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Add a Designation

Preparing to Apply

This checklist is for ...

Colorado teacher, special services, principals and administrator license-holders wishing to add a designation to their active initial or professional license. May be added to authorizations as well.

Designations available:

  • English Learner Professional Development
    • required of all teachers renewing a professional license that expires on or after Sept. 1, 2025 with one or more of the following endorsements: elementary, English language arts, math, middle school math (and any previously issued middle-level endorsements), science and social studies
  • READ Act - Teacher
    • required every year by Aug. 1 of all individuals responsible for literacy instruction in a K, 1, 2 or 3 classroom
  • READ Act - Administrator
    • required by Aug. 1, 2024 and every year thereafter of all principals and administrators
  • Educator Effectiveness Evaluator Training
    • required of all evaluators of teachers, SSPs and principals/APs
    • required of anyone applying to renew a principal or administrator license that expires on or after Aug. 1, 2024.

Not in the right place? Review the other checklists.


  • For the English Learner Professional Development designation:
  • For the READ Act - Teacher designation:
    • A reading teacher or reading specialist endorsement (the READ Act - Teacher designation automatically will be added certificate; you do not need to submit a separate application to add the designation); or
    • Appropriate coursework and a passing score on the PRAXIS 5205 exam; or
    • A CDE-approved university course in reading ; or
    • A certificate of completion from a CDE-approved READ Act program (see Options 5, 6 and 7);
      • For those completing the “Building a Strong Foundation: Developing Early Literacy Skills” by the Public Consulting Group, Inc. teachers can link their Pepper and COOL accounts via the steps below.
        • Log in to COOL;
        • Select "My Profile";
        • Select "Designations" in the credential section of your profile
        • Select "Link My Pepper Account" and follow the instructions:
          • The link will take you to Pepper
          • Log in using your Pepper account log in/password
        • Upon successful completion of this process, a confirmation statement will appear in the green bar beneath the "Link to Pepper" instructions.
        • Upon completion of the program, the READ Act - Teacher designation automatically will be added to your certificate -- teachers will not have to complete the designation application.
  • For the READ Act - Administrator designation:
  • For the Educator Effectiveness Evaluator Training designation:

Plan Ahead

Application Fee:


Gather the Necessary Information/Documentation

In the application you will need to include the following:

  • For ELPD:
    • A certificate of completion from a CDE-approved ELPL program; or
    • A completed matrix documenting a total of 45 contact hours of completed coursework and/or professional development activities that addresses each of the standards and elements
  • For READ Act - Teacher:
    • Your official PRAXIS 5205 score report (you will also need to attest to your completed coursework in the application);
    • A copy of your official university transcript reflecting completion of a CDE-approved course(s);
    • A certificate of completion from CDE; or
    • A certificate of completion from a CDE-approved READ Act program
  • For READ Act - Administrator:
    • A certificate of completion of an approved 5-hour training (you must already hold the READ Act-Teacher designation); or
    • A certificate of completion of an approved 20-hour training
  • For Educator Effectiveness Evaluator Training:

Then ...

  • Log in to COOL
  • Select the button in the"+ designation" button in the credential details section of your dashboard.
  • Complete and submit the brief application. (If you hold multiple credentials, you need only to apply for each designation once. Upon approval, it will apply to all credentials held.)
  • Upon approval, you will be notified that an updated certificate is available for you to view or print.

Final Reminders

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

  • 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.
  • If for some reason CDE is not able to access all documentation in the application, the application will be deemed "incomplete" and CDE will notify the applicant via email and specify the information needed to complete it.
    • An applicant has 60 days from the date of this notification to cure the deficiency (i.e., provide the necessary information) or submit to the department a written request for reconsideration stating the basis for the request.
    • 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.
  • 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.