Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Curious About Teacher Licensure at CSU?
In the video below, two of our Key Advisers answer some FAQs about our teacher preparation program, including:
- Can I graduate in four years?
- What is the program like?
- How can I prepare for the program?
Become a Teacher Undergraduate Teacher Licensure in Colorado
The State of Colorado requires that you earn a degree in a subject matter, or content area, and successfully complete a professional teacher education preparation program. You’ll also need to pass a state-approved licensing exam before you begin your student teaching semester.
At Colorado State University, you can choose from 16 content areas with approved majors that include teacher licensure. These majors have specially designed curriculum, giving you a strong foundation in your content area while building your skills as an educator at the same time. You’ll stay on track to graduate with your four-year degree and prepare to be a teacher, without adding extra semesters.
Currently, CSU does not offer a teaching endorsement specifically for general elementary education (grades K-6). However, in conjunction with the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, we do offer an Early Childhood Education degree that includes teacher licensure for pre-kindergarten through third grade (ages 0-8).
A Basic Overview What You'll Experience in Our Program
Before Applying to the Program
Before applying to our teacher education program, you’ll choose a bachelor’s degree to pursue – there are 16 content areas approved for educator licensing. Once you reach sophomore standing, you’ll start adding education courses to your schedule. Don’t worry – our program is designed to incorporate the licensure coursework with your degree program, without additional time tacked on to your undergraduate experience.
The first course in the program is a field experience course. You’ll be matched with a partner school in a local school district, and work in a PK-12 classroom each week for the duration of the semester. By the end of the semester, you’ll have around 30 hours of in-classroom experience under your belt. As you finish the course, you’ll decide whether teaching is right for you. If so, you’ll apply to the teacher preparation program.
During the Program
As a teacher candidate, you’ll spend time in a different PK-12 classroom each semester. You’ll lead small groups of students, work with the cooperating classroom teacher on lesson plans, learn to lesson plan by yourself, and even teach a class or two (while the cooperating teacher supervises). By the time you graduate, you’ll be strongly prepared for Colorado’s licensing exams – and ready to make a difference in your own classroom.
Answer Your Calling
You have a dream, a calling: you want to be a teacher. Whether you were playing “school” with your stuffed animals as a kid, or were inspired by someone who taught you, we want to help you achieve your dream.
Choose Your Content Area
Below are the approved content areas for undergraduate teacher licensure, each linked to its curriculum in the CSU Catalog, and organized according to which ages/grades are covered by the teaching license.
Early Childhood Education
CSU doesn’t offer teacher licensure in elementary education. However, our Early Childhood Education program will give you a strong foundation in educational practices to prepare you to teach birth through 6th grade. The majority of our students choose to take one additional content exam (see Colorado Department of Education’s website for more information), to add another Elementary Education endorsement to their teaching license.
Learn in Real-World Settings
We follow the Professional Development Schools model, which focuses on four pillars aimed at improving the quality of teaching and the quality of student learning:
- Educator preparation
- Faculty development
- Inquiry directed at the improvement of practice
- Enhanced student engagement
In partnership with local school districts, we deliver licensure coursework both on-campus at CSU and in local PK-12 schools. Our students learn from CSU faculty and PK-12 educator partners.
Similar to other practicing professions, such as the field of medicine, we offer an opportunity to learn while doing. As a teaching hospital prepares medical students with clinical practice, our Professional Development School model prepares future teachers through real-world experience. In our program, you’ll start that experience at the very beginning of the program.
Professional Development School: Five Standards
Professional Development Schools have five defining characteristics, standards that form the framework of our teacher preparation program:
- Learning Community
The unique environment created in a PDS partnership that supports both future teacher and PK-12 student learning.
- Accountability and Quality Assurance
The responsibility of a PDS partnership to uphold professional standards for teaching and learning.
The development and implementation of a unique university/school community, which shares responsibility across institutional boundaries.
- Equity and Diversity
The responsibility of a PDS partnership to prepare future teachers to meet the needs of diverse learners.
- Structures, Resources, and Roles
The infrastructure that a PDS partnership uses and/or creates to support its work.