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Colorado Teacher Certification and Credential:

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In Colorado, Initial Teaching Licenses are issued according to the endorsement area an applicant is hoping to teach. Applicants need to meet specific license requirements depending on their desired program and the method they go about meeting those requirements. Some programs include additional graduate coursework, some different assessments and tests the candidate must complete. The Initial Teaching License is valid for three years.
The basic requirements for initial license are.

  • Academic degree from a regionally accredited state or college
  • Completion of an approved educator preparation course.

Candidates are also required to pass a criminal background by submitting their fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

  • Meet the specific license requirements, depending on the desired endorsement area.
    Applicants from another state or country must have completed an approved educator preparation program in that state or country, be eligible for licensure in that state or country, and meet

Colorado Minimum Teaching Requirements.

The specific license requirements for different endorsement areas are:

Initial Teaching License-Approved Programs:

Without any further graduate coursework, the endorsements areas available to an individual with an Initial Teaching License include: Elementary; Secondary; K-12; Early Childhood Education; Special Education Generalist; Early Childhood Special Education; Linguistically Diverse Educator; Linguistically Diverse Educator: Bilingual; and School Librarian.

The requirements are:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution.
  • The successful completion of a state approved teacher preparation program through a regionally accredited university or college

OR


the successful completion of a state approved alternative teacher preparation program. To complete the Alternative Teacher Preparation Program become eligible to apply for an Initial Teaching License, the candidate will:

  • Teach full-time under the supervision of a professional support team.
  • Complete educational coursework from a state-designated agency.
  • Show content competency at a Professional level for Elementary, EarlyChildhood Education, K-12 and Secondary applicants by:
  • For elementary education teachers, passing the Colorado State Board of Education-approved elementary content test.
  • For special education generalist and early childhood education teachers, showing content profiency by either:
  • Completing 24 semester hours of course credit, either through courses identified by endorsement worksheets or through a state-approved academic degree program that meets coursework requirements

OR

  • Passing the required Colorado State Board of Education assessment, either SPED generalist or ECE.
  • For secondary and K-12 applicants, showing content proficiency by either:
  • Completing 24 semester hours of course credit, either through courses identified by endorsement worksheets or through a state-approved academic degree program that meets coursework requirements

OR

  • Passing the required Colorado State Board of Education assessment in the particular endorsement area.

Initial Teaching License-Approved Programs with Graduate Courswork:

With the completion of additional graduate coursework, the endorsement areas available to an individual with an Initial Teaching License include: Special Education Specialist; Special Education Specialist: Visually Impaired; and Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing.
The requirements are:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Post-baccalaureate, graduate coursework or graduate degree from an approved program
  • Depending on the particular endorsement area, specific requirements as follows:

Early Childhood Special Education Specialist (Ages Birth to 8):

 

  • Completion of the PLACE Early Childhood Special Education Assessment.
  • Completion of an approved undergraduate program in early childhood education or early childhood special education.
  • Completion of an approved post-baccalaureate, early childhood education specialist program.

Special Education Specialist:

  • A minimum of a master’s degree in an approved preparation program for special education specialists from a regionally accredited institution.

Professional License:
After earning an Initial Teaching License, teachers can move to a Professional Teaching License. The Professional Teaching License is valid for five years and requires that a candidate complete an approved induction program given in the state of Colorado. The induction program includes:

  • Supervision by mentor teachers
  • Continued training and development on a professional level, including both ethics training and performance evaluations.

A candidate must hold an Initial License before they can qualify for a Professional License, a benefit outside of being a requirement as all of the endorsements earned by the applicant during their Initial License will transfer into the Professional License.

There is an alternative route to a Professional Teaching License, through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Any applicant holding a certificate from the NBPTS does not have to complete an induction program to earn a Professional License.

Professional Development in Colorado:

After an educator earns their Professional License, they must meet the guidelines of the Colorado Department of Education’s Professional Development program. These guidelines apply to all public school educators, both teachers and administrators as well as Professional License and Master’s License holders, and are designed to help Colorado educators to become more effective in their particular roles and to help them grow professionally while their further their careers.

Professional development is prescribed to teachers looking to renew their Professional License or earn their Master’s License. It is a constant and continuing process, and pushes teachers and administrators alike to be the most effective they can be. Specifics for what requires as Professional development can be found on the CDE’s website at http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/cdeprofsvc/purposeprinciplespd.htm.

Master’s Teaching License in Colorado:

By satisfying the CDE’s Professional DevelopmentIt guidelines, an educator can then qualify for a Master’s License. This license will allow them to move into a higher role, such as an administrator, and is valid for seven years. An applicant must have a Professional License to apply for a Master’s, and holders of a Master License must still continue with the Professional Development program.