3 Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Colorado

Want to become a teacher in the great state of Colorado? If so, you have come to the right place. Below you will find a short article that lists the steps to becoming a teacher in Colorado.

Step 1: Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program

Every state requires at least an undergraduate degree for teacher certification. Colorado requires that the undergraduate degree include a teacher education program. For Elementary teacher licensure, there are no specific course requirements. The Special Education Specialist Initial certification requires graduate work or a full master’s degree, depending on what type of special needs children you plan to work with.

Getting a teaching certificate typically involves the completion of an accredited licensure class with pedagogical theory and classroom practice. These classes can be completed, either on-site or online. The state of Colorado 800 hours of student teaching as part of the teacher education program. Upgrading from an initial to a professional license requires an educator induction program   consisting of “supervision by mentor educators, ongoing professional development, and training, including ethics, and performance evaluations.” The Colorado Department of Education publishes a list of Approved Educator Preparation Programs.

Step 2: Complete the Required Exams

Unlike most U.S. states, Colorado does not require a basic skills test. All that is needed is a Subject Area Competence test, which can be completed by completing the correct Praxis Subject Assessment.  Colorado has sanctioned the adoption of Praxis exams for many content areas, and Praxis will be the initial licensing exam for Colorado educators moving forward.

Colorado offers an Initial License, good for three years, for beginning educators; you must complete an Educator Induction Program to qualify for a Professional License, which must be renewed every five years. Also to Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary licensures, Colorado has licensures for Special Education Generalist and Special Education Specialist.

Step 3: Submit a Colorado Teaching Application

Finally, send a completed licensure application to get the show on the road! You can create an Educator Account with CDE’s eLicensing database to begin your licensing application.

Ensure that you have all your supporting documents! Here is the Colorado Department of Education’s checklist of things you need to send along with your license application for first-time candidates.

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