serve as an administrator in an Arkansas school district or other state agency or organization requiring an administrator license. 
Three administrator licenses are available in Arkansas for grades P-12:
Building Level Administrator means principals, assistant principals, vice principals in P-12 schools.
Curriculum Program Administrator (CPA) means a school leader who is responsible for program development and administration, and/or employment evaluation decisions.  Each CPA License is limited to one of the following areas: Special Education, Gifted and Talented Education, Career and Technical Education, Adult Education (post-secondary), Content Area Specialist, Curriculum Specialist.  
District Level Administrator means superintendent, assistant /associate superintendent. Or deputy superintendent.

Approved Administrator Licensure Preparation Programs

Residency Programs

With new legislation supporting ESSA’s (2015) flexibility, the ADE will promulgate rules defining “residency program” and how these programs can expand the pipeline to administrator licensure.

Standards for School Administrators in Arkansas

The following standards are used by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council for informing and evaluating programs of study leading to school administrator licensure and are also valuable for administrator induction programs, administrator performance evaluation and ongoing leadership development: Standards for School Administrators in Arkansas, March 10, 2015 (PDF).

The Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) were adopted on July 14, 2016 by the State Board of Education as the standards to guide policies concerning the practice and improvement of educational leaders. Please visit the National Policy Board for Educational Administration website to read the entire PSEL standards document.


For more information, please contact:

Joan Luneau, Educator Preparation Coordinator
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 106-B
Little Rock, AR  72201
Phone: 501-683-6618
Fax: 501-682-1193

State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

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Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

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