Colorado's Educator Licensing Program

Provisional License

To move to a Professional License, the following requirements must have been met:

  1. Successful completion of an approved induction program and recommendation by the district providing the induction program for the professional license.
  2. Successful completion of the State Board adopted performance assessments.
  3. Filing a complete application for the Professional License.

The Provisional license may be renewed once if the above requirements are not met within the three year time frame of the first Provisional license.

Professional License

To renew a Professional license including endorsements the following requirements must be met:

  1. Professional development activities such as: involvement in school and curriculum reform, service on state-wide educational boards and commissions, internships, supervision of student teachers Or interns, educational travel, mentorships, advanced degrees, action research, college or university credit and other ongoing professional development or training as documented in a Renewal Portfolio which will be provided by the Department of Education.
  2. Professional Development Renewal Portfolios must be submitted at least six months in advance of the expiration of the license.

Master Certificate

    Valid for seven years and renewable.

    Voluntary certification.

    Issued to educators who demonstrate advanced competencies and achievement.

    Held in conjunction with a Professional License. Issuance of a Master Certificate extends the validity of a Professional License to seven years.

Alternative Teacher License

Issued to an applicant who has earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and possesses subject matter knowledge appropriate for teaching in the public schools; passed all portions of the assessments except the professional knowledge; agrees to participate in an on-the-job, one-year, alternative teacher preparation program; has received a contract as an alternative teacher from an authorized school or school district for one full academic year.

General Requirements

for a Colorado Educator License or Authorization

The packet that contains all of the materials necessary to apply for the following can be obtained by contacting the Colorado Department of Education:

1. Provisional License

2. A Substitute Authorization (Type V).

Regional Accreditation refers to an institution of higher education

which is accredited by one of the following regional associations:

1. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

2. The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC)

3. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

4. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

5. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

6. The Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA/CHE)

A Colorado educator license or authorization is required for employment as a teacher, principal, administrator, special services provider, or substitute teacher in any Colorado public school (22-63-201, C.R.S.).

This document contains information for initial Colorado licenses, alternative teacher licenses, and substitute authorizations. For the application packet or for the Renewal of a Colorado teacher, administrator, or special services certificate, either current or expired and/or Added endorsement(s)

Please call 303/866-6628 and request the application and packet.

Colorado Required Assessments

The PLACE Assessments are required to obtain licensure in Colorado. The Registration Bulletin is included with this packet. The Bulletin provides information concerning the assessments required. Please read the Bulletin carefully before calling for information. .

All applicants must pass the Basic Skills Assessments. All applicants must also demonstrate Oral English Proficiency by:

  1. Having earned a grade of B or better in a college public speaking course, or
  2. Having passed an approved Oral English Proficiency examination at a designated Colorado test site. The test sites and telephone numbers are listed at the bottom of this page.

All Teachers must pass, including the Basic Skills Assessment, the Liberal Arts and Sciences Assessment, the Content Area Assessment in the specific field in which they seek a license, and the Professional Knowledge Assessment. For any added endorsement, the Content Area Assessment in that endorsement area must be passed.

All Administrators must pass, including the Basic Skills Assessment, the Principal Assessment in order to function as a Principal in a Colorado school and/or the Administrator Assessment in order to function as a Superintendent in a Colorado school district.

All Special Services Providers must pass, including the Basic Skills Assessment, the appropriate Content Area/Specialty Assessment. Please note that some vocational areas require licensure in the content area. If in doubt, please call 303/866-6628 and request specific information.

			Colorado Testing Centers Providing Oral English Proficiency

	Fort Lewis College				Regis University
	Hesperus Hall, Room 121				Adult Learning Center #304
	Durango, CO 81301				3333 Regis Blvd.
	970/247-7280					Denver, CO 80221
	Front Range Community College
	3645 West 112th Avenue				University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
	Westminster, CO 80030				1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
	303/466-8811, x338				P.O. Box 7150
							Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150
        Lamar Community College                         719/593-2355
	2401 South Main	
        Lamar, CO 81052                                 University of Denver-Testing Center
	719/336-2248, x222				Emi Hyde Bldg.
							2460 Vine St.
	Mesa State College				Denver, CO 80208
	P.O. Box 2647					303/871-2528
	Grand Junction, CO 81502	
	970/248-1215					University of Northern Colorado
							Career Counseling and Testing
	Metropolitan State College			Kepner 0010, 0025
	Academic Assessment and Support Center		Greeley, CO 80639
	Campus Box 99					970/351-2127
	P.O. Box 173362
	Denver, CO 80217-3362				Western State College
	303/556-3677					Department of Education & Geography
							Kelley Hall, # 112
	Red Rocks Community College			Gunnison, CO 81231
	Learning Development Assessment Center		970/943-2030
	13300 West Sixth Avenue
	Lakewood, CO 80401-5398
	303/988-6160, x243 or 303/988-6786

Note: Graduates of Colorado colleges and universities are assessed for Oral English Proficiency as part of their educator preparation programs.

