A designated agency is a school district, an accredited non-public school, a board of cooperative services (BOCES), an accepted institution of higher education, a non-profit organization, which is responsible for the organization, management and operation of an approved alternative teacher program (Colorado State Statute 22-60.5-102  and 22-60.5-205 ). Any of these entities may partner or collaborate for the operation of an approved alternative teacher program. A district or BOCES may choose to contract with an Institute of Higher Education that already provides an approved teacher preparation program. An individual’s successful completion of an alternative teacher preparation program leads to a recommendation for initial licensure by the Designated Agency providing the program.
The State Board of Education has authority to approve Designated Agencies for the purposes of operating one-year and two-year alternative teacher programs to assist districts and BOCES that face a shortage of teachers and often struggle to find qualified persons to teach their students (State Statute 22-60.5-205 and the Educator Licensing Act Rules). Such programs shall:
decrease the use of emergency authorizations to hire persons who do not have teacher licenses and, in some cases, have not received any form of teacher preparation thus jeopardizing a school district's goal of providing a quality education for each student; and
identify persons with experience in areas other than education to help alleviate the teacher shortage faced by many school districts, so long as these persons receive adequate supervision and education in teaching methods and practices.
Colorado State Statute 22-60.5 was intended to address teacher shortages in public schools. Designated Agencies must serve an identified need(s) of a Colorado school district(s) or BOCES. Designated Agencies can create alternative preparation programs in numerous teacher endorsements areas. State Statute does not allow alternative licensure pathways for Specialized Service Professionals.
To address principal shortages in public schools, districts may hire individuals as principals who can serve on a Principal Authorization. Districts create individualized learning plans for these alternative principal candidates.
Pathway to Becoming a Designated Agency
The flowchart below describes the basic steps to becoming a Designated Agency in Colorado.