Alternative Licensure Program
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What qualifications do I need to become a teacher and enter an Alternative Licensure Program?
- You must obtain an Alternative License from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and be hired as a full-time teacher in the same content as the Alternative License
- To obtain an Alternative License, you must pass a CBI background check and complete the Alternative License application. The CDE will check your transcripts to ensure you have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and meet the following basic requirements:
- Elementary teachers must have passed the PRAXIS II exam in Elementary Education.
- Special Education teachers must have passed the PRAXIS II exam in Elementary Education
- Secondary teachers must have either the required 24 semester hours of college credit in the primary subject they teach; or have passed the PRAXIS II exam in the content area they teach.
- ECE teachers must have either the required 24 semester hours of college credit in the primary subject they teach; or have passed the ECE PRAXIS II exam. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Human Services requires ECE teachers to "have two (2) three-semester hour early childhood education college courses with one course being either introduction to early childhood education or guidance strategies, and at least six (6) months (910 hours) of satisfactory experience." The MSU Denver ALP program does not provide these classes. They may be taken through any of the local community colleges online and on campus.
Secondary and ECE teachers: if you are missing any of the required 24 semester hours of college credit in the primary subject, or if you are unsure if your credits will count, you should take the PRAXIS II exam in the content area you would like to teach. However, Foreign Language teachers wanting an endorsement for teaching Chinese may only use the PRAXIS II or NES exam.
2. How can I get hired as a teacher without a teaching license?
- If a school district cannot find a highly qualified teacher with a Colorado teaching license, they have the option to hire a highly qualified individual who does not have a teaching license, but does have an Alternative License and that individual enters into and completes an Alternative Licensure Program within the specified number of years.
3. How do I obtain a contract to teach with one of the school districts?
- Apply online to each individual school district.
- In addition, you may apply to any Colorado Front Range area school district, public or private charter school, or accredited private school.
- Most school districts know when they receive a resume/application from someone who does not have a teacher's license, that this person is a possible candidate for the Alternative Licensure Program.
- Candidates may attend district and state-wide teacher fairs. Each school district's teacher fairs are announced on the school district's website. The interested candidate can indicate on his/her cover letter or resume that he/she is interested in the Alternative Licensure Program to obtain a teaching license.
- Please Note: The ALP office does not know the hiring needs of each school district.
4. Can I be hired as a part time teacher and enter ALP?
In general, the Colorado Department of Education requires that alternatively licensed teachers are hired under a full-time employment contract.
However, alternatively licensed teachers with more than a half-time teaching contract (e.g.--> at least 0.51 FTE) may be allowed to enroll in the MSU Denver Alternative Licensure Program with CDE permission.
5. When do ALP teachers usually get hired?
School districts will list openings each spring, as the end of the current school year is ending and they have received notice of openings.
School districts will interview and hire qualified individuals who hold a teaching license. If the district cannot find qualified licensed teachers, they will begin to interview potential ALP candidates.
The interested individual can indicate on his/her cover letter or resume that he/she is interested in the Alternative Licensure Program to obtain a teaching license.
ALP candidates are usually hired in May through August. MSU Denver ALP can accept individuals hired up until late September.
6. How long is an Alternative Teaching License valid?
- ALP 1 candidates hold an Alternative License that is valid for 1 year.
- ALP 2 candidates hold an Alternative License that is valid for 2 years.
- ALP SED candidates hold an Alternative License that is valid for 3 years.
7. What type of teaching license will I get once I complete the program?
- At the end of each program, candidates who successfully complete the program will be eligible to apply for an Initial Colorado Teaching License.
8. What is an induction program?
- Individuals who have received an initial license need to complete an induction program in order to obtain a professional license.
- Induction programs are run by each school/district, not MSU Denver.
- All questions regarding induction programs must be directed to the school district.
9. Can I transfer courses that I have already taken in another teacher preparation program?
- ALP is a unique teacher preparation program that weaves coursework with the experience of teaching in the classroom. The program is structured to present information and skills when the candidate can apply them to his/her classroom. Because of this unique design, coursework from previous teacher preparation programs are not transferred into ALP.
10. When does the program start?
- ALP starts in mid July with required summer seminar sessions.
- The summer seminar sessions prepare the ALP candidate for the first few weeks of school.
- All ALP classes meet on Tuesday evenings during the school year.
- The ALP 1, ALP 2, and ALP SED evening classes start mid-August.
11. Do I have to attend the summer seminar sessions?
- Yes, it is a required part of the program. If you are hired after the summer sessions have ended, you will be required to make-up the missed work.
12. How do I apply to the MSU Denver Alternative Licensure Program?
- Once you complete the application with the CDE and have received a status of "Alternative License Pending" and you are hired as a teacher, you need to contact the ALP office at 303-615-0013 for registration information.
- DO NOT APPLY TO MSU DENVER ONLINE.
- Once MSU Denver receives the ALP candidate's enrollment information, the candidate will be notified by MSU Denver's ALP staff of the next step in the process.
13. How long does it take to complete the MSU Denver Alternative Licensure Program?
- ALP 1 is one year in length.
- Both the ALP 2 and ALP SED programs are two years in length.
- The general education program candidates (ALP 1 and ALP 2) attend classes on Tuesday nights during the first year. ALP 2 candidates receive classroom coaching during the second year
- The special education program candidates (ALP SED) attend classes on Tuesday nights during both years.
14. Can I complete a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree while enrolled in ALP?
- A Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education can be pursued at the same time as the ALP.
15. What is the tuition for ALP?
- See tuition information here.
16. What options do I have to pay for my tuition?
- See tuition information here.
17. Can I apply for financial aid?
- See tuition information here.
- If your tuition and fees are not paid in full by the deadline, you will still be required to either pay for your tuition up front or be payroll deducted.
- If you are awarded and accept any financial aid you will be issued a refund from MSU Denver for any overpayment.