Your Evaluation...

Colorado licenses and authorization may be issued upon satisfactory completion of the requirements appropriate to the license or authorization you are seeking.

Your complete application will be evaluated by the Colorado Department of Education to determine if you meet Colorado State Board of Education.

If you are eligible ...

The appropriate license or authorization will be issued after a favorable evaluation has been completed. your license or authorization will be mailed to you.

If you are not eligible...

After an evaluation has been completed and the Department of Education determines that deficiencies exist, your application materials will be returned with a memorandum indicating specific requirements which must be met before a license can be issued.

When those deficiencies have been remedied please attach the appropriate documentation to the previously evaluated application packet and resubmit all materials to this Department.

Fees submitted for evaluation are not refundable, but are valid for one year from the date they were originally submitted.

Processing Time

Please allow four weeks for processing after your completed application has been submitted. You may check on the status of your application if it has been more than 30 days from the date your application was received.

Plan ahead. Apply well in submitted advance of the date of anticipated employment.


A Provisional Colorado license may be issued to an applicant from another state or country who has met following requirements:

  1. Has completed the appropriate degree, experience and educational level for the license and endorsement requested as specified by Colorado standards.
  2. Has completed a state-approved program at an accepted out-of-state institution in the endorsement area sought. OR
  3. Has completed other state authorized educator preparation programs., Three years of full-time experience at grade-level/endorsement area are required of applicants who have completed the state authorized preparation programs.
  4. Holds or is eligible to hold a standard license or certificate from the preparing state.
  5. Has completed the PLACE assessments required.

The Department of Education may recognize other state authorized educator preparation programs for applicants who have completed such programs and have provided evidence of three or more years of full-time, satisfactory experience at the grade or developmental level and endorsement/specialty area being sought.

Your Employment...

The Educator Licensing Unit of the Colorado Department of Education does not maintain a placement service, nor is there a designated state placement service for educators. Please contact local school districts for information concerning employment. School districts listed alphabetically by county are found in the Colorado Education and Library Directory.

Each district's central office staff, with addresses and telephone numbers, as well as each building within the district and its address and telephone number and principal's name, are included, The Directory is $15; send a check payable to the Colorado Department of Education, to:

Communications Center
Colorado Department of Education,
201 E. Colfax, Denver, CO 80203-1799

Your Transcripts...

Only official transcripts will be accepted. An official transcript bears the seal of the institution and the signature of the registrar. Official transcripts with the registrar's seal and stamped "Issued to the Student" will be accepted. Grade reports and letters from faculty members are not acceptable.

Photocopies of transcripts and grade reports will not be accepted.

Applicants in the process if completing degrees and course work should not make application for licensure until official transcripts reflecting the course work and the degree are available.

Foreign Transcripts ...

The Colorado Department of Education does not determine degree, credit, and program equivalencies for persons with credentials from outside the United States, except for Canadian transcripts which are in English.

Please work directly with a recognized credentials evaluation agency and have the appropriate evaluation sent to you, and include it with your application. The following are the names and addresses of two acceptable credential evaluation services.

	World Education Services, Inc.		Intentional Consultants of Delaware, Inc.
	P.O. Box 11623				109 Barksdale Professional Center
	Chicago, IL 60611-0623			Newark, DE 19711

       Telephone: 312./222-0882                 Telephone: 302/737-8715

Your Endorsements ...

Endorsements on licenses and authorizations indicate the grade level(s), subject area(s), or other areas of specialization which are appropriate to the applicant's preparation, training, and experience. Endorsements are typically granted in the major area of specialization and only in those areas which constitute approved programs.

  1. The Early Childhood Education endorsement is valid for teaching ages 3-8. The Elementary Education endorsement is valid for grades K-6.
  2. Middle School endorsements are valid for grades 5-9.
  3. Secondary endorsements are valid for grades 7-12. Secondary endorsement areas are as follows:



      Business Education .

      Distributive Education


      Driver Education


      Foreign Language(s)


      Home Economics

      Industrial Arts

      *+Linguistically Different (Bilingual and ESL)



      *Physical Education


      Social Studies


      Technical Education

      Trade and Industrial Education

  4. Special Education endorsement areas are:

      **Teacher 1 - Moderate Needs

      **Teacher 2 - Severe Needs: Cognitive, Affective, Vision, Hearing, and Communication

      Teacher 3 - Profound Needs

      **Teacher 4 - Early Childhood Special Education.

      All Special Education endorsements require approved graduate level programs except for the Teacher 3- Profound Needs endorsement which may be issued on a Bachelor's degree program.

  5. Special Services provider endorsement areas are:


      #Occupational Therapist

      #Orientation and Mobility (Peropatology)

      #Physical Therapist. School Nurse

      #**School Psychologist

      #**School Social Worker

      #**Speech/Language Pathologist

  6. **Principal and Administrator licenses are not endorsed for specialization or grade levels
  7. Other endorsement areas available are:


      **!Director of Special Education

      **+!Reading Teacher

      **+!Reading Specialist

      +!School Library Media

    8. Vocational subject area endorsements are issued in a variety of occupational areas reflecting the trade or technical experience of the applicant. Contact the Educator Licensing Unit for further information.

    * May be issued for elementary, middle school, secondary, or K-12
    ** Requires graduate level preparation
    + Added endorsements only (requires an endorsement in another areas as well).
    # Requires submission of professional registration certification or license.
    ! Some experience required.

Your Background Check ...

All first time applicants for Colorado licenses or authorizations are required to furnish a properly completed and readable set of fingerprints with the application. Colorado law allows a license or authorization to be issued prior to receiving the results of the fingerprint check from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The fingerprint check is both state and national, using files of the Colorado and Federal Bureaus of Investigation.

Misdemeanors and Felonies Instructions

Applicants who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than minor traffic offenses) documents delineating the final disposition of the must offer an explanation and substantiate it with conviction.. You may be asked to submit additional

    1. Please refer to sample fingerprint card on page 11.

    2. Complete the identification information required on the fingerprint card. This in- documentation. Includes your full name, signature, complete address with zip code, physical information (sex, race, height, weight, color of eyes and hair), place of birth, date of birth, and citizen- ship. If the identification section of the fingerprint card is not completed as required, , the card and your application file will be returned to you. This will delay your licensure.

    3. Contact a local police or sheriffs department to arrange for fingerprinting. 5There may be a charge for this service

    4. Enclose the completed fingerprint card with your complete application. Be sure that the fingerprints are readable. Unreadable prints will result in your having to have another set of fingerprints taken.

    5. Do not fold the card.

Alternative Teacher License Program

1 The Alternative Teacher License Program allows school districts, independent schools. boards of . cooperative services, and institutions of higher education to develop and implement programs for the training of teachers. These agencies provide a one-year, on-the-job program of teacher training and supervision for the alternative teacher. 2. Who is eligible? Candidates interested in employment as an alternative teacher must: Hold a Baccalaureate Degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Have met subject matter requirements and been confirmed as having the necessary knowledge of the subject matter to teach in the appropriate endorsement area. This normally means the completion of a major in the area(s) in which you wish to teach. Provide evidence of passing scores on the PLACE assessments including Basic Skills, Oral English proficiency, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Educator Content Area. Agree to participate fully in an approved Alternative Teacher Program.

The Colorado Department of Education evaluates all candidates for eligibility to participate in an Alternative Teacher Program. Successful alternative license applicants will initially receive a Statement of Eligibility (SOE). The applicant may then use the SOE to seek a full-time position with an approved school or school district. Upon verification of a full-time position, the applicant will be issued a one year alternative teacher license. Following successful completion of the Alternative Teacher Program and successful completion of the Professional Knowledge Assessment, the license holder will be eligible for the three-year Provisional License.

I	3. The endorsement/teaching areas available for a license through the alliterative route are:
         Agriculture                    Home Economics
         Art                            Industrial Arts
         Business Education             Linguistically Different (Bilingual & ESL)
	 Distributive Education	 Mathematics
         Drama                          Middle School
	 Early Childhood Education	 Music
         Elementary Education           Physical Education
         English                        Science
         Foreign Language(s)            Social Studies
         Health                         Speech
4. If you have work experience applicable to your requested teaching area(s) or the field of teaching, please attach a description of such work experience. 5. All sections of the Application must be completed. Incomplete Applications will be returned. Supplementary Information may be requested. Please call 303/866-6628. Please select option #1 and then #4.

Educator Licensing Fee Information

The Colorado State Board of Education annually sets fees for all applications for licenses authorizations and additional endorsements issued by the Colorado Department of

October 1, 1995 through June 30, 1996


Make checks or Money Orders payable to the Colorado Department of Education

Return to top

Please us the "Back" button on your browser to return to the previous page.

Copyright © 1996 Academic Employment Network