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Colorado Alternative Certification Programs

Professionals looking to become a teacher in Colorado can complete an alternative certification program, as long as they meet the appropriate qualifications. These programs allow professionals to take an accelerated path to becoming a certified teacher without having to attend a university for four years. Here is a look at some of the programs Colorado offers to aspiring teachers.

Program Name: Aspire to Teach

Program Mission and Overview:
The Aspire to Teach program allows candidates to complete the program online at their own pace. Most programs are completed in one to two years. Those interested in becoming special education teachers may need to be enrolled in the program for an extra year.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have not completed any other teaching program.
  • Have demonstrated content proficiency with 24 credit hours of relevant coursework with a 2.6 GPA or higher, or have passed a Colorado Department of Education-approved examination.
  • Pass a background check.

Candidates should contact Aspire to Teach for application instructions.

Financial Information:
The Aspire to Teach program costs $5,000 for the first year and $2,000 for each additional year. Grants are available to eligible individuals.

Program Name: Denver Teach Today

Program Mission and Overview:
Denver Teach Today focuses on training teachers to serve in high-needs schools and subject areas, such as math and bilingual education.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Denver Teach Today is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA.

Applicants must:

 

  • Not hold a teaching license in the United States.
  • Pass a criminal record check.
  • Pass the PLACE or PRAXIS test.
  • Provide three quality references from supervisors or employers.
  • Exhibit fluency in Spanish for bilingual positions.

Begin the registration and application process here.

Financial Information:
The cost of the Denver Teach Today program is $2,300, which includes:

  • Faculty
  • Curriculum
  • Associated Materials

After the first five weeks of summer training is complete, students receive a stipend of $1,500.

Program Name: Denver Teacher Residency

Program Mission and Overview:
This groundbreaking program uses a combination of book learning and real-life experiences to train those who are looking to become a teacher in Denver public schools.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.
  • Not have a teaching license.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Elementary and special education applicants must complete the PLACE elementary exam.
  • Secondary education applicants must pass either the PLACE science or PLACE math exams.

Interested candidates can apply here.

Financial Information:
Students are responsible for several fees, including a $90 fee for the PLACE test, a $65 DU application fee, a $300 DU deposit and a $99.50 CDE Substitute Teacher License fee. Tuition for this program costs $27,000. The Denver Teacher Residency reimburses full tuition for years two through five.

Candidates also receive a stipend for living expenses:

  • Elementary Spanish, special education Spanish, secondary math and secondary science teachers receive $20,000.
  • Elementary English and special education English teachers receive $10,000.

Program Name: Friends’ School Teacher Preparation

Program Mission and Overview:
This preparation program combines classroom work with hands-on experience to fully train professionals to be effective teachers in the classroom. Students are required to complete more than 225 hours of coursework.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Candidates must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Pass the elementary PLACE or elementary PRAXIS II exam for elementary-level licensure, or the early childhood PLACE or appropriate completed coursework for early-childhood licensure.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Print and fill out the application

Financial Information:

  • Tuition for the Friends’ School licensure program is $8,500.
  • Candidates receive a minimum of a $2,000 stipend.
  • Candidates may choose to pair this program with a master’s degree at the University of Colorado in Denver for a total cost of $14,600.

Click here to learn more about how to become a teacher in Colorado.

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