Small boys

Teacher Institute

Our Philosophy

A fully functional education system is one that equips its students to become contributing members of society. To this end, it is vital that students learn the academic skills necessary to be functional members of society, as well as develop the character and values required to contribute to their respective communities in a positive way. In an increasingly complex world fraught with challenges that are global in nature, it is vital that education systems offer more than just certification and high test scores. A high-quality education system clarifies vision and equips the populace with tools to achieve that vision, prepares students for life’s complexities, promotes critical thinking and innovation, and is holistic in its approach and emphases. Such a dynamic education system cannot be achieved by simply altering curriculum. The values, character, capacity, and complexity of the leaders and instructors in each respective education system determines whether such goals can be achieved.

Teacher preparation programs have historically emphasized the theoretical framework for effective pedagogical practice but had a very limited emphasis on character development of students and instructors. This has the potential to create an imbalanced education system that prioritizes academic outcomes at the exclusion of the development of values, character, and capacity. For that reason, teacher training programs must approach the certification process from a more holistic perspective.

The mission of the Prism Education Center Teacher Institute is to develop high-quality teachers who improve not only student’s academic achievement, but who also have the capacity to impart values, develop culture, and build a strong classroom community.

The Prism Education Center Teacher Institute is a values-based teacher training program that has as its primary goals:

  1. Equip teachers with the evidence-based instructional strategies necessary to ensure students from different abilities, socioeconomic statuses, and household compositions can reach their fullest academic potential
  2. Engage teachers in a reflective process that enables them to internalize key non-cognitive skills and values and expand their personal capacity to lead students in the development of these non-cognitive traits through their daily routines, discipline processes, and instructional strategies
  3. Engender a higher vision for education systems and the goals that can be reached in classrooms
Prism will reach these goals through a complex two-year training program that not only provides explicit instruction toward these goals but also immerses teaching fellows in a values-based school culture. Teachers will engage in a reflective process designed to enhance their personal capacity to embody these values. Teachers will engage in reflective processes alongside other fellows at retreats periodically scheduled as well as under the supervision of a mentor teacher along the way.

Through this program, and upon approval from the Arkansas Department of Education, teachers can receive licensure in Elementary (K-6) in all content areas, Mathematics 7-12, English Language Arts 7-12, PE & Health K-12, and Social Studies 7-12. Upon completion of the two-year program with satisfactory evaluations, the fellow will be awarded a teaching license in accordance with ADE policies and procedures.

Key Dates

Priority Application Period Opens for 1st Year Fellows March 1 - May 1
Notification of Acceptance 1st Year Fellows By June 1
Deadline to Receive Passing Exam Scores from Applicants June 30
Last day to start the program for 1st Year Fellows July 1
2nd Year Fellows Start Date July 15

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher apply for the program (or its equivalent for individuals who graduate from postsecondary institutions outside of the United States).
  • Applicants must complete relevant background checks and have no disqualifying offenses (outlined in Teacher Institute program manual)
  • Applicants must pass state-mandated testings in time for the school to receive their scores by June 30 prior to initiation of the program
  • In addition to passing the Praxis, any applicant for a Math position at Prism Education Center must also pass the Prism Education Center Assessment for Mathematics Educators and any teachers seeking a K-6 Elementary Licenses must pass the Foundations of Reading Assessment by the end of the two years in the program.
  • Because applicants will teach while completing the necessary two-year training requirements, applicants must be willing to relocate to Northwest Arkansas make a two-year commitment to both the program and to teaching at Prism Education Center.

Program Financial Information

  • Fees for participation in the 2018-19 Teacher Institute are $1,600 per year or $3,200 for the two-year term.
  • Fees are due by the 5th day of the program. Fellows will not be permitted to participate in the program if fees are not received in full by the 5th day of the program.
  • Fees do not include the cost of testing, fees for required laptop, textbooks, or any other service. These fees and supplies are the sole responsibility of the teaching fellow.
  • Early termination of the program may result in limited refunds as described in the refund schedule.
  • Prism Education Center may provide full or partial scholarships to the program. The scholarship application period is aligned to the program application period
  • Fellows are paid a full-time salary in accordance with their contract during their teaching assignment

Test Requirements

Test requirements differ by age and content taught. Find a comprehensive list of testing requirements at this link. For more information about required testing view the tables below or visit:

Application Process

Interested person should submit an application to the Teacher Institute Selection Committee by email at The application packet should include:

  • A resume
  • A cover letter that includes long-term plans
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation
  • Contact information for at least 3 professional references

Applicants who move forward in the application process will receive an invitation to interview with the selection committee.

For more information, please contact Lindsey Nichols at