The T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood ® Scholarship Program

The T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood ® Scholarship Program is a licensed program of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association. It is a national, evidence-based strategy that creates access to higher education for teachers, directors and family child-care providers working with young children.  T.E.A.C.H. provides comprehensive scholarships to enable early educators to take coursework leading to credentials and degrees by making it possible for them to afford both the time and expense of going to school.  At the same time, T.E.A.C.H. will help leverage the financial resources necessary to provide capacity in higher education to helping individuals attain their educational and career goals.  T.E.A.C.H. is a change agent for the early care and education (ECE) workforce. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® Arkansas Scholarship Program was developed to upgrade the level of education of teachers working with young children while making the educational process affordable, increasing wages and reducing turnover.  With funding from the Arkansas Department of Human Services, the program is now in Arkansas and has had remarkable success. Teachers and their sponsoring centers overwhelmingly support the program in their evaluations. Teachers typically complete 9-15 credit hours per year and remain in their sponsoring centers, thus reducing turnover.

Any teaching staff or director who would like to attend a college to enroll in coursework in Early Childhood Education and who is employed at least 20 hours/week in a licensed child care center or family home is eligible to apply for a scholarship.  Scholarships are awarded based on need and commitment to the Early Childhood Education field, as shown through information on the application and availability of funds. 

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® pays for 90% of tuition and books, provides a $110 travel stipend each semester, reimburses the center for $12.50 per hour of release time given, provides $450 in bonuses for teachers who complete their contract and provides counseling and administrative support for the program.

Centers must agree to sponsor a scholarship teacher by contributing a portion of the cost of tuition and books (5%), giving teachers paid release time each week (3-6 hours) and agreeing to award the teacher a $300 bonus upon completion of the one-year scholarship contract.  T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® Arkansas will reimburse centers for $12.50 per hour of release time. Family Child Care programs contribute 10% to tuition and books.

To help with their cost of the degree, teachers may also look for additional sources of scholarships and grants, including Pell Grants.  If they are eligible, they may use those funds towards their portion of books/tuition and living expenses.  Teachers may also choose to obtain their CDA credential while working on their Associate degree.  In this case, the T.E.A.C.H. grant will cover 90% of the cost of the CDA assessment. All CDA coursework must be taken for college credit at an approved Arkansas college.

As scholarship recipients, teachers must attend classes and successfully complete 9-15 semester hours toward a certificate, credential or degree in early childhood education during the contract year.  Teachers are expected to contribute 5% of the cost of tuition and 5% of the cost of books each semester.  At the end of the scholarship year, teachers must promise to continue to teach at their sponsoring center for another year in return for a bonus.

Any licensed child care center, state pre-k program or licensed family child care home may sponsor a scholarship recipient. Profit, not-for-profit, faith-based public and Head Start programs have all sponsored scholarship teachers. Sponsors make a commitment to teacher education and compensation by meeting the terms of the scholarship contract.

Are you a director or administrator thinking about sending employees back to school with a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship? Watch this video!

Interested in how T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® Arkansas is going? Check out our 2021 report.

Forms for Current Recipients and Sponsors

Form C (Release Time) Reimbursement

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® Arkansas is currently accepting applications. Applications are processed in the order received. We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. If you plan to enroll in a degree program, please make sure you are also applying for other financial aid like PELL. Sponsors are encouraged to participate in the Better Beginnings quality rating system, but it is not required. Send an email to teach@arkansasearlychildhood.org if you have any questions.

T.E.A.C.H. College Partners

University of Arkansas Fort Smith

University of Arkansas Fort Smith

www.uafs.edu

Shelli Henehan
5210 Grand Avenue/ Echols 110
Fort Smith, Ar 72913
479-788-7965
shelli.henehan@uafs.edu
Directory Information

University of Arkansas Community College Batesville

University of Arkansas Community College Batesville

www.uaccb.edu

Mindy Shaw
2121 White Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501
870-612-2114
mindy.shaw@uaccb.edu
Directory Information

Arkansas State University Jonesboro

Arkansas State University Jonesboro

www.astate.edu        

Dr. Beverly Boals Gilbert
P.O. Box 2350
State University, AR 72467
870-680-8358
bboals@astate.edu

Arkansas State University Newport

Arkansas State University Newport

www.asun.edu

Stacy Mooneyhan
7648 Victory Blvd.
Newport, AR 72112
870-512-7873
stacy_mooneyhan@asn.edu

 

Harding University

Harding University

www.harding.edu

Dr. Cheri Smith
915 East Market, Box 12254
Searcy, AR 72149
501-278-0840
csmith19@harding.edu

Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech University

www.atu.edu

Dr. Timothy Leggett
215 West O Street
Russellville, AR 72801
479-968-0425
tleggett@atu.edu

University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton

University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton

www.uaccm.edu

Marilyn Thomas
1537 University Boulevard
Morrilton, AR 72110
501-977-2070
thomas@uaccm.edu
Directory Information

University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech College

University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech College

www.uaptc.edu

Traci Johnston
B Building room 103, 3000 West Scenic Dr.
North Little Rock, AR 72118
501-812-2817
tjohnston@uaptc.edu
Directory Information

