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Credentialing Guide for Out-of-State Applicants

Important Clarifications for Applicants Who Attend/Complete Programs Outside Colorado

Per Colorado State Board of Education rule 1 CCR 301-37 2.03(3), individuals who complete endorsement or degree programs outside Colorado must hold or qualify to hold the associated license in the state of preparation in order for Colorado to recognize that program. Be sure to research programs very carefully before enrolling to ensure you can achieve your desired outcome.

Important Clarifications for Applicants Who Hold Out-of-State Credentials and Are Applying for Their First Colorado License

Educator licenses do not “transfer” to Colorado across state lines. Any holder of a teacher, special services, principal or administrator license issued by another state may meet or exceed Colorado’s requirements for an initial Colorado license and/or endorsement area(s) sought in one of the following ways:

1. If you hold a valid standard license (not substitute, temporary, emergency, alternative, provisional, probationary or international faculty) issued by another state that carries an identical endorsement to one issued by Colorado AND have three years' post-preparation, full-time licensed experience in that state and in that content area within the past seven, Colorado may issue a professional license with the identical endorsement requested.

2. If you do not meet ALL of the requirements outlined above, Colorado is required to evaluate a candidate's application for the content area(s) of preparation, as verified on an approved program verification form, if we issue a comparable or equivalent endorsement.  If not, we will work with you to determine the appropriate content area(s). Other endorsements may be added upon application and meeting the requirements for each. 

So what do I need to do?

Select the license or authorization you wish to receive. Follow the checklist and obtain copies of all documentation listed.

Will I need to take a content exam? 

It will depend on the requested license and endorsement area(s). Any test requirement(s) will be determined upon review of a completed application so that your degree, previous test information information and educator preparation program(s) may be considered.

If I qualify, what type of Colorado credential will I receive?

All applications are evaluated per the documentation and information provided in the application. Therefore, be sure to include all requested information and complete all requested fields within the application. Generally speaking:

 Professional License: If an applicant meets the requirements for a Colorado license and has at least three years' post-preparation, full-time, fully licensed experience in the past seven years in the state in which they were licensed, Colorado likely will issue a professional-level (7-year) license.

Initial License: Those who meet the requirements with less than three years of post-preparation, full-time, fully licensed experience likely will receive an initial-level (3-year) license.

Interim Authorization: An interim authorization is issued to a first-time applicant who holds or qualifies to hold a license in another state, but does not have three or more years' full-time, fully license experience as detailed above or who has not demonstrated content mastery via the options allowed for those endorsement area(s) -- or both. The interim authorization allows the candidate to work in Colorado schools while providing a year’s time to prepare for and take the required exam(s) or demonstrate content knowledge via the multiple measures options.  An interim authorization may be renewed only once. Upon successful completion of the content exam(s) or an approved multiple measures submission, an applicant may apply for an initial license.

Please note:  Interim authorizations cannot be issued to applicants applying for Special Services licenses; these providers must fully meet requirements for an initial or professional license.

Please be sure to review the following pages, too:

 Important: CDE reviews applications within 45 days of receipt. Should an application be deemed incomplete, the applicant has 60 days from the date of initial notification to provide the requested information (including satisfying background check requirements), or the application will be deemed withdrawn and the applicant will need to reapply. Refunds or exceptions cannot be considered.



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