A designated agency is a school district, an accredited non-public school, a board of cooperative services (BOCES), an accepted institution of higher education, a non-profit organization, which is responsible for the organization, management and operation of an approved alternative teacher program (C.R.S. 22-60.5-102  and 22-60.5-205 ). Any of these entities may partner or collaborate for the operation of an approved alternative teacher program. A district or BOCES may choose to contract with an Institute of Higher Education that already provides an approved teacher preparation program. An individual’s successful completion of an alternative teacher preparation program leads to a recommendation for initial licensure by the Designated Agency providing the program.
The State Board of Education has authority to approve Designated Agencies for the purposes of operating one-year and two-year alternative teacher programs to assist districts and BOCES that face a shortage of teachers and often struggle to find qualified persons to teach their students (C.R.S. 22-60.5-205 and the Educator Licensing Act Rules). Such programs shall:
decrease the use of emergency authorizations to hire persons who do not have teacher licenses and, in some cases, have not received any form of teacher preparation thus jeopardizing a school district's goal of providing a quality education for each student; and
identify persons with experience in areas other than education to help alleviate the teacher shortage faced by many school districts, so long as these persons receive adequate supervision and education in teaching methods and practices.
C.R.S. 22-60.5 was intended to address teacher shortages in public schools. Designated Agencies must serve an identified need(s) of a Colorado school district(s) or BOCES. Designated Agencies can create alternative preparation programs in numerous teacher endorsements areas. State Statute does not allow alternative licensure pathways for Specialized Service Professionals.
To address principal shortages in public schools, districts may hire individuals as principals who can serve on a Principal Authorization. Districts create individualized learning plans for these alternative principal candidates.
English Learner Standards
All educator pre-service programs including Colorado Institutes of Higher Education Educator Preparation entities and Colorado Alternative Educator Preparation entities must ensure the English Learner standards referenced in section 5.12-5.15 of 1 CCR 301-37 are fully taught, addressed and practiced in their programs. These standards equate to approximately 6 semester hours or the equivalent of 90 clock-hours. Educator preparation programs seeking more detailed information on this process should visit the English Learner Educator Preparation Pathways page . These standards are a supplement, not a supplant, of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Endorsement. These standards can and should be aligned to the CLD endorsement standards as noted in 1 CCR 301-101 if the educator preparation entity is seeking to graduate students with dual endorsements in a content area and in CLD.
As preparation programs demonstrate to CDE that they meet these requirements in their programs, those programs will be listed on this page.
One Time Only Window for Adding Middle School Math Endorsement
The submission window for EPP's to have a Middle School Math Endorsement approved has closed. If you missed the window or have questions, please contact CDE.
Pathway to Becoming a Designated Agency
The flowchart below describes the basic steps to becoming a Designated Agency in Colorado. Please note the updated timelines for program reauthorization reviews as of April 2018.
- Reauthorization Calendar
- Designated Agency Authorization Guide
- Designated Agency Authorization Proposal Template
- Secondar/K-12 Standards Matrix
- Elementary Education (Grades K-6) Standards Matrix
- Early Childhood Education (Ages Birth-8) Standards Matrix
- Special Education Generalist Matrix
Requirements for Adding an Endorsement to an Existing Designated Agency
- Please note the updated timelines for program reauthorization reviews as of April 2018.
- Complete the Educator Preparation Standards Matrices (see above) for each endorsement area you intend to add to your program.
- Complete and submit the Designated Agency Added Endorsement Application.
- *** Please note: You will be asked to upload one excel matrix per endorsement area in the online submission. You will also be required to combine all supporting documentation for each endorsement area into one document and attach using the supporting documentation upload. Supporting documentation includes syllabi, course offering schedule, etc. Please ensure you have all supporting documentation combined and ready to submit prior to starting the online application.