University of Arkansas Fayetteville

University of Arkansas Fayetteville

www.bumperscollege.uark.edu

Dr. Laura K. Herold
1 University of Arkansas, HOEC 118
Fayetteville, AR 72701
479-575-5162
lkherold@uark.edu
Directory Information

Northwest Arkansas Community College

Northwest Arkansas Community College

www.nwacc.edu

Natasha Kile
One College Drive
Bentonville, AR 72712
479-619-3125
nkile@nwacc.edu
Directory Information

Arkansas State University Beebe

Arkansas State University Beebe

www.asub.edu

Ms. Teddy Davis
P.O. Box 1000 ASU Beebe
Beebe, AR 72012
501-882-8873
tldavis@asub.edu
Directory Information

University of Arkansas Rich Mountain

University of Arkansas Rich Mountain

www.uarichmountain.edu

Charlotte Wiles
1100 College Drive
Mena, AR 71953
479-394-7622. Ext. 1460
cwiles@uarichmountain.edu
Directory Information

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

www.pccua.edu

Joyce Hargrove
1210 Ricebelt Avenue
DeWitt, AR 72042
870-946-3500 ext. 1840 or ext. 162
jhargrove@pccua.edu

OR

Yvette Robertson Barnes
P.O. Box 785
1000 Campus Drive
Helena, AR  72342
870-338-6474 ext. 1307
yrobertson@pccua.edu
Directory Information

University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology Crossett

University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology Crossett

www.uamont.edu

Alisa White
1326 Highway 52 West
Crossett, AR 71635
870-460-2026
whitea@uamont.edu

University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology – McGehee

www.uamont.edu

Faith Hurd
P.O. Box 747
McGehee, AR, 71654
870-460-2123
hurdfi@uamont.edu
Directory Information

Paul Lazenby

Paul Lazenby

Executive Director & T.E.A.C.H. State Manager

Paul earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas and studied Early Childhood Education at Arkansas State University. From 2003-2009, he served in various positions at the DHS Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, including Arkansas Better Chance administrator and Assistant Division Director. During this time, the Division oversaw the expansion of the Arkansas Better Chance Pre-K program and the creation of the Better Beginnings Accreditation system. In 2009, he joined Arkansas State University Childhood Services as a project manager and trainer for directors and administrators of early childhood programs. Over the next seven years, Paul worked with programs applying for Better Beginnings to help them strengthen their administrative systems. Since 2016, he has served as Executive Director and Operations Manager with Western Arkansas Child Development, Inc. which operates five early education facilities in western and Northwest Arkansas. Paul has also served as Treasurer of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association.

“Having the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program in Arkansas is the most important milestone in our education history since the creation of the state-funded pre-K program. Educating and training Arkansas’ early childhood workforce is paramount to bring about the sustainable positive change we want to see in children’s lives. And it will bear out what we already know—quality early childhood programs bridge the achievement gap and generate value-added benefits to our state’s economy. I am both humbled and proud to be a part of this momentous next step in early education for Arkansas.”

You can contact Paul at paul@arkansasearlychildhood.org

Kawai Mullen

Kawai Mullen

T.E.A.C.H Scholarship Counselor Specialist

Kawai earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Rasmussen College in Florida and her Master’s in Educational Leadership for Curriculum and Instruction through York College. In the most recent year and half she shifted paths into the banking industry learning to better develop her technical skills as well as customer relationship skills. Prior to working in banking industry Kawai followed her passion in becoming a teacher. Teaching for 17 years with 15 of those years educating in the Early Childhood field in levels Pre-K through third grades. She also provided insightful mentorship to newly graduated teachers and was lead girls’ volleyball high school coach and program coordinator. Kawai’s other aspirations include being an entrepreneur at heart. Being a small business owner has given her the opportunity to serve her community and pay if forward through several community charitable events such as, local schools fundraising, the YMCA, Boy and Girls Club, and Waterman Hospital event for breast cancer awareness.

Kawai is extremely proud of the opportunity with the Arkansas Early Childhood T.E.A.C.H scholarships program, especially because she was a valued recipient of the T.E.A.C.H scholarship program back in 2009, which provided the funding that helped her successfully complete her CDA in Florida through the Lake Technical College. As an experienced educator she understands firsthand how valuable early learning education is and how imperative it is for our teachers to have the educational tools and training in order to provide the best quality of education and environment for our children.

“If I can provide support, knowledge, and guidance for any future educator that is my hearts objective. Be kind and pay it forward.”

You can contact Kawai at kawai@arkansasearlychildhood.org

Misty Butler

Misty Butler

Office Manager and Accountant for both AECA and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Arkansas

Misty earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration/Business Management from Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas.   Misty worked for the Johnson County, Kansas District Court Trustee’s Office for 12 years before moving to Arkansas in 2011. Misty worked for Western Arkansas Child Development, Inc for the past 7 years as the Human Resource Officer and Accountant.  She also served as the Treasurer for Cub Scout Pack 33.  She recently started employment with the Arkansas Department of Health.   She is married to John and has 5 children,  Tiffany, Michaela, Bree, Hannah and JC and three grandchildren, Caden, Audrey and Jericho.

You can contact Misty at misty@arkansasearlychildhood.org

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