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Alternative Teacher Candidates: What You Need to Know

The alternative teacher pathway is intended to allow districts to hire candidates with specific content knowledge and who hold an undergraduate degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education and need teacher training based on the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards. Alternative teacher preparation programs can vary in length from 1 year to 3 years. While serving as a teacher, alternative candidates put what they learn into practice immediately.

Using This Page

This page lists the steps you'll take to obtain an alternative educator license in Colorado. It also includes links to resources that help you complete each step.

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1. Complete Degree 

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Complete a four-year bachelor's degree at a regionally accredited college or university

2. Background Check

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Pass CBI and FBI background checks

  • As part of the background check, you must submit your fingerprints to CBI

3. Choose Endorsement Area and Demonstrate Competence 

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 Determine the content area you want to teach and if you are qualified.

4. Obtain Position and Agreement

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  • A classroom teaching position
  • An agreement with a state-approved designated agency that offers an approved alternative teacher preparation program
  • A statement of assurance (SOA) signed by employer, designated agency and the alternative teacher candidate


5. Apply

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  • Applications submitted prior to a candidate's employment and program enrollment will be evaluated to ensure content requirements for the selected endorsement area are met. 
    • Determination of requirements met will result in an online "alternative license pending employment/program" status, which you, the candidate, employing districts and alternative programs may easily confirm. (CDE is no longer issuing the "statement of eligibility (SOE)" memo.)
    • You will have one calendar year to complete step #4 (above) and obtain an alternative teacher license.
    • CDE will continue to honor SOEs issued prior to Dec. 1, 2017, provided that the endorsement area identified is still current at the time of submission of a employment contract and statement of assurance. Candidates holding valid SOEs may log in to their accounts to submit these documents via the "upload missing documents" link.




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Professional Services & Educator Licensure
6000 E Evans Ave
Building #2, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80222
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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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