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Teacher of Record and Grow Your Own Educator Programs

The Teacher of Record License, Teacher of Record Program and Grow Your Own Educator Program was created by HB 18-1309 in response to the teacher shortage across the state.  When a district, BOCES or charter is in need of a licensed teacher in a designated shortage area, and no qualified applicants have applied for the position, a teacher candidate with a Teacher of Record License, and with support from their associated approved Colorado educator preparation program, may be hired to fill the position.  All Teacher of Record and Grow Your Own Programs are available only through Colorado approved educator preparation programs (out of state programs are not eligible) and must be approved by the department in order for the individual to be eligible to apply for a Teacher of Record License.  Scroll to the bottom of this page to see an outline of plan approval process, including links to download required documents.

Please note, these programs are available only through approved Colorado educator preparation programs. Before hiring educators under this program, please make sure they are actively enrolled in a Colorado approved educator preparation program. 

An informational webinar was recorded on May 7, 2019.  Click here to view the recorded webinar.

Designated shortage areas include:

  • Rural (PK-12)
  • World Languages (PK-12)
  • Mathematics (7-12)
  • Science (7-12)
  • English as a Second Language (PK-12)

To read more about other legislation addressing the teacher shortage, please visit the Educator Talent Policy Updates page. This page provides an overview of the available license and programs, the process for obtaining CDE-approval of one of these programs, as well as timely updates regarding available applications and reporting deadlines.

Teacher of Record License

  • This license type is available only to individuals in an undergraduate traditional teacher preparation program at an approved Colorado institution of higher education
  • The license allows these individuals to serve as the teacher of record in his/her own classroom while completing up to the remaining 36 hours of his/her Colorado teacher preparation program
  • This license can only be issued to individuals enrolled in a CDE-approved Teacher of Record or Grow Your Own Educator Program. 
  • This license can be issued with any initial endorsement area EXCEPT Special Education.

Teacher of Record Program

  • The hiring district/BOCES/charter school and the approved Colorado institution of higher education collaboratively create an individualized program for the individual to complete his/her teacher preparation program while employed as the teacher of record.
  • Both the district/BOCES/charter school and Colorado institution of higher education are responsible for providing support services and training. 
  • All partners are responsible for reporting required information to CDE annually.

Grow Your Own Educator Grant Program

  • This program is comprised of all the same requirements as the Teacher of Record Program, plus:
    • grant funding is made available to pay for the candidate's tuition while they complete the remaining 36 (or less) hours of the approved Colorado teacher preparation program, and
    • candidates commit to remaining employed with the hiring district/BOCES/charter school for three years after completion of the program.
      • Unless waived by the hiring district/BOCES/charter school, the candidate must repay the tuition benefit if the above agreement is not completed.

Process Overview

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Hiring district/BOCES/charter school and Colorado institution of higher education (IHE) communicate to identify candidate(s) that may be a good fit for the open position and design a plan for supporting the candidate.



The candidate passes the PRAXIS exam.




The hiring district/BOCES/charter school submits the program plan to CDE via e-mailClick here to download the plan template.




CDE reviews the program plan.




All parties are notified of CDE's decision and/or feedback on the plan.




Upon approval of the program plan, the candidate submits the application for the Teacher of Record License.




Once the license is issued to the candidate, the candidate can begin teaching.



The hiring district/BOCES/charter school and the Colorado IHE collaboratively complete and submit the annual reporting template in partnership with the candidate by June 15 of each year the candidate is participating in the program.



Upon completion of the preparation program, and graduation from the Colorado IHE, the candidate may then apply for the initial teaching license.