Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Colorado

Colorado’s Early Childhood Education Scene

Colorado, a state known for its many tourist towns in the Rocky Mountains, falls behind the U.S. average according to Education Week’s annual national rankings. It earned an overall “C” grade and is ranked the 35th state in the nation by six different measures in 2012, according to EdNews Colorado.

* Rasmussen College, School of Education offers Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs at two levels to meet the needs of early childhood educators at any stage of their career: A 9-month ECE Certificate for those just getting started, or a Bachelor’s in ECE Leadership for those ready to advance their careers by moving into administration.

* The Online Master's in Early Childhood Education from Capella's NCATE-accredited professional education unit will prepare you to effectively engage young students in the pre-K setting. With the option to focus on special education or classroom supervision, Capella's Master’s in Early Childhood Education is designed with the modern pre-K classroom in mind.

* The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at the USC Rossier School of Education is designed for aspiring K-12 teachers looking to gain the skills and knowledge needed to become great teachers and help all students succeed. This teacher preparation program also prepares candidates to be recommended for a teaching credential.

Colorado’s best mark was a “B” in the Chance-for-Success category, which measures a variety of factors that may help children academically throughout life. In 2009, the state ranked 40th in the amount of money it spends on K-through-12 students, according to the Denver Post. Colorado’s spending on preschool students in 2012 was also on the low end of the spectrum, in comparison to other states, according to Colorado Kids. However, many special programs, such as the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP), are working hard to improve early childhood education across the state. Overall, Colorado is in need of passionate educators to support educational growth for Colorado students.

Earning Colorado Teaching Credentials

The Colorado Department of Education includes extensive information about how to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring teachers and current teachers. The three main types of licenses available to Colorado educators are as follows:
  • Initial Educator License: This license is for first-time applicants who have successfully completed a teacher preparation program.
  • Professional Educator License: This license is for current teachers who have met a variety of requirements, including mentor supervision, professional development, performance evaluations and more.
  • Alternative Educator License: This license is for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree or higher who have not yet attended a teacher preparation program. Candidates may teach full-time with supervision and support while completing the program requirements.
To apply, applicants must create an eLicensing account with the Colorado Department of Education. All materials must be scanned and submitted electronically through this site, including the application, transcripts, assessments and more. Please contact the Educator Licensing department, should you have any further questions about the licensure/certification process.

Colorado ECE Degrees

There are over a dozen early childhood education degree programs in Colorado. Several are highlighted below.

is one of the nation’s top public research universities and offers a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degrees in early childhood education and elementary education.

is a Buddhist-inspired liberal arts university that offers a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, as well as a master’s degree in contemplative education intended for children of all grades.

is a private Christian college that offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood and elementary education, as well as post-baccalaureate licensing programs in early childhood and elementary education.

is located in a beautiful mountain community and offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood and elementary education. A program for becoming an early childhood director or group leader is also available.

offers bachelor’s and post-baccalaureate early childhood education degree programs. We encourage you to visit the University’s Equity Assistance Center, which provides an Early Childhood Equity page that serves teachers, child-care providers, and all others working with young children.

The Colorado Teacher Job Hunt

There are several different avenues you can take to pursue a career in this dynamic field. Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. Teach in Colorado is a free service that allows aspiring teachers to search for open positions within the state, as well as to submit a cover letter and resume to potential employers. Other employers to become familiar with are private schools, Head Start and Montessori schools. Be sure to research the child care centers in your local area, as many of these centers are in constant need of highly-qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community, as well.

Professional Groups for Colorado Educators

Many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Colorado share similar visions. The Colorado Education Association (CAE) aims to improve the profession, as well as local public schools. It has been going strong for 135 years and has 40,000 members. It provides union benefits and is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, with three million members in over 14,000 communities across the country. The Colorado Association for the Education of Young Chldren (CAEYC) strives to promote public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provide professional development for educators. It has over a dozen local affiliates and is also an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members. The Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE) is a state chapter of the American Association of Educators (AAE), which is committed to advancing the teaching profession. There is also a variety of organizations for teachers based on specific areas of interest, including the Colorado Language Arts Society (CLAS) and the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM).

Early Childhood Educator Blogs in Colorado

The EdNews Colorado blog covers hot topics, issues, and events in Colorado schools, as does the education section of the Denver Post. There are also Colorado teachers who share insightful information through their personal blogs. Third Grade Thoughts is maintained by a third-grade teacher who enjoys utilizing the Daily Five language-arts system, as well as whole-brain teaching methods, and incorporating math groups into daily instruction. Ms. Solano’s Kindergarten is written by a teacher of 13 years who shares many inspirational ideas from in her kindergarten classroom experience. Falling into First comes from an early elementary teacher who loves incorporating movement and singing into classroom activities, while also creating fresh units and resources.
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