Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will it take to complete an alternative principal licensing program?
The length of an Alternative Principal Licensing Program will vary depending on the district in which you are employed. Individuals completing an Alternative Principal Licensing Program will be issued an Alternative Principal Authorization that is valid for 3 years.
2. What is the salary for alternative principals?
If you are employed as an Alternative Principal or Assistant Principal or like position that requires you to hold a principal license in order to fulfill the duties of the role, you will be paid by the employing school district. Salaries vary among employers. Contact the schools or districts that you are interested in for this information.
3. What is the typical fee for these programs?
The fee charged to the Alternative Principal will vary depending on the district. Some districts choose to work with a third-party who will deliver curriculum and support the principal throughout the program. CDE does not set or keep program fee information. Information for program costs can be obtained from the district and/or their third-party that works with the district.
4. Who provides the support for my alternative principal preparation?
Districts and schools are the primary support for Alternative Principal preparation programs. Districts, charter and private schools may choose to work with a third-party principal preparation program, which may include Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, or a combination of these groups that have been approved by the state to offer alternative principal programs for that specific district and/or school.
5. Do these programs include placement?
No. An individual must already hold or have been offered a position for which a principal license is required in order to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of that position.
6. Do I need to submit transcripts from each college or university I have attended?
Yes. Colorado requires official transcripts from all accepted, regionally accredited colleges and/or universities that you have attended. These must be uploaded into your application at the time you apply. If you do not include all transcripts, your evaluation will be delayed. Do not mail transcripts to CDE.
7. Upon completion of an alternative principal preparation program, how do I receive an initial principal license?
Individuals that have successfully completed an approved Alternative Principal Preparation Program will need to submit an online application for an Initial Principal License. To qualify for the Initial Principal License the following requirements must be met:
- Documented evidence of three or more years of full-time successful experience as a licensed or certificated professional in a public or non-public elementary or secondary school in this state or another state
- Demonstrated professional competencies as evidenced by passing scores on the Colorado PLACE Principal exam #80 (scores will be accepted by CDE for 5 years until May 6, 2022) OR Praxis # 5411 with a passing score of 145.