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Initial Administrator, Director of Special Education or Director of Gifted Education License

Preparing to Apply

Am I in the Right Place?

This checklist only is for first-time applicants for a Colorado administrator (district-level administrator; not principal) license.

Not in the right place? Review the other checklists.

Plan Ahead

  • You will need electronic copies of all documentation.
  • Allow ample time to request any third-party transcripts or other documentation.

Application Fee:

$90.00 in-state

License Expires:

3 years from date of issue



  • Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    • If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse, you must submit a new set of fingerprints to CBI.
  • Confirm you have a valid form of government-issued identification. 



You will need to include the following documentation in your application:

  • A copy of an official transcript for every college/university attended.[Unofficial transcripts are never accepted. Please do not included them in your application.]
    • Of these transcripts, at least one reflect a conferred bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
    • Transcripts from institutions outside the US must be in English (or include an authentic English translation) and be accompanied by a NACES member organization course-by-course equivalency report.
  • An Approved Program Verification Form completed by the registrar or certification officer at the college/university at which you completed your teacher preparation program.
  • Score reports for any Colorado State Board of Education-approved exams passed:
    • PRAXIS 6991 (passing score: 162)
    • PLACE 81 (passing score: 220)


You will need to include all prior work experience:

  • Include employer/business name, dates of employment, reason for leaving, work addresses, supervisor names and contact information.


You are required to self-disclose and include documentation for the following:

  • Past criminal history
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Any issues related to licensure or employment



Once you have gathered all required documentation and have reviewed the rules governing the licensure process, you are ready to complete and submit an ADMINISTRATOR application.

Important Reminders:

  • An application is deemed complete when CDE has received all required information, documentation and fees.
  • By submitting an application, you are verifying that the application is complete, that all requested documentation has been provided and that all questions within have been answered truthfully.
  • CDE will contact you within 45 days of receipt of your application should additional information be required to complete and evaluate your application. You then will have 60 days in order to submit the information, request consideration or withdraw your application, or the application will expire and you will need to reapply.
  • If we do not receive your background checks within 60 days of your application, your application will expire and you will need to reapply.
  • State statute prohibits the refunding of any application evaluation fee.
  • Once you have submitted an application, check your status online regularly for notifications, updates and/or to print a copy of your certificate.

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For questions, email or call 303-866-6628.