You are here

Initial Adjunct Instructor Authorization

Preparing to Apply

This checklist is for ...

Individuals with expertise in a content area who are with or without formal educator training but who have been requested by a Colorado school district, BOCES or charter/facility school to provide students with academic enrichment* in this area of expertise as an adjunct instructor. 

Not in the right place? Review the other checklists.


  • A bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the content area (except special education and special service provider endorsements) OR
  • Five years' full-time experience in the area of specialization/expertise
  • A verification form completed by a Colorado school district, BOCES or charter/approved facility school

*Behavior analysts must hold valid BCBA certification; educational diagnosticians must hold a master's degree in psychometrics, special education with diagnostician certification, or equivalent degree. Adjunct authorizations cannot be issued in special education or special services provider endorsements.

Plan Ahead

Application Fee:


Authorization Expires:

3 years from date of issue

Gather the Necessary Information/Documentation

In the application you will need to include:

  • A valid form of government-issued identification. 
  • Documentation verifying your qualifications:
    • A copy of an official transcript reflecting a conferred bachelor's or higher degree in the content area OR
    • A copy of a current resume verifying at least five (5) years' full-time experience in the area of expertise
  • A completed verification form from your employing school district, BOCES or charter/facility school
  • All prior work experience
  • Documentation for any self-disclosures related to the following:
    • Prior criminal history
    • Disciplinary actions
    • Issues related to licensure or employment

Then ...

  • Log in to COOL to create your licensure account (if you have not already done so.)
  • Submit fingerprints (via the dark blue "CDE licensure" icon) to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    • Ensure you have a current background check on file. You have 30 days from the time CDE receives your background check to apply for a license.
    • If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse or did not submit within the 30-day window, you must submit a new set of fingerprints to CBI for licensure purposes.
    • The status of your background checks will be noticed in your COOL account and within your application(s).

Have everything ready to go?

When you have gathered all required documentation, have submitted fingerprints to CBI for CDE licensure purposes and have reviewed the licensure process, log in to COOL and select the "APPLY for LICENSE" button to the right on your dashboard to complete the ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR AUTHORIZATION application.

Final Reminders

At the risk of repeating ourselves, we again reiterate these important reminders:

  • You have 30 days from the time CDE receives your background checks to submit an application or you will need to submit a new set of fingerprints for licensure purposes at the time of application.
  • By submitting an application, you are verifying that you have submitted fingerprints for CDE licensure purposes, provided all requested documentation and answered all questions truthfully.
  • Within 45 days of receipt (usually far sooner!), CDE will evaluate the application.
    • Upon determination of qualification, CDE will notify the applicant and the corresponding certificate will be available for view or print in the individual's COOL account.
  • Should the application be found incomplete, CDE will notify the applicant via email and specify the information needed to complete it. This includes notification that we have yet to receive your background checks!
    • An applicant has 60 days from the date of this notification to cure the deficiency (i.e., provide the necessary information or submit background checks) or submit to the department a written request for reconsideration stating the basis for the request. Additional time is not granted to those who receive this notification due to background checks. Any additional deficiency noticed also will need to be cured within the original 60-day period.
      • Requests for reconsideration do not apply to background checks.
      • CDE will provide a written response within 30 days of any request for reconsideration.
    • An applicant who fails to cure the deficiency or request reconsideration within these 60 days will be deemed as having withdrawn the application, and such withdrawal shall not be subject to appeal or review.
  • State statute prohibits the refunding of any application evaluation fee.
  • Once you have submitted an application, check your COOL account regularly for notifications on its status and/or to print a copy of your certificate.




For questions, submit a Licensing Support Request form or call 720-739-3304 (7:30 am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday).