Complete or Correct Your 2024-25 FAFSA/ CASFA Today!


Educator Pathways & Programs


Traditional Programs

  • Typically a four-year undergraduate program in which one earns a bachelor’s degree
  • Completion results in initial Colorado licensure
  • Programs can be located in CDE’s Program Search tool

Alternative Programs

  • Typically a 1-2 year program for candidates who already have a bachelor’s degree in a content area
  • Completion results in initial Colorado licensure
  • Candidates serve as a classroom teacher under supervision and while completing required coursework
  • Programs can be located in CDE’s Program Search tool

Teacher Residencies

  • As part of their program’s culminating semester or year, residents teach with guidance from an experienced educator mentor
  • Concurrent coursework is closely aligned with classroom experiences
  • Guidelines vary from program to program; contact leadership/advisors for more information

Concurrent Enrollment Programs


Teacher Cadet

  • Educator recruitment program for high school juniors and seniors
  • Provides an introductory experience to teaching and possible college credit
  • Information available through the Colorado Community College System (CCCS)


“Grow Your Own” (GYO) Programs

  • Allow schools/districts to recruit, prepare, and place community members as teachers in local schools
  • Their strength is in the placement of candidates familiar with local students, communities, and cultures
  • Programs vary based on district-university partnerships and local needs


Rural Stipends and Fellowships

  • Incentives available to educator and teacher candidates in the state’s rural areas
  • Allows for the earning of initial licensure, added endorsements, and other professional development opportunities
  • Information available through CDECDHE, and the Colorado Center for Rural Education (CCRE)


Paraprofessional Educators

  • Paraprofessionals provide student instruction and support for classroom teachers
  • Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and districts set their own guidelines for qualifications and hiring of paraprofessionals; there are no state requirements
  • Programs available for those with paraprofessional experience to become fully licensed educators
  • Information available through CDE

Substitute Educators

  • High school diploma or equivalent required along with current fingerprinting/background check
  • Can serve in K-12 classrooms across the state
  • Training and stipends available through CDE

TEACH Colorado

  • Free service to prospective educators with licensure coaching, preparation program information, fee reimbursements, and professional guidance
  • More information available on the TEACH Colorado website