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Initial Principal License
Preparing to Apply
Am I in the Right Place?
This checklist only is for first-time applicants seeking a principal (building-level leader) license only. Important Note: You must have three years' licensed experience in an elementary or secondary school in order to qualify.
Not in the right place? Review the other checklists.
- You will need electronic copies of all requested documentation.
- Allow ample time to request any third-party transcripts or other documentation.
Base Application Fee:
3 years from date of issue
- Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- Ensure you have a current background check on file. If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse, you must submit a new set of fingerprints to CBI for licensure purposes.
- Confirm you have a valid form of government-issued identification.
You will need to include the following documentation in your application:
- A copy of an official transcript for every college/university attended.
- Of these transcripts, at least one must be an official, degree-conferred transcript from a regionally accredited college or university that demonstrates a bachelor's or higher degree.
- Unofficial transcripts are never accepted. Please do not include them in your application.
- Transcripts from institutions outside the US must be in English or include an authentic English translation and have been evaluated by a NACES member organization for course-by-course equivalency.
- An Approved Program Verification Form completed by the registrar or certification officer at the college/university at which you completed your principal preparation program.
- Score reports for any Colorado State Board of Education-approved exams passed:
- PRAXIS 5412 (passing score: 146)
- PRAXIS 5411 (passing score: 145) -- only if taken between 09.01.2016 and 08.31.2019
- PLACE 80 (passing score: 220)
You will need to include all prior work experience:
- Include employer/business name, dates of employment, reason for leaving, work addresses, supervisor names and contact information.
- Important Note: A minimum of three years' licensed experience in an elementary or secondary school is required to qualify for this license.
You are required to self-disclose and include documentation for the following:
- Past criminal history
- Disciplinary actions
- Any issues related to licensure or employment
Once you have gathered all required documentation and have reviewed the rules governing the licensure process, you are ready to complete and submit a PRINCIPAL application.
- An application is deemed complete when CDE has received all required information, documentation and fees.
- By submitting an application, you are verifying that the application is complete, that all requested documentation has been provided and that all questions within have been answered truthfully.
- CDE will contact you within 45 days of receipt of your application should additional information be required to complete and evaluate your application. You then will have 60 days in order to submit the information, request consideration or withdraw your application, or the application will expire and you will need to reapply.
- State statute prohibits the refunding of any application evaluation fee.
- Once you have submitted an application, check your status online regularly for notifications, updates and/or to print a copy of your certificate.
For questions, email CDELicensing@cde.state.co.us or call 303-866-6628.