- Teacher Certification Map
- Become a Teacher in Colorado
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 9/29/2016.
This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Colorado.
To become a certified teacher in Colorado, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements. Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating the site with new information on a regular basis.
Step One: Prerequisite Coursework
The first step to getting certified as a teacher is choosing a specialization and/or grade level and earning your bachelor's degree.
Here are some examples:
- Early Childhood Education major
- Elementary Education major
- Secondary Education major OR choose specific subject major
- At post-secondary education, you must pick a specific subject major
All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Colorado, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements.
Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.
The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.
Click to learn more about getting your MAT online with USC Rossier School of Education.
Step Two: Teacher Preparation
Next, you'll need to complete an approved teacher preparation program. Visit CDE's Educator Preparation page to find a state-approved teacher preparation program in Colorado. After, make sure to fill out an approved program verification form to verify the completion of an approved program.
Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork involved in an accredited teacher preparation program. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship.
Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Click here to view the Certification Map Colorado Alternative Certification Programs page to learn about obtaining your alternative teacher certification in Colorado.
Step Three: Required Tests
Next, you'll need to complete the PLACE and Praxis II exams. The Colorado Department of Education accepts the content knowledge test via PLACE (Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators) and the Praxis II exam. The PLACE exam was developed for Colorado state educators. The Praxis II exam is a nationwide test accepted throughout the majority of the United States. Both tests are designed to assess the knowledge and skills necessary to become a qualified educator in the state of Colorado. Colorado has approved the adoption of Praxis exams for most content areas, and Praxis will be the primary licensing exam for Colorado teachers following the administration of the final PLACE exam on May 6, 2017.
Visit the Colorado Department of Education for more information on state testing requirements and registration dates.
|Accepted Praxis II Exams in Colorado||PLACE Educator Content Assessments|
|Agriculture and Natural Resources Education Grades 7-12
Business Grades 7-12
Business/Marketing Grades 7-12
Drama Theater Arts Grades K-12
Early Childhood Education Ages 0-8
Elementary Education Grades K-6
English Language Arts Grades 7-12
Family and Consumer Sciences Grades 7-12
Health Grades K-12
Instructional Technology Grades K-12
Marketing Grades 7-12
Mathematics Grades 7-12
Music Grades K-12
Physical Education Grades K-12
Science Grades 7-12
Social Studies Grades 7-12
Speech Grades 7-12
Technology Education Grades 7-12
Visual Arts Grades K-12
World Languages Grades K-12
|Early Childhood Education
Special Education (General; Severe Needs)
Early Childhood Special Education
Content Specific Subjects
Step Four: Application Requirements
Finally, submit 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.
Make sure you have all your supporting documents! Here is the Colorado Department of Education’s checklist of things you need to submit along with your license application for first-time applicants:Identification
- Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- You only have to be fingerprinted one time for CDE. Click here to view fingerprinting instructions from the State of Colorado.
- Confirm you have a valid form of government-issued identification. Here is a list of valid IDs accepted by the Colorado Department of Education.
- List the names and addresses of the colleges/universities you've attended.
- Obtain copies of your official transcripts indicating that you have earned a minimum of a bachelor's degree.
- Complete the Approved Program Verification Form.
- Download the Colorado Department of Education Verification Form.
- Out-of-state alternative applicants must also obtain an official signed letter from your State Department of Education confirming that you completed a state-approved program and the program requirements for the alternative program you completed.
- Obtain the results for any CDE-accepted PLACE or PRAXIS II exams you have passed.
- If applicable, obtain all copies of active or expired teaching licenses.
- Document employment history for the past five years.
- Include employer/business name, dates of employment, a reason for leaving, work addresses, supervisor names, and contact information.
- Include teaching experience from more than five years ago, if you have it.
- If applicable, obtain supporting documentation on the following:
- Any past criminal history
- Disciplinary actions
- Any issues related to licensure or employment
- View Colorado Department of Education Self-Disclosure Requirements.
Colorado Certification Reciprocity
If you would like to teach in another state with your pre-existing license, Colorado will recognize teaching credentials from all states participating in NASDTEC’s reciprocity agreement. Contact the Colorado Department of Education’s Licensure Requirements for Out-of-State and Foreign Applicants FAQ page to find out more about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.
Colorado Teacher Salary
- Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Colorado provides differential pay and loan forgiveness for teachers teaching in high needs schools but provides no support for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas.
- Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Colorado has strong induction policies in place.
- Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $50,330
- Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $52,650
- Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15
Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.
Certification Resources & Links
Office of Professional Services and Educator License
6000 E. Evans Avenue
Building #2 Suite 100
Denver, Colorado 80222
(303) 866-6628 – Email
- Colorado Teacher Tenure
- How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Colorado
- Troops to Teachers Colorado: In Colorado, Troops to Teachers is managed by the Mountain Pacific Region Office
- Teachers Test Prep: Free online Praxis Study Guides and Praxis Practice Tests, and a variety of preparation options to meet your individual needs, including prep classes, private tutoring, and online prep.