Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will it take to complete an Alternative Principal Licensing Program?
The length of an Alternative Principal Licensing Program will vary depending on the district in which you are employed. Individuals completing an Alternative Principal Licensing Program will be issued an Alternative Principal Authorization that is valid for 3 years.
2. What is the salary for Alternative Principals?
If you are employed as an Alternative Principal or Vice Principal or like position, you will be paid by the employing school district or accredited non-public school. Salaries vary among employers. Contact the schools or districts that you are interested in for this information.
3. What is the typical fee for these Programs?
The fee charged to the Alternative Principal will vary depending on the district. Some districts choose to work with a third-party who will deliver curriculum and support the principal throughout the program. CDE does not set or keep program fee information. Information for program costs can be obtained from the district and/or their third-party that works with the district.
4. Who provides the support for my Alternative Principal preparation?
Districts and schools are the primary support for Alternative Principal preparation programs. Districts, charter and private schools may choose to work with a third-party principal preparation program, which may include Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, or a combination of these groups that have been approved by the state to offer alternative principal programs for that specific district and/or school.
5. Do these programs include placement?
No. An Alternative Principal candidate, at a minimum, must hold a valid principal authorization. Candidates are required to seek their own employment, similar to those who have completed traditional preparation for licensure.
CDE has a Jobs for Teachers website. You may also want to check with individual schools and districts for their job openings. You can view districts based on region by selecting links on the Colorado School District Regional Map
6. CDE used to issue Statements of Eligibility for the alternative principal authorization. Is that Statement of Eligibility a license?
No. The Statement of Eligibility is used to indicate to a school district or school that you meet the state’s requirements to enter the program. It is not a license.
7. How long is the Statement of Eligibility valid for? Can it be renewed?
If you hold a statement of Eligibility, it is valid for three years and can be renewed. Applicants must meet the current standards at the time of renewal. To renew, an applicant must submit an online Alternative License application and fee.
8. When should I apply to the school districts?
This depends on the school district. The school district will work with you to establish the work schedule and guidelines. The alternative principal must hold a principal authorization to act as a principal or in a principal-like position in a public school.
9. Do I need to submit transcripts from each college or university I have attended?
Yes. Colorado requires official transcripts from all accepted, regionally accredited colleges and/or universities that you have attended. These must be uploaded into your application at the time you apply. If you do not include all transcripts, your evaluation will be delayed. Do not mail transcripts to CDE.
10. Upon completion of an Alternative Principal Preparation Program, how do I receive an Initial Principal License?
Individuals that have successfully completed an approved Alternative Principal Preparation Program will need to submit an online application for an Initial Principal License. To qualify for the Initial Principal License the following requirements must be met:
- Documented evidence of three or more years of full-time successful experience as a licensed or certificated professional in a public or non-public elementary or secondary school in this state or another state
- Demonstrated professional competencies as evidenced by passing scores on the Colorado PLACE Principal exam #80 (last administration of all PLACE exams is May 6, 2017 -scores will be accepted by CDE for 5 years until May 6, 2022) OR Praxis # 5411 with a passing score of 145 (available in Colorado after September 1, 2016).