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About Alternative Licensure in Colorado

Alternative teacher preparation programs provide a pathway to prepare educators who have professional experience and content knowledge to meet high need areas in Colorado schools. Find out more on the Colorado Department of Education's Alternative Licensure page.

UCCS is one of over 25 (designated agencies) approved by CDE to offer alternative teaching licensure programs. We are a one-year program, authorized to provide programs in secondary (7-12) english, math, science, and social studies and K-12 foreign language. To get started, you will need to complete certain steps with both CDE and with UCCS.

Step 1: CDE

Your pathway to alternative licensure begins when you apply online to the Colorado Department of Education for an  Alternative Teacher  license. Successful completion of the first step within the Alternative Teacher application will result in your being issued a Statement of Eligibility (SOE). A Statement of Eligibility means you are eligible to earn a teaching license (and thus be hired to teach).  The following list outlines CDE's requirements for a Statement of Eligibility.

  • Degree- Must have successfully completed a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  • No Prior Student Teaching-Must not have previously completed an approved educator preparation program that included student teaching.
  • Content Proficiency--Must meet the state/federal definition of being "highly qualified" to teach in the desired endorsement area by meeting at least one of the following:
    • Documented evidence of the required 24 semester hours of content (minimum GPA of 2.6)for the endorsement as described on CDE's content evaluation worksheets and verified by a transcript review and/or 
    •  A passing score of the Colorado State Board of Education-approved content exam for the endorsement being sought.
    • Background Check: Must clear a background check based upon review of  www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/fingerprints

Step 1: Designated Agency

The ALP at UCCS is a subplan under the MA Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. To apply go to

Application Process

Deadline: Rolling Admission

  • Schedule an admissions and information interview with a Department of Curriculum and Instruction faculty member early in the process. The goal of the appointment is to answer questions you have about the program, clarify the procedures for admission to the program, and to determine your level of interest in and preparation for the program. Call 719-255-4996 or education@uccs.edu to set up appointments/interviews.
  • Complete the online Graduate application found at: www.uccs.edu/apply Within the application you will need to: 
    • Pay the $60.00 application fee *International students application fee is $100.00
    • Upload your "goal statement" to include a self-evaluation. We are particularly interested in your level of self-awareness, academic potential, personal growth experiences and what you hope to accomplish in your career.
    • Upload your curriculum vitae or professional résumé
    • Complete the tuition classification form
    • List the name, title/organization, and email of three people who will serve as references for you. The people you identify will be emailed a recommendation form/instructions. *One reference should be a former instructor, one should be a current supervisor and one should be a professional colleague. Choose your references carefully. Persons who have been in positions to supervise and/or evaluate your human relations skills are often effective references. Do not ask friends or family member who might be biased. Your reference should be able to attest to your ability to successfully complete a graduate program in Curriculum and Instruction and your ability to establish effective interpersonal relationships with others.
  • In addition to the above materials that will be submitted with your online application, please email/mail proof of your background check or proof of licensure to the Student Resource Office education@uccs.edu.  Instructions for completing your background check are:  
  • Go the website: https://www.cbirecordscheck.com/Index.aspx
    • Click on Individuals
    • $6.85 is the cost to receive the results
    • Print a copy of the background check and turn it in with your admissions materials. (Current CO school or agency employees who completed a background check for employment may provide a copy of their CO license or a copy of the results of the background check for employment).
  • Have one official transcript of all academic work ever completed to date, sent from the institution you attended directly (electronically or by postal services) to:
    UCCS-Office of Admissions and Records
    1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
    Colorado Springs CO 80918

Fingerprint Check for Fieldwork 

College of Education students who will complete a field experience as part of their degree program must submit fingerprint cards to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in order to be appropriately screened before entering schools or agencies as a fieldwork student. Students who have completed a background check utilizing fingerprints for employment (and can provide proof) do not have to repeat this process as part of their fieldwork requirements. In some cases, an educator who held a license prior to 2004 will not have fingerprints on file. Under current law these educators will be required to complete the fingerprint requirement when submitting an application.

>>Fingerprint Process for Fieldwork PDF

Step 3: Secure a Teaching Position

It is your responsibility to obtain a full-time teaching position in your endorsement area. As soon as you do, your employer will issue you a contract and a Statement of Assurance (SOA) which must also be signed by the Director of Teacher Education at UCCS.  Submit these documents to the Colorado Department of Education, and they will issue you an Alternative Teaching License, good for 12 months.

Step 4: Complete the Program

Your final step to licensure is to complete an approved alternative licensure program. If you have affiliated with ALP at UCCS that means you must complete all ten courses before your Alternative Teacher License expires.

Coursework for the ALP at UCCS

Course/Credits/Title

Licensure Only (33 credit hours) Core Courses:
May be taken during any semester; students must complete them by the end of your "ALP year"

CURR 5800-3 School, Society, & Diversity
TED 5520-3 Educational Psychology
SPED 5001-3 Introduction to Special Education
TED 5800-3 ESL for Educators
Summer Courses: Students may take these courses prior to securing a full-time teaching position
CURR 5014-3 Instructional & Classroom Management Strategies I, Secondary
CURR 5016-3 Instructional & Classroom Management Strategies II, Secondary
Fall Courses: Students may NOT take these courses until they have a full-time teaching position
CURR 5491,5492,5493,5494,5495-3(select one) Secondary Content Area
CURR 5018-3 Alternative Teacher Seminar in Secondary Education I
Spring Courses: Students may NOT take these courses without a full-time teaching position
CURR 5400-3 Teaching Reading & Writing in the Content Areas
CURR 5020-3 Alternative Teacher Seminar in Secondary Education II
Licensure & Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction
(6 additional credits, total of 39 credit hrs.) A Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction includes the coursework for ALP (listed above) and the following additional courses, taken within three semesters of completing the ALP.
LEAD 5700 - Introduction to Research & Statistics
CURR 5090 - Research Project

It is the student responsibility to make sure that all program requirements and licensure procedures are completed appropriately. All participants in the ALP must maintain a 3.0 GPA and receive no grade lower than a B- in any class. Because the program requires immediate participation on the job in a school, there are no opportunities for Incompletes in the methods or alternative teaching classes.

>>Master of Arts Curriculum and Instruction Main Page

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