Alternative Licensure Program

Pictures of students and teachers in class.


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 at least 22 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 world language. (Please note: We do not offer a program leading to licensure as an elementary teacher.) To get started, you will need to complete certain steps with both CDE and with UCCS.

Step 1: Obtain “Alternative License Pending Employment/Program” status from 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 granted “Alternative Licensure Pending Employment” status. This status means you are eligible to earn a teaching license, and most districts cannot or will not hire you without it. The following list outlines CDE's requirements for a “Alternative Licensure Pending Employment” status.

  • Background check: Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
  • Content competence: Meet requirements in a state-approved endorsement area. For the endorsement areas that the ALP at UCCS is authorized to offer, that entails that you. . .
    • Hold a degree in the endorsement area from a regionally-accredited institution; OR
    • Have 24 semester hours in the endorsement area, as outlined within CDE's content evaluation worksheets; OR
    • Earn a passing score on the state-approved assessment for the endorsement area (usually the Praxis).

Step 2: Affiliate with a Designated Agency

If you choose to affiliate with the ALP at UCCS, complete the application online at // The ALP is a subplan under the M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction. It is not necessary to wait until you have received Alternative License Pending Employment status in order to apply to the ALP.

Application Process:

Deadline: We admit candidates year-round. The best advice is to apply at least 30 days prior to the start of any semester.  Financial Aid Priority filing date is March 1

  • Schedule an admissions and information interview with a faculty member in the Department of Teaching & Learning early in the process. The goal of the appointment is to answer any questions you may have, clarify the procedures for admission, and determine your level of interest in and preparation for the program. Call the Student Resource Office at 719-255-4996 or email them at to set up appointments/interviews.
  • Complete the online Graduate application found at Apply Now.  Within the application you will need to:
    • Pay the $60.00 application fee.
    • Upload your "Career Goals Statement." This is a 2-3 page essay in which you discuss your motivation for becoming a teacher and outline the assets you can bring to the profession. We are particularly interested in your level of self-awareness, your academic potential, your personal growth experiences and a sense of 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. *Choose your references carefully. Ideally, one reference should be a former instructor, one should be a current supervisor, and one should be a professional colleague. People who have been in positions to supervise and/or evaluate your human relations skills are often effective references. Do not ask friends or family members 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 Instructions for completing your background check are:  
    • Go to the website:
      • 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

Step 3: Secure a Teaching Position

It is your responsibility to obtain a full-time teaching position in your endorsement area. When 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 or the ALP Coordinator at UCCS. Submit these documents to the Colorado Department of Education, and they will issue you an Alternative Teacher license, which is 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

Core Courses
These courses are usually offered every semester, either on campus or online. You may take them before you obtain a teaching position (and we recommend that you do). 
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
These two courses are offered only in the summer. You may take them before you obtain a teaching position, and we strongly recommend that you do.
CURR 5014-3 Instructional & Classroom Management Strategies I, Secondary
CURR 5016-3 Instructional & Classroom Management Strategies II, Secondary
Fall Courses
You may NOT take these courses until you have a full-time teaching position.
CURR 5491,5492,5493,5494,5495-3(select one) Secondary Methods
CURR 5018-3 Alternative Teacher Seminar in Secondary Education I
Spring Courses
You may NOT take these courses until you have a full-time teaching position.
CURR 5407-3 Teaching Content and Disciplinary Literacy to Adolescents
CURR 5020-6 Alternative Teacher Seminar in Secondary Education II
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 5700-3 Introduction to Research & Statistics
CURR 5090-3 Research Project


It is each student's responsibility to make sure that all program requirements and licensure procedures are completed appropriately.  All ALP candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA and receive no grade lower than a B- in any course. Because the ALP Year requires full-time teaching, candidates may not request or receive Incompletes in the ALP Year courses.

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