Colorado Teacher Certification Renewal Requirements

Jan 02, 2019

The state of Colorado requires its licensed educators to renew their credentials within a specific time frame. More information on the requirements an educator must meet in order to renew his or her license is described below.

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The Colorado Department of Education offers two teaching licenses, the initial license and the professional license. The initial license is for newly licensed teachers. The professional license is obtained after the initial license.

Colorado Teacher License Renewal Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Colorado (2017)* $50,590 (Kindergarten), $52,390 (Elementary), $52,780 (Middle School), $54,460 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Any
Testing Requirements Not applicable

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Colorado Initial License Renewal

The initial license for newly graduated educators is valid for three years and can be renewed one time. Educators do not have to complete continuing education credits. They simply have to complete a renewal application and pay the renewal fee. This license cannot be renewed if applicants have completed an induction program, as that is when they would be able to apply for their professional teaching license.

Under certain circumstances, the Colorado Department of Education may issue subsequent renewals if an educator is unable to complete an induction program. An educator will need to provide a statement of good cause that explains why he or she was unable to complete the program and why an additional renewal is needed.

Educators should submit the initial teaching license renewal application no more than six months prior to the expiration of their initial license. If an application is submitted sooner than six months prior to the expiration date, it will not be processed and educators will have to re-submit the application and re-pay the application fee. Educators can also submit an initial teaching license renewal application after a license expires.

Colorado Professional License Renewal

The professional teaching license is obtained after an educator completes an induction program while holding his or her initial license. This professional license is valid for five years and can be renewed as many times as needed. In order to renew it, educators must earn:

  • Six semester hours of credit, OR
  • 90 clock hours of professional development, OR
  • Any combination of the two

This continuing education must be completed during the time when the current license is valid. Educators must be willing to provide documentation (e.g. official transcripts, certificates, etc.) proving they have completed continuing education, as well as be willing to fill out Renewal Summary of Professional Activities.

The professional teaching license renewal application can be submitted six months prior to a current license's expiration date. Educators whose licenses who have lapsed or educators who have retired can still renew their licenses as long as they meet the continuing education requirements and their credits are not more than five years old.

More Information on Continuing Education Credits

Professional development must relate to educators' endorsement area or enhance their ability to instruct their students. There are several activities that educators can participate in to earn renewal credits:

  • In-service education - professional training service offered by the school or district in which the educator is employed
  • College coursework - must be undergraduate or graduate classes that meet the state's professional development standards
  • Involvement in school reform - includes membership on an improvement committee, involvement in development or implementation of the curriculum in the educator's endorsement area, and the development or implementation of an improvement program
  • Internships - must be a part of professional or graduate education program
  • Educational travel - can include time spent completing immersion classes or conducting field work abroad but does not include travel time
  • Professional development - can include participation in mentorships, professional conferences, national certification programs, and research
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