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 CDE-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 candidates: Successfully pass the state-approved elementary content exam
- For special education candidates: Successfully pass the state-approved elementary content exam
- For early childhood candidates: Successfully pass the state-approved elementary content exam OR the state-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 state-approved assessment for the endorsement area.
3. Obtain employment that matches the endorsement area in #2 above
4. Select or be selected by a state-approved designated agency for alternative preparation (Be sure to change the dropdown under "type" to "alternative" to see the full list of Designated Agencies.)
- 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.
Statement of Eligibility for Alternative Teacher Expires:
3 years from date of issue
Alternative Teacher License Expires:
1, 2, or 3 years from date of issue, depending on qualifications
- Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- If you already hold a valid, CDE-issued educational credential and have consistently maintained an active credential (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 1 year, you must submit a new set of fingerprints.
- 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 led to your degree earned. If required for the endorsement you are seeking, your official transcripts must show a minimum of a Bachelor's degree conferred. ( 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 established credential evaluation service as selected by CDE for course equivalence. CDE currently only accepts evaluations completed by a NACES member.
- Obtain your CDE-approved Statement of Eligibility, click here to view the alternative endorsement areas and worksheets (for alternative teachers only).
- 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, or
- Proof you have completed and passed the content exam for your endorsement area.
- Within the application you must include employment history for at least the past 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 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.)
- Forward the form to the school district or BOCES that employs you.
- Your employer must return the completed and signed form and a copy of your employment contract to you so you can include these items with 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 application titled "Teacher" to get started.
For questions, email CDELicensing@cde.state.co.us or call 303-866-6628.