You are here

Educator Professional Development Requirements

Professional Development Activities Required for Renewal of Professional Licenses

Educators are required to renew their professional license every seven years. To do so, they must complete 90 contact hours of professional learning -- equivalent to six (6) semester hours of college or university coursework (or any combination thereof) -- within the preceding seven years.

While educators generally have carte blanche to determine which professional learning to pursue, they must, at a very high level, align those choices to their endorsement areas, the Colorado academic standards, educator quality standards, school culture and climate, leadership or student safety and well-being.

Five initiatives stipulated professional development for some groups of educators. Three of those initiatives require the professional development as part of the 90 contact hours for licensure renewal. The READ Act initiatives requires districts to assure their teachers’ and principa;/administrators completion of the professional development. 

  • As result of HB 20-1128 and HB 20-1312, educators must complete a minimum of 10 contact hours of training in special education and behavioral health with at least one (1) hour in special education or behavioral health. This is a recurring requirement for licensure renewal.
  • Effective Sept. 1, 2018, the state board requires 45 contact hours of professional development regarding English Language Learners (ELL) for teachers who hold an elementary, English, math, science, social studies or middle-level endorsement. This is a one-time requirement for licensure renewal for these educators.
  • Pursuant to SB 19-199, SB-22-004, and Colorado State Board of Education rule, all teachers employed in K-3 classrooms in Colorado must show evidence of competency in teaching science-based reading or complete 45 hours of professional development to fulfill requirements of the READ Act and all principals and administrators must complete an approved 20-hour training or, if they already hold a READ Act-Teacher designation, an approved 5-hour training. This is a one-time requirement for currently employed principals and administrators and educators teaching reading in a K-3 classroom in a school/district that received READ Act funding.
    • Important note: This pertains to all educators teaching literacy in a K-3 classroom, regardless of whether they hold a substitute, emergency, adjunct or interim authorization; an alternative, initial, professional license or teacher of record license; or no credential at all.
  • With regard to educator evaluations, SB 22-070 required changes to the state evaluation system and requirements to enhance the experience for educators. Among the changes, all principals and administrators applying for a new or renewed principal or administrator license on or after Aug. 1, 2024, must first complete an approved training in order to receive the credential.

Click here to jump to a matrix outlining what professional development is required of which educators, by when, and who is responsible for meeting these recent educator professional development requirements. 

Special Education and Behavioral Health Licensure RENEWAL Requirements

Recurring requirement every seven (7) years upon renewal per 22-60.5-110(3)(b.7) and (f), C.R.S.

Special services providers, principals and administrators holding professional licenses are required to complete a minimum of 10 contact hours of professional learning in:

  • Increasing awareness of laws and practices pertaining to educating students with disabilities in the classroom, including but not limited to Child Find and inclusive learning environments.

Teachers holding professional licenses are required to complete a minimum of 10 contact hours of professional learning - with a minimum of one (1) contact hour in each area - in:

  • Behavioral health that is culturally responsive and trauma- and evidence-informed; and
  • Increasing awareness of laws and practices pertaining to educating students with disabilities in the classroom, including but not limited to Child Find and inclusive learning environment.

All educators whose professional licenses expire on or after June 30, 2025 will need to meet this requirement with each renewal.

Click here for more detailed information.
 

English Language Learner Professional Development Licensure RENEWAL Requirement

One-time educator licensure renewal requirement

Forty five (45) contact hours of ELL professional learning is required of all educators holding a professional teacher license with an elementary, English, math, science or social studies endorsement. This also includes middle-level endorsements. This requirement is mandatory regardless of what content the educator is currently teaching. These 45 hours may be used toward fulfilling the 90 contact hours for renewal, and an educator may meet the requirement by completing an approved program or by applying professional development or college coursework from any point in time.

All educators whose professional licenses expire on or after Sept. 1, 2025 will need to meet this requirement at the time of renewal.

Districts/BOCES:

Q: How can I verify that an educator has fulfilled the English Learner Professional Development requirement?
A: You may look up educators individually or view the ELPD Designation District Report for your LEA in the COOL system. *Please note that this report is based on the prior year's HR collection.

Q: Who may access the educator look up or the report?
A: LEA administrators who have CDE-granted EVA access.
**If your LEA has not yet applied for EVA access, you may do so by completing this form and applying via COOL. This video demonstrates the application process.**

Q: Once I have access, where can I find the report?
A: Simply view this how-to document for directions with screenshots or complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to your COOL district account
  2. Select the blue "go to district" button on the right
  3. Select "Reports" in the listing on the left
  4. Select "Preview," and a partial list of the staff in your district with the designation will appear.
  5. Hover your mouse over the list, and a download icon will appear in the upper right corner of the report. Select the icon to download a complete report.

READ Act Reading Professional Development DISTRICT Requirement

One-time requirement for all principals and administrators and all educators teaching reading to K-3 students in districts that receive READ Act funding

The READ Act requires every school, district and charter school that receives READ Act funding to assure that all principals and administrators and each teacher employed to teach kindergarten through 3rd grade literacy have successfully completed evidence-based training in the science of teaching reading by Aug. 1. Educators must submit a qualifying "add designation" application by Aug. 15.

