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Mentoring Department FAQs:

Novice Teacher Support at South Central Service Cooperative

South Central Service Cooperative provides state-mandated support for all novices in our region based off of individual teacher/school need. The Recruitment and Retention Facilitator works collaboratively with building principals to provide a three-year comprehensive support system to guide novices on their path to becoming effective educators. SCSC provides personalized support to meet the needs of each novice teacher through face-to-face meetings, on-site support, and virtual collaboration.  We survey building principals and novice teachers for feedback to improve and personalize our support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which educators receive support through the SCSC Novice Teacher Mentoring Program?

Teachers in their formative years (1-3) receive support.

Who monitors the South Central Novice Teacher Mentoring Program?

The office of Educator Effectiveness at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Arkansas Department of Education.

Who supports novices?

The R&R facilitates team support for each novice, connects novices with other educators, guides learning on TESS, delivers state-mandated PD, and works in classrooms to strengthen classroom and time management. The novice support team includes:

  • SCSC Content Specialists - SCSC specialists work mainly with Year 2 teachers on instruction, assessments, and collecting data. Because we support based on individual needs, they may also work with Year 1 or Year 3 novice
  • Building Principals - Principals ensure novices know the appropriate people to talk to about specific topics and procedures in the building
  • Buddy Teachers - Buddies encourage novices and answer questions the NT may have
  • Other Novices - NTs are grouped by like content/grade with novices across districts for collaboration

Why do novices get a team?

The most successful novices have a strong support team. We have a variety of educators and administrators planning, co-teaching, and debriefing with NTs. Our NTs also observe and collaborate with teachers in their building and across districts. This type of support encourages the novices to try new things and makes them more comfortable to ask questions. We’re also finding that NTs are less anxious about classroom walkthroughs when they have observed and/or co-taught with other educators. One of the main indicators for NTs leaving the profession is lack of support.

Do all novices receive the same level of support?

No. Support is planned based on each teacher’s need. Teachers going through alternative certification tend to require more support than teachers who’ve finished a traditional educator prep program.

What’s the difference between support from a college/university and from SCSC?

Teachers in an alternative certification program are assigned a college/program advisor in order to receive certification to teach specific content. All novices go through a mentoring support program with the local education cooperative in order to receive their Career Educator license in the state of Arkansas.

Who supports beginning administrators?

Our Teacher Center Coordinator, Anna Warriner.

How many novice educators do we have in the SCSC area?

We currently have 136 novice teachers in our program.

Who do I contact for information on the SCSC Novice Support program?

Angie Gilbert, Recruitment and Retention Facilitator, or 870.836.1617


Links related to novice teacher support:

Commissioner's Memo LIC-17-030

DESE Mentoring Program FAQ

DESE Induction-Mentoring


If you are interested in teaching but do not have a traditional education degree, you will need to complete an Alternative Licensure program. You can get information on alternative pathways by contacting Angie Gilbert at 870-836-1617 or go to the following links.