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Designated Agencies: Educator Preparation Program Authorization, Reauthorization, and Added Endorsements

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 [10] and 22-60.5-205 [2]). 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

For EPPs who are already approved to offer the secondary math endorsement, one may submit a streamlined application from August 15 - February 1, 2019 if you would like to ensure a program offering for the 2019-20 school year. The applications will be reviewed this winter with the intent to be go before the SBE in the early spring. Due the expected volume of applications for this new endorsement, CDE is offering this special one-time only window for middle school math endorsements only. The Middle School Math endorsement matrix is available on the website.

For those EPPs who are not currently approved to offer secondary math and for those who are approved but do not plan on submitting during this one-time only timeline for middle school math, then the annual submission and regular timeline for applying to add endorsements (June 1-Nov 30 each year) will apply. Any questions related to completing the application to add Middle School Math endorsement can be sent to

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.


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 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.


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