Certified Teaching Assistant (CTA)

Certified Teaching Assistant (CTA) Application Now Available 

The application for the Certified Teaching Assistant (CTA) credential is now available on the Arkansas Educator Licensure System website.  

The CTA credential is industry-recognized and signifies the holder has passed the ETS Parapro Assessment and completed at least nine (9) hours of college coursework required for a degree leading to educator licensure. At least six (6) hours of the college coursework completed for the CTA must be related to educator preparation (course prefix of EDU or an equivalent). 

Benefits of the CTA credential 

  • Individuals who have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and hold a CTA credential have met the requirements for a highly qualified paraprofessional, received pedagogical training, and completed at minimum 9 hours of coursework necessary for a degree leading to a license.  

  • Individuals holding a CTA credential will have preferential treatment when applying to be a teacher apprentice in Arkansas. 

Earning the CTA credential in high school 

High school students have the option of earning the CTA credential by completing the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pre-Educator concurrent credit program of study. The following options help to eliminate barriers to earning concurrent credit while in high school: 

  • Cost of the concurrent credit coursework can be covered by the Arkansas Concurrent Challenge Scholarship.  

  • CTE courses in the program of study (Introduction to Education, Education Technology, Child Growth and Development) do not have to use the admission requirements established by ADHE for general education courses (minimum ACT composite score of 19). Admission requirements for CTE concurrent courses must outlined in an MOU signed by the college awarding the college credit and the district. An example MOU template with flexible admission requirements for CTE courses can be found here  

Applying for the CTA credential 

The application for the CTA credential can be found on the Arkansas Educator Licensure System website. Individuals who have not completed a background check will select the heading “Apply for Certified Teaching Assistant (CTA).Individuals who have completed a background check will select the heading “AELS Educator Profile/Online Application.  

Before applying, you must: 

  • Request an official transcript showing the required transcribed college credit be sent to the Arkansas Department of Education licensure office.  

  • Pass the ETS Parapro Assessment. When registering for the assessment, be sure to have your scores sent to the Arkansas Department of Education. 


For those interested in all online initial licensure programs, click here.



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