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Alternative Pathway - Alternative Teacher License

Preparing to Apply

Am I in the Right Place?

This checklist is for applicants who are seeking an alternative teaching license in order to participate in an alternative teacher preparation program.

If you have already completed an approved in-state or out-of-state/country teacher preparation program or hold Colorado initial or professional teaching license, please review the other checklists and make the appropriate selection.

Before you begin, you must review "Alternative Teacher Candidates: What you Need to Know" to ensure you understand the alternative licensure pathway and process.

Even if you have not yet secured a teaching position and/or enrolled in a program, you still may submit an application to determine whether you meet the requirements to participate in a Colorado-approved program as an alternative teacher. (Within the application, you will be able to skip over the employment/program portion of the application.)

  • Once confirmed, your application will reflect an "alternative license pending employment/program" status -- which can be verified by you, district HR representatives and alternative program officials.
  • You then will have one calendar year to secure a teaching position, enroll in a program and upload a completed statement of assurance (see below) in order to obtain an alternative license.

Plan Ahead

  • You will need electronic copies of all documentation.
    ( Get Help with Document Scanning )
  • Allow ample time to request any third-party transcripts or other documentation.

Application Fee:


Alternative Teacher License Expires:

1, 2 or 3 years from date of issue, depending on qualifications, endorsement area and length of program



  • Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    • If you already hold a valid CDE-issued educational credential and continuously have maintained an active authorization or license since we received your background checks, you can skip this step. We reserve the right to evaluate your application for adherence to the fingerprint requirements and will notify you by email should any follow-up be needed.
    • If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse and have held no active credential for a period exceeding one (1) year, you must submit a new set of fingerprints to CBI for licensure purposes.

View Fingerprinting Instructions )


  • List the names and addresses of the colleges/universities you've attended.
  • A copy of an official transcript from a regionally accredited college/university that shows that a bachelor's degree or higher has been conferred to you. ( View Transcript Requirements )
  • Transcripts from institutions outside the US must be in English (or include an authentic English translation) and have been evaluated by an NACES member organization for course-by-course equivalence. CDE recognizes equivalency reports by NACES member organizations only.
  • Complete the worksheet for the desired endorsement area (alternative endorsement areas and worksheets).
  • Demonstrate professional and content competency by way of the following:
    • Official college transcripts showing a conferred degree in the endorsement area or completion of 24 semester hours of relevant college-level coursework in your endorsement area (as identified on the worksheet) or
    • A copy of an official score report for the Colorado State Board of Education-approved content exam for your desired endorsement area.


  • Within the application you must include employment history for at least the past five (5) years.
    • Include employer/business name, dates of employment, reason for leaving, work addresses, supervisor names and contact information.
  • Complete the applicant/candidate section of the Statement of Assurance of Employment form. (Always use the latest version of the form available via the link below.)
    • Forward the form to the school district or BOCES that employs you, and request that it be returned to you.
    • Provide the form to your approved program and request that the completed and signed version be returned to you.
    • Read, initial and then sign and date the bottom portion of this form.
    • You will include this form in your online application. You may also upload it within one calendar year after we've determined your qualification to participate in an alternative program (see the "before you begin" section above).

(Download the Statement of Assurance Form - Teacher )


  • If applicable, obtain supporting documentation on the following:
    • Past criminal history
    • Disciplinary actions
    • Any issues related to licensure or employment

    View Self-Disclosure Requirements )

Register and Apply

Once you have gathered all of the information listed above, begin the application process by registering an account in the eLicensing system or, if you are already registered, log in. Select the TEACHER application.

Important: Incomplete applications automatically expire in 90 days. This includes incomplete fingerprint requirements. Refunds or exceptions cannot be considered. Complete all applications in full, including fingerprints, within 90 days (3 months). Once your application is submitted, check your status online regularly to ensure you have met all requirements within those 90 days. 

Register or Log In


For questions, email or call 303-866-6628.