Preparing to Apply
Am I in the Right Place?
This checklist is for applicants who are seeking an alternative teaching license. If you have already completed a Colorado State Board of Education-approved teacher preparation program or hold an initial or professional teaching license, please review the other checklists and make the appropriate selection.
Please review the "Alternative Teacher Candidates: What you Need to Know" page to ensure complete understanding of the alternative licensure pathway and processes.
View the Alternative Teacher Checklist.
Requirements for the Alternative Teacher License
Background Check - Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation
Meet professional competence in a state-approved endorsement area for alternative licensure
- For elementary and special education candidates: Successfully pass the Colorado State Board of Education-approved elementary content exam
- For early childhood candidates: Successfully pass the approved elementary content exam OR the Colorado State Board of Education-approved early childhood content exam
- For K-12 endorsements and secondary endorsements:
- Hold a degree in the endorsement area from a regionally-accredited institution; OR
- Have 24 semester hours in the endorsement area, as outlined within the content evaluation worksheets; OR
- Earn a passing score on a Colorado State Board of Education-approved assessment for the endorsement area.
3. Obtain employment that matches the endorsement area in #2 above.
4. Select or be selected by an approved Colorado designated agency for alternative preparation (Be sure to select "alternative" in the drop-down menu under "type" to see the full list of approved Colorado designated agencies.)
5. Please note: If you have not yet secured a teaching position and/or enrolled in a program, you still may submit an application to determine whether you meet the requirements to participate in an approved program as an alternative teacher.
- Once confirmed, your application will reflect an "alternative license pending employment/program" status -- which can be verified by you, district HR representative and program officials.
- You then will have one calendar year to secure a teaching position, enroll in a program and upload an employment contract and completed statement of assurance (see below) in order to obtain an alternative license.
- You will need electronic copies of all documentation.
( Get Help with Document Scanning )
- Allow ample time to request any third-party transcripts or other documentation.
$90Alternative Teacher License Expires:
1, 2 or 3 years from date of issue, depending on qualifications, endorsement area and length of program
- Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- If you already hold a valid, CDE-issued educational credential and consistently have maintained an active authorization or license since you submitted your fingerprints, you can skip this step. We reserve the right to evaluate your application for adherence to the fingerprint requirements and will notify you by email should any follow-up be needed.
- If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse and have held no active credential for a period exceeding one (1) year, you must submit a new set of fingerprints to CBI for licensure purposes.
- Confirm you have a valid form of government-issued identification.
( View List of Valid IDs )
- List the names and addresses of the colleges/universities you've attended.
- State statute requires that you submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. This would include any transfer credits that reflected on your degree-conferred transcript. If required for the endorsement you are seeking, your official transcripts must show a minimum of a conferred bachelor's degree. ( View Transcript Requirements )
- Transcripts from institutions outside the US must be in English (or include an authentic English translation) and have been evaluated by an NACES member organization for course-by-course equivalence. CDE accepts equivalency reports by NACES member oranizations only.
- Complete the worksheet for the desired endorsement area (alternative endorsement areas and worksheets).
- Demonstrate professional and content competency by obtaining one of the following:
- Official college transcripts showing you've completed 24 credit hours of relevant college-level coursework in your endorsement area (in light of that identified on the worksheet), or
- A copy of an official score report for the Colorado State Board of Education-approved content exam for your desired endorsement area.
- Within the application you must include employment history for at least the past five (5) years.
- Include employer/business name, dates of employment, reason for leaving, work addresses, supervisor names and contact information.
- Include teaching experience from more than five (5) years ago, if you have it.
- Complete the applicant/candidate section of the Statement of Assurance of Employment form. (Always use the latest version of the form; select the link below.)
- Forward the form to the school district or BOCES that employs you, and request that it be returned to you along with a copy of your signed employment contract.
- Provide the form to your approved program and request that the completed and signed version be returned to you, so you can include this form and the employment contract/hiring documentation in your online application.
- If applicable, obtain supporting documentation on the following:
- Past criminal history
- Disciplinary actions
- Any issues related to licensure or employment
Register and Apply
Once you have gathered all of the information listed above, you are ready to begin the online application process! Just register for the eLicensing system or, if you are already registered, log in. Then select the "Teacher" application to get started.
For questions, email CDELicensing@cde.state.co.us or call 303-866-6628.