Training educators who will make a difference
CDE and the Colorado Department of Higher Education partner to increase the quality of the state’s educator preparation programs. They approve and reauthorize all programs.
The Colorado Department of Higher Education also provides annual reports to the legislature about educator preparation programs. Find reports here.
Becoming an educator in Colorado
Interested in becoming a teacher — or leading a school or district?
Educator preparation through institutions of higher education
- The Alternative Teacher Licensing Program is for aspiring teachers who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher but have not completed an approved educator preparation program and student teaching. Candidates teach under the supervision of a professional support team while taking educational coursework.
- The Alternative Principal Preparation Program is for aspiring principals who have not completed an approved principal licensure program at a college or university. Candidates are employed as a principal or assistant principal while completing coursework.
Becoming an approved or reauthorized educator preparation program
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education approves the educator preparation programs; the Colorado State Board of Education approves program content. Find instructions and forms for the approval and reauthorization process.
Reforming educator preparation
The Colorado departments of education and higher education are examining ways to redesign the approval process for educator preparation programs. They also are collaborating with the University of Colorado to change how programs are reauthorized to focus more directly on outcomes. Here is a snapshot:
Expanding clinical practice
Colorado is examining ways to include more hands-on practice in teacher preparation — similar to how the medical profession trains doctors and nurses. We are one of eight states piloting a blue ribbon panel’s recommendations to improve student learning through clinical preparation and partnerships for educators in training.
Focusing on program effectiveness
The state will begin to collect and report data on the effectiveness of educator preparation program graduates. This data will allow preparation programs to track the effectiveness of their graduates. It will also enable districts to prioritize their recruitment efforts by focusing on candidates from programs that demonstrate the most success in the field.
Aligning educator endorsements with Colorado Academic Standards
Colorado is examining how educators add a content-area endorsement to their teaching license to ensure content alignment with new Colorado Academic Standards. This work is ongoing and will be incorporated into the redesign of the approval process for educator preparation programs.