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Colorado is one of the largest states in the country with the most English language learners (ELL), yet PK-12 schools’ attempt at helping ELLs achieve academic success at an acceptable level is still a challenge. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has responded to this state crisis and is attempting to address this need by ensuring that all teachers receive appropriate training to address the needs of students who are ELLs. This fall, the CDE adopted new English Learner (EL) Standards that all preservice and in-service teachers are required to meet. You can read more about this on the CDE website. The charge by CDE is for all teacher preparation programs in Colorado to implement the new requirements and all preservice teachers graduating after Spring 2019 must demonstrate that they meet the new EL standards.
We know that there will be many questions, so we have included below some questions and answers we anticipate students may have. If you have questions not addressed below, please contact an advisor in your School of Education program.
We hope that our goal is clear: As teachers, we need to be prepared to serve all PK-12 students, including our English language learners. We realize that change is difficult, but we also feel that our children are worth the sacrifice. Thank you for your commitment to be the best teachers for our children!
The School of Education (SOE) created a task force composed of faculty with expertise in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) education. The task force analyzed all of our programs (undergraduate, post baccalaureate, and Master of Arts in Teaching) in light of the new state English Learner (EL) standards. Curriculum revisions are in process to ensure our programs address the new English Learner (EL) Professional Development Standards. In addition, the SOE submitted a transition window plan that was approved by the CDE for our students. Please read below to know whether or not you fall in the transition window.
If you are completing your student teaching or residency between Fall 2019 and Spring 2021, then you fall into the transitional group of licensure students at MSU Denver who ultimately needs to meet the new CDE requirements; however, CDE has granted you a transitional window in which you only need to complete 3 credits of CLD coursework by the time you complete your student teaching or residency in order to receive your initial teaching license. The recommended course, which has been approved by CDE, is CLD 3510. You will need to complete the remaining half of your the CDE EL requirement within 3 years of receiving your initial teaching license in order to earn your professional teaching license. Please meet with a faculty advisor in your licensure program for clarification if you would like to meet the full requirements before your graduate.
If you are completing your student teaching or residency after Spring 2021, then you will need to fully meet the EL standards by following the guidelines approved by CDE for your program. Please speak with a faculty advisor for your specific licensure program to understand what this means for you.
The new EL standards are to minimally prepare teachers to serve their students who are English learners. The 6 credit/90 hour training requirements are not deep enough to culminate in the 24 credit hour CLD endorsement. However, the new requirements will pave the way for all pre-service teachers to earn recommendation for the CLD endorsement if they choose to with additional courses. Pursuing the CLD endorsement is highly encouraged.
If you complete the requirements to be recommended for a CLD endorsement, then you meet the EL standards. Your program will not need modifications.
If you are not pursuing a teaching license, then meeting the state’s new EL standards are an option for you, not a requirement. You can choose to continue your program and graduate as planned or choose to take coursework to develop the knowledge and skills that support English language learners.