Licensure 101

Alternative Licensure can be confusing!   The most basic way to think it is simply that is is an “alternative” way for people to seek and obtain their educator license.  Traditional pathways (college) have tremendous value for many individuals looking to get their license; however, for people who already have a bachelor's degree (or higher), going back to college, even in an online program, may not be the best match.  The alternative pathway was designed specifically for those individuals.

Not to make it more confusing, but Colorado offers “licenses” and “authorizations.”  Authorizations are not licenses, but rather they authorize the holder to serve in certain capacities.   A good example is an educational interpreter, who does not teach, but rather helps to translate instruction into a language that students who are deaf or hard of hearing and understand, such as American Sign Language.  

You can see in the table below that there are four areas of licensure, only two of which are allowable to obtain through the alternative pathway (teacher and principal).  Special Service Providers, such as speech and language pathologist or occupational therapist, and district level administrative positions (director of special education, superintendent) are not currently authorized by the legislature to be obtained through the alternative pathway.

Special Service Provider
Administrator (District level)

Substitute Teacher
Other Authorizations