How to become a teacher in Colorado.

Teaching is a rewarding career. Colorado offers many options for high school graduates or people looking for a mid-career change. Join a traditional teaching program here in Colorado.

University of Northern Colorado

Metro State

CU Boulder


Colorado Christian

CU Denver

Colorado Department of Education

Teachers/Certified Positions: For all teaching/certified positions, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) conducts a fingerprint background check. CDE issues teaching licenses based on this background check. CDE communicates arrests to each district throughout employment. 27J does conduct a criminal background check at the time of hire. CDE requires fingerprints completed by a certified law enforcement agency. Below are links to local law enforcement agencies that provide finger-printing.

Fort Collins
CU Boulder

The Alternative Path to License

Alternative licensure targets post graduates holding at least bachelor's degree. Alternative licensure programs are growing across Colorado and serve as a path for career changes drawn to teaching.
Colorado Department of Education - Program Requirements (from CDE website)

  1. Background Check - Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation
  2. Meet professional competence in a state-approved endorsement area for alternative licensure:
  3. For elementary candidates: Successfully pass the state-approved elementary content exam
  4. For special education candidates: Successfully pass the state-approved elementary content exam
  5. For early childhood candidates: Successfully pass the state-approved elementary content exam OR the state-approved early childhood content exam
  6. For K-12 endorsements and secondary endorsements: Hold a degree in the endorsement area from a regionally-accredited institution; OR Have 24 semester hours in the endorsement area, as outlined within the content evaluation worksheets; OR Earn a passing score on a state-approved assessment for the endorsement area.
  7. Obtain employment that matches the endorsement area in #2 above
  8. Select or be selected by a state-approved designated agency for alternative preparation.
    1. CDE Alternative License Webpage

      CDE Alternative FAQ

      Colorado Alt License Programs

      PEBC - Boettcher Teacher Program