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The Application & Evaluation Process

Colorado State Board of Education rule (1 CCR 301-37 2.00) specifies general licensing requirements and outlines the responsibilities of applicants and CDE's commitments to them:

Criminal History/Background Checks

Prior to submitting an application, applicants must submit to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation a complete set of fingerprints (dark blue CDE Licensure icon) for licensure purposes.*

  • Complete this step when you are ready to submit an application. The My Profile section of your COOL account clearly will indicate whether you have fulfilled this requirement.
  • An individual must submit a new set of fingerprints for licensure purposes if:
    • an application is submitted after the expiration of a credential and the individual holds no other valid CDE-issued credential;
    • the individual physically relocates from Colorado for more than one year; or
    • subsequent to the issuance of a credential, the individual is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than a misdemeanor traffic offense or infraction)

Important Note! If an initial application is not submitted within 30 days of CDE's receipt of an individual's background checks, the individual will need to submit another set of fingerprints for licensure purposes. We recommend completing this step just prior to submitting an application.

*Be sure to establish a COOL account prior to submitting fingerprints so that we have a place to record your background checks!

Submitting a Complete Application

Your application will be evaluated solely on the information you provide in the application. To ensure you submit a complete application, be sure to include all requested and required Ainformation and documentation, which generally includes but is not limited to the following:*

  • Copies of official transcripts showing conferral of the degree required for the license and endorsement(s) sought (see the corresponding checklist for the license/authorization sought for specifics)
  • An approved program verification form completed by the preparing college/university or alternative educator preparation program
  • A copy of the official test score report(s) reflecting the passing score(s) on the Colorado State Board of Education-approved exam(s) (when required for the license/endorsement)
    • Other exams will not be recognized; please do not include them in your application or select an exam that you did not take
  • All work experience and any out-of-state educator credentials held (valid and expired)
  • A valid government-issued photo ID as specified in the application, as well as the applicant's assigned social security number and current mailing address
  • A complete and accurate response -- including every form, supporting documention and required disclosure -- to every applicable section of the application
  • The appropriate evaluation fee
    • Per state statute, this fee is non-refundable and is for the evaluation of the application only. If the application is determined to qualify, a credential will be issued for no additional fee.
  • Any application that has been started but not submitted will be closed and deemed withdrawn 14 days from the date of initiation and is not subject to appeal or review.

*Be sure to review the corresponding checklist for the license/authorization sought for specifics, as additional or other information may be required.

What to Expect During the Evaluation Process

An application is deemed "complete" when CDE has received a fingerprint-based criminal history check and all requisite information, documentation and fees.

  • Each application will be evaluated in the order in which it is received.
  • Within 45 days of receipt (usually far sooner!), CDE will evaluate the application.
    • Upon determination of qualification, CDE will notify the applicant and the corresponding certificate will be available for view or print in the individual's COOL account.
  • If for some reason CDE is not able to access all documentation in the application, the application will be deemed "incomplete" and CDE will notify the applicant via email and specify the information needed to complete it. This includes notification that we have yet to receive your background checks! You will also find this notification in your COOL account.
    • An applicant has 60 days from the date of this notification to cure the deficiency (i.e., provide the necessary information or submit background checks) or submit to the department a written request for reconsideration stating the basis for the request. Additional time is not granted to those who receive this notification due to background checks. Any additional deficiency noticed also will need to be cured within the original 60-day period.
      • Requests for reconsideration do not apply to background checks.
      • CDE will provide a written response within 30 days of any request for reconsideration.
    • An applicant who fails to cure the deficiency or request reconsideration within these 60 days will be deemed as having withdrawn the application, and such withdrawal shall not be subject to appeal or review.


Go to Application Checklists





For questions, submit a Licensing Support Request form or call 720-739-3304 (7:30 am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday).