How to Become a Teacher in Colorado

Colorado contained a student population of 854,265 pupils in 2011, up nearly 11,000 from 2010. The demographics of the state have begun to shift in recent years, resulting in a great increase in the number of Hispanic students, who now account for almost 32% of the student population. Yet, only 48,080 full-time teachers were employed in the state in 2011. As a result, the need for qualified educators within the Centennial State is growing. This article will help outline the steps to take in becoming a teacher in Colorado.

Education Requirements

In order to receive a Colorado teacher certification, students must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the academic field in which they wish to instruct, such as history, math, or English. Next, the student must complete a teacher preparation program approved by the CDE to receive their initial Colorado teaching license. These programs can be found in higher learning institutions such as colleges, universities, and community colleges. Applicants must then complete the PLACE and Praxis II content tests. Colorado does not require tests in basic skills, liberal arts, sciences, or professional knowledge in order to receive certification.

After recieving a bachelor’s degree, completing teacher preparation programs from accredited colleges, universities, or online teaching schools in Colorado, and passing the content exams listed above, the potential teacher must submit to fingerprint identification and pass a criminal background check. Once the background check clears, the applicant will be awarded an initial Colorado teaching certificate.

Colorado Teaching Certification

Applicants must complete an approved educator preparation program in order to apply for an initial educator teacher license, which is valid for three years and is renewable.

A professional license may be issued to an applicant who holds a Colorado initial teacher license and has completed a board-approved induction program.

Required Tests

Elementary education teachers must pass the Colorado State Board of Education-approved elementary education content exam.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out-of-state candidates applying for teaching certification in Colorado must submit an official, signed letter from their State Department of Education confirming the completion of the state-approved program and its requirements.

Helpful Resources