Rules approved by the state board in March 2020, and updated to include principal requirements in November 2022 (1 CCR 301-92), note the evidence-based training in teaching reading must include a minimum of 45 hours and must address the content of the educator preparation literacy standards referenced in the state board’s Rules for the Administration of Educator License Endorsements (1 CCR 301-101, 4.02(5)-4.02(12)). This requirement only applies to all principals, administrators and educators in K-3 classrooms in schools/districts that accept READ Act funds. Although not tied to an educator’s ability to renew their license, once CDE confirms that the educator has fulfilled the requirement, a designation will be added to the educator's certificate to allow ease of future reference for educators and districts. Educators may apply to add this designation at any time. Although school/district assurances must be made annually, this professional development requirement must be met only once and is required of all currently employed educators teaching reading in K-3 classrooms, regardless of credential type or whether they do not hold a credential at all.

Educators may also use this professional development as part of the 90 clock hours required to renew a professional license. 

 

Teachers:

Q: How do I meet the READ Act requirement?
A: Visit this webpage for the seven options for fulfilling the READ Act requirement.

Q: How do I add the READ Act designation to my Colorado license or authorization?
A: Once you have fulfilled the requirement, simply apply by following the directions on this checklist. (Bonus: There is no fee associated with this application.)

Administrators/Principals

Q: How do I meet the READ Act requirement?
A: Visit this webpage for ways to fulfill the READ Act requirement.

Q: How do I add the READ Act designation to my Colorado license or authorization?
A: Once you have fulfilled the requirement, simply apply by following the directions on this checklist. (Bonus: There is no fee associated with this application.)

Districts/BOCES:

Q: How can I verify that an educator has fulfilled the READ Act requirement?
A: You may look up educators individually or view the READ Act Training Report for your LEA in the COOL system. *Please note that this report is based on the 2021 HR collection.

Q: Who may access the educator look up or the report?
A: LEA administrators who have CDE-granted EVA access.
**If your LEA has not yet applied for EVA access, you may do so by completing this form and applying via COOL. This video demonstrates the application process.**

Q: Once I have access, where can I find the report?
A: Simply view this how-to document for directions with screenshots or complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to your COOL district account
  2. Select the blue "go to district" button on the right
  3. Select "Reports" in the listing on the left
  4. Select "Preview," and a partial list of the staff in your district with the designation will appear.
  5. Hover your mouse over the list, and a download icon will appear in the upper right corner of the report. Select the icon to download a complete report.

Q: What are the deadlines that need to be met to ensure full funding?
A: Educators must complete any training by Aug. 1 and submit an "add designation" application with their certificate of completion by Aug. 15.


Matrix of Educator Professional Development Requirements

The following charts outline what professional development is required of which educators, by when, and who is responsible for meeting these educator professional development requirements.  

Responsible Party

Special Education and Behavioral Health

10 contact hours

Timeline: Professional license renewal on or after June 30, 2025, and every 7-year renewal cycle thereafter.

English Language Learner

45 contact hours

Timeline: Professional licenses issued/renewed on or after Sept 1, 2018, in effect for renewal on or after Sept. 1, 2025.

READ Act

  • Teacher: 45 hours
  • Principal/Administrator: 20 hours (or READ Act-teacher
    designation and a 5-hour course)
Timeline: Districts are responsible for ensuring all their K-3 educators (regardless of credential held) have met this requirement by Aug. 1
and have applied for the designation by Aug. 15 (of each year) to receive READ Act per-pupil intervention funds.

Educator Effectiveness Evaluator Training

Timeline: Initial principal or administrator license applicants and anyone renewing a principal or administrator license on or after Aug. 1, 2024.

Individual educators’ responsibility to renew their professional license X X   X
Schools/districts receiving READ Act funding     X  

 

 

Grade Level or Content Area

Special Education and
Behavioral Health

10 hours

Who: All professional license-holders renewing licenses that expire on or after June 30, 2025, and every 7-year renewal cycle thereafter.

English Language Learner

45 hours

Who: Professional licensed teachers with an elementary, English, math, science, social studies or middle-level endorsement renewing licenses that expire on or after Sept. 1, 2025.

READ Act

  • Teacher: 45 hours
  • Principal/Administrator: 20 hours (or READ Act-teacher designation and a 5-hour course)
Who: All principals and anyone employed to teach or provide reading instruction in grades K-3; by Aug. 1 (application submitted by Aug. 15) for the district to receive READ Act funding.

Educator Effectiveness Evaluator Training

E-Train Parts 1 & 2

Who: All applicants applying for an initial principal or administrator license or seeking to renew a principal or administrator license on or after Aug. 1, 2024.

Early Childhood X   X  
Kindergarten X X X  
1st X X X  
2nd X X X  
3rd X X X  
4th X X    
5th X X    
6th X X    
English X X    
Math X X    
Social Studies X X    
Science X X    
Art/Music/PE X      
Special Education X   *  
Interventionist/ELL teacher X   *  
All Secondary Educators X      
All Special Service Providers X   *  
All Principals, Administrators  X   X X

*These educator groups are required to complete the READ Act training requirement if they support reading instruction for K-3 students.

 

For general licensing questions, submit a support ticket to CDE's licensure office.

For questions about READ Act requirements, email the READ Act team. More information about READ Act training for administrators and principals may be found here.

For questions about the legislation related to Special Education/Behavioral Health training, email the Educator Development Office.

For questions about educator effectiveness evaluator training, contact the Educator Effectiveness team.