You are here

Frequently Asked Questions About the CDE-Provided Online Training


The Colorado Department of Education contracted with the Public Consulting Group, Inc. to help build the modules for the online asynchronous training "Building a Strong Foundation: Developing Early Literacy Skills". 

The page contains information on frequently asked questions about the online asynchronous training "Building a Strong Foundation: Developing Early Literacy Skills" and the Pepper platform. Please email for additional support on the Pepper platform.

Who is PCG and what is Pepper?

Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) is a leading public sector solutions implementation and operations improvement firm that partners with health, education, and human services agencies to improve lives. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PCG has over 2,500 professionals in more than 60 offices worldwide. PCG offers education consulting services and technology solutions that help schools, school districts, and state education agencies/ministries of education to promote student success, improve programs and processes, and optimize financial resources. To learn more, visit the PCG main website.  

Pepper is the online platform that you will use to access the six modules in this professional learning series. It is recommended that you take the modules in order as the information from one module is often the foundation for the next:

  • Module 1: Introduction to the Science of Reading
  • Module 2: Oral Language and Phonology
  • Module 3: Phonics and Word Study
  • Module 4: Creating Fluent Readers
  • Module 5: Developing Vocabulary
  • Module 6: Increasing Reading Comprehension

Return to Top

How do I access the online modules?

Once in the Pepper platform, you will be directed to your dashboard where you can access to the six modules under the sections “Courses in Progress” and in “My Learning Plan.”

Image of Pepper dashboard showing Course in Progress tab.

Return to Top

How do I navigate the online modules and how are they organized?

Within the first module, you will be provided with instructions on module navigation and the structure of the modules. If you would like additional support on how to navigate the online modules, you can take a brief introductory course called PEP102. This course is not required but is recommended to help you learn how to navigate within the modules. You can find this course under “Recommended Courses” directly under “My Learning Plan” on your Pepper dashboard.

Return to Top

Will I have an opportunity to revisit the modules after I have completed them?

Yes, you are able to go back and access the content of all the modules at any time.

Return to Top

What are the requirements and time commitment?

The six modules are designed to be self-paced and include 45 hours of content. The functionality of the platform will require you to spend time on each page of the module before proceeding to the next activity.


You will also be required to complete a Post-Assessment at the end of each module. You will have two opportunities to take the module post-assessments with a goal of scoring 80% or higher. Although it is not mandatory to pass the module post-assessments, you are encouraged to review the content before moving on to the next module in order to prepare for the End of Course Assessment.

When you have completed all six modules, you will request access to the End of Course Assessment (CDEM7) by finding CDEM7 Final Assessment in your Courses in the blue ribbon at the top of the screen and clicking on Request Access.

Please note the following about the End of Course Assessment:

  • If you have successfully completed the six modules and met the minimum requirements, you will automatically be given access to take the Final Assessment on the dashboard in your learning plan. If you have not met the minimum requirements, you will not receive access. Please return to the modules to spend additional time with the content.
  • A passing score on the End of Course Assessment is 80% or higher.
  • You will have three attempts to pass the Final Assessment with at least an 80% passing score. If you do not receive a passing score after three attempts, please fill out this form to request your assessment be reset.  

Return to Top

Do I get a certificate at the end of the course?

Once you have successfully completed all six modules and passed the end of course assessment, you will automatically receive a certificate of completion from the Pepper platform. Your certificate of completion can be accessed in your Pepper dashboard under "Certificates" or in your account profile (click on dropdown menu arrow next to "Me" in the toolbar, and then click "View Profile") under "Certificates". The certificate of completion should be submitted through the Colorado Online Licensing System to have the READ Act designation attached to your CDE file. You will also need to use provide your district with documentation that demonstrates that you have successfully completed the course requirements. 

Return to Top

Is the course eligible for credit upgrade?

The course is eligible for credit upgrade through Baker University and Teachers College of San Joaquin. Follow this link to learn more about credit information

Return to Top

Is there a timeframe for completing the modules?

"Building a Strong Foundation: Developing Early Literacy Skills" will be available to all registered participants until they fully complete the course and pass the end of course assessment. It is important to note that the READ Act requires that all K-3 teachers in grades K-3 fulfill the READ Act teacher training requirement by August 1, 2022.

Return to Top

What are the district reporting requirements?

Each district that receives per-pupil or early literacy grant funding must annually ensure that all K-3 grade teachers have completed evidence-based training in teaching reading. Following an extension approved by the State Board of Education, all K-3 teachers complete the teacher training by August 1, 2022. Districts, BOCES, and charters that do not meet the requirements will be ineligible for READ Act funds for the 2022-23 school year. In subsequent years, districts will need to ensure that teachers new to teaching K-3rd grade also meet this requirement.

Districts can request the ability to pull reports regarding teacher completion and participation in the online course, "Building a Strong Foundation: Developing Early Literacy Skills" by contacting Claire Conde at

Return to Top

Who can I contact if I have questions or need help?

For program questions, please contact

For platform support questions, please contact