Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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A Division of the Arkansas Department of Education

Alternative Education

Alternative Education is part of the Division of Learning Services. Through leadership that strongly encourages the development of meaningful research-based intervention programs for Arkansas students, Alternative Education aims to renew the hope of at-risk students for a brighter future.

New Scholarship Opportunity

The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) encourages students to explore all opportunities available to them after graduation.  Cost is always a factor when deciding if college is the next step for students. The Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE) has made applying for scholarships and grants easier with YOUniversal,  Arkansas’ financial aid system.  
The Arkansas Future Grant (ArFuture) and the Workforce Challenge scholarships are new opportunities to consider. They are for students with a high school diploma or a High School Equivalency (GED previously), have no age limit, and include a minimal 30-day deadline requirement for career certificate programs.  For more details, visit

Teacher Qualifications

Arkansas Qualified Teachers (AQT) - The State Board of Education has approved an additional option for Alternative Education teachers to demonstrate content knowledge, as required by the AQT rules. This option can be seen at:

The Alternative Education Unit's Mission

The Alternative Education team works with schools to ensure that students who require a non-traditional educational environment have opportunities to learn at high levels. It is the mission of the Alternative Education team to provide leadership, support, and service to schools, districts, and communities so every student graduates prepared for college, career, and community engagement.

Approved Programs

Annual Report

State law requires that the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education submit a report annually to the state legislature. The data gathered from the annual report and program descriptions assist in developing information provided in that report. The Arkansas Public School Computer Network and the ADE Data Center also provide data. 

Standards and Quality Indicators

The Alternative Education Unit is dedicated to improving the quality of education for Arkansas' hardest to reach students. The Quality Program Indicators Self-Assessment Tool can be used to inform improvement efforts for Alternative Education programs. This tool is located under Related Files on this webpage.

Alternative Education Leadership Day

The DESE Alternative Education Unit hosted the Alternative Education Leadership Day at the Capitol on March 9, 2020, from 10:00 a.m, to noon at the Second Floor Rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol. This event is a celebration and recognition of students and educators in Alternative Education.
To view videos from the May 19, 2016 Alternative Education Leadership Day, please visit AEL Day 2016.

For more information, please contact:

Jared Hogue, Director of Alternative Education
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Room 302-B
Little Rock, AR  72201
Phone: 501-324-9660
Fax: 479-996-4174
C.W. Gardenhire, Ed.D., Program Advisor
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
England Center, Room 106
P.O. Box 1000
Beebe, AR 72012
Phone: 501-882-4498
Fax: 479-996-4174
Deborah Bales, Program Advisor

Arkansas Department of Education

Division of Learning Services

P.O. Box 250
104 School Street
Melbourne, AR 72556

Phone: 501-580-2775
Fax: 479-996-4174

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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