Alternative Teacher Certification in Colorado

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Get information about options for obtaining alternative teacher certification in the state of Colorado by checking out this article. You can find out what education and assessments you'll need to complete to get this certification.

Can I Get an Alternative Teacher Certification in Colorado?

Alternative teacher certifications in Colorado are available to individuals with bachelor's degrees from accredited educational institutions. You will also need to complete a background check before you are eligible for this certification and will be expected to enroll in an alternative teacher prep program as part of the licensure application process.

Depending on the subject and grade level you want to teach, you will need to either pass an exam in your selected endorsement area or have complete d at least 24 credit hours of schooling in that subject area. Endorsement areas that you can pursue through alternative teacher certification include the following:

Grade LevelsAreas of Endorsement
All Age LevelsSpecial Education through age 21,
Elementary Education,
Early Childhood Education
K-12 LevelMusic,
Secondary Level Business Education,
Social Studies,
Industrial Arts,
Family and Consumer Science,
Marketing and Business

What Do I Need to Do to Get an Alternative Teacher Certification in Colorado?

If you haven't enrolled in a teaching program and are not already employed by an accredited school, you will first need to apply for a Statement of Eligibility (SOE). The SOE gives you the ability to find a job in an accredited public or non-public school in Colorado to teach in your approved subject. Keep in mind that an SOE is not required if you already work for a school.

Once you have a job you will need to enroll in an alternative teaching preparation program that is approved by the state. These programs typically last 1 or 2 years, though programs for special education may take up to 3 years to complete. You may apply for your certification before you complete the program; enrollment alone is necessary. Note that some programs, such as general education programs for alternative teachers, require at least 2 years of practical teaching experience.

You can get an idea of what you might study in these programs by checking out these online courses that focus on educational foundations and classroom management strategies. You can also use these courses as study tools while completing these programs.

What Do I Do After I've Fulfilled These Requirements?

Once you have fulfilled these qualifications, you can complete your application on the Department of Education's website. Be aware that you'll need to supply information about the schools you attended, your transcripts and employment history. You will also need to pay of fee of $90. Your alternative teacher license will expire in 1-3 years, depending on the exact process you use to obtain it.

Do I Need to Take Any Tests?

Depending on the subject you want to teach, you may need to complete a content exam instead of using your college transcripts. These include Colorado's PLACE exams or PRAXIS II tests that are accepted by the state.

You can prepare for PLACE exams with these PLACE Prep Courses. These courses are self-paced and can be worked on at any time. You'll be able to view short, focused video lessons that detail the information that can appear on the test. Additionally, you'll have access to interactive quizzes and tests that allow you to measure your readiness for the exam.

Study guides for Praxis Exams are also available. You'll get the opportunity to work on lessons and test your ability to answer questions similar to those you'll find on the exam with these courses.

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