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Renewal of a Colorado Professional License
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much renewal credit do I need to renew my Professional license?
You will need to submit 6 semester hours of coursework or 90 clock hours of professional development. These can be combined: 1 semester hour = 15 clock hours. So, for example, 30 clock hours of professional development plus 4 semester hours of college coursework would equal 6 semester hours or 90 clock hours.
2. My license is expired. My school district did not notify me that my license was due to expire until it had already expired. What do I do now?
It is the license-holder's responsibility to maintain the license(s) needed for their profession and to be aware of their expiration date(s). Too, the Colorado Online Licensing (COOL) system automatically sends renewal notifications to the email address in the license-holder's account six months, three months and 30 days prior to the license's expiration. Important note: Upon issuance, the effective date will correspond with the date CDE receives a complete renewal application; credentials will not be backdated.
3. How can I earn credit for educational travel?
Educational travel credit is granted when the travel experience enhances the educator's knowledge of history, culture and diversity. Evidence of travel experience must include verification of travel dates and examples/reports of how the travel experience will be applied in the classroom. The travel experience must also relate to one or more of the Teacher/SSP or Principal Quality Standards. Credit is not granted for travel time or meal hours. Be sure to include contact hours spent in the educational travel activity (not to include time spent in transit, etc.).
4. Can you explain how on-going professional development works?
An educator involved in license renewal shall complete professional development activities totaling six (6) semester hours or 90 contact hours and shall be completed with the seven (7)-year period of the license to be renewed (or, if the credential has expired, within the seven years preceding the date of application for renewal). Such activities must be related to increasing the license holder's competence in his or her existing or potential endorsement area, or to increase the licensee's skills and competence in delivery of instruction in his or her existing or potential endorsement area.
5. I attended a conference. How should I write up a professional development activity?
Provide a brief statement explaining what the professional development was, how it enhanced your skills, and how it relates to one or more of the Teacher/SSP or Principal Quality Standards. Evidence of the professional development activity should include a certificate of completion or a letter from the organization that offered the professional activity. All certificates should have the name of the organization, address, name(s) of the presenter(s), date of the activity (mm/dd/yy), and contact hours printed on them. Certificates with altered dates and/or contact hours will not be accepted. All letters should be signed and dated by the presenter(s) on company letterhead.
6. If my license expired years ago, can I use credit I earned but did not turn in?
Credit for the renewal of a professional license must be completed within the seven years immediately preceding the date of submission of the application to renew.
7. Can I use professional development credit that I earned outside of Colorado or outside of the United States?
Acceptable in-service activities must be provided by a Colorado school district, Colorado non-public school or Colorado BOCES. Professional development credit can be earned outside of Colorado and the United States. College/university credit can be earned outside of Colorado and the United States as long as it is earned from an accepted, regionally accredited college or university.
8. I have several certificates for classes that I have attended. Is that all I have to include with my renewal application?
You will be required to complete a "Renewal Summary of Professional Activities" grid within the online application, where you may also upload copies of your certificates and any other supporting documentation. Please include certificates only if the dates of attendance and the contact hours of attendance are noted on the original certificates. Do not alter these certificates, as we do not accept altered materials. Contact the workshop/class provider and request an updated certificate or an addendum to the original certificate if your original certificate does not include the date and/or contact hours.
9. The only paperwork I received from my college was a grade report. Will you accept that as proof of credit?
No, you must request an official transcript from the registrar's office at your college or university.
10. Can I use computer courses for renewal credit?
Yes, if you can show that they enhanced your professional growth and can relate them to one or more of the Teacher/SSP or Principal Quality Standards. You will need to provide a certificate or transcript that shows that you completed the course, how many clock hours or semester hours of credit you earned, and the date you completed the course.
11. Can I send in renewal credit to CDE as I earn it?
No, evidence of renewal credit needs to be uploaded into your renewal application. You may apply to renew six (6) months prior to expiration.
12. I previously held a certificate with both my teaching and special services endorsements on it. I now have two licenses. Do I have to fill out two applications and pay two renewal fees?
Yes, you will submit an application with a renewal fee for each license. When renewing more that one type of license at the same time, you may submit the same professional development activities.
13. Can I earn renewal credit for volunteer work?
No, volunteer work does not satisfy professional development requirements for licensure renewal.
14. Can I use all of my student teacher mentorship hours for renewal credit?
You may use a total of 45 clock hours of mentorship for renewal credit.
15. I recently received a student teacher form verifying renewal credit. Do I send that form to CDE and do you keep it on file for me?
No, you need to maintain your renewal credit information and submit it in your complete renewal application at the appropriate time.
16. I'm retired and want to get licensed again. What do I need to do?
You may renew your professional license with six (6) semester hours of college/university credit or 90 clock hours of professional development (i.e., workshops, online trainings, etc.). Or, you may apply for a five (5)-year substitute authorization if you wish to substitute teach. More information on substitute authorizations can be found here.
For questions, submit a Licensing Support Request form or call 720-739-3304 (7:30 am - 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday).