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Teacher Licensure

M.A. in Education

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • You complete your coursework online without sacrificing in-person, personalized support.
  • All your licensure courses apply towards a master’s degree.
  • As a licensure student, you will earn 27 graduate credits that will be recorded on an official college transcript by the end of the first year. Some districts will increase teacher pay for college credits past a bachelor’s degree).
  • Planning for your career success. You build professional relationships within your district. Our students often find jobs in the schools in which they complete their Residency.
  • At Western, coursework is continuously aligned around state and national quality standards, ensuring the relevance of your skills in the field.
  • You will have access to the latest online technologies to enhance your learning (e.g. model teaching streaming videos, voice interaction capabilities with peers and instructors, recorded instructor explanations with visuals, etc.)
  • Innovative (i.e. districts from around the state have adopted our mentoring structure to support their new teachers)

It is important to note that completion of one WCU’s education degrees makes a person eligible for a license or added endorsement. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is solely responsible for the processing and final approval of all Colorado teaching and administrative licenses.

Western’s Education Department is authorized by CDE, as well as the Colorado Department of Higher Education to provide teacher preparation coursework that leads to eligibility for an initial teaching license. Western is also authorized by these agencies to provide preparation towards principal and administrator licenses, as well coursework that leads to an added endorsement onto an existing teaching license. CDE is overseen by the Colorado State Board of Education, which creates rules in response to legislative statutes.

If you plan to complete your student teaching in addition to working as a paraprofessional/school assistant, you must complete a para guideline form as well as provide a schedule outlining how you will meet our residency requirements of 24 hours/week while meeting the demands of your job. Both the para form and schedule must be approved by the Education Department, your mentor, your principal and an HR School District professional prior to submitting your application. All forms must be completed and approved before your application will be reviewed. Please download and complete the form here.

Yes, Western’s M.A. in Special Education offers a comprehensive, hands-on degree that will allow you to hone your pedagogy skills and advance your career a special education teacher. Watch the video below to learn more about our program and read our list of FAQs to determine if our M.A. in Special Education is the right degree for you.

It varies. If you are a traditional resident, we encourage you to plan for one full day during the week, plus time on the weekend to devote to coursework.

If you are fulfilling your residency requirements while working full-time under an Alternative Teacher license or as a paraprofessional, we recommend you plan at least two afternoons per week, plus time on the weekend for your coursework.

The Colorado Department of Education requires a Bachelor’s degree for an Initial Teaching License.  At Western, there are some options for obtaining your BA or BS:

  1. If you are a recent high school graduate and interested in attending Western as an undergraduate student, you can seek a Bachelor’s degree in Education with Elementary Licensure.
  2. You may also pursue a BA or BS in other subjects (such as English, Mathematics, or Biology), and add licensure certification to your degree plan to teach that subject.
  3. If you have completed some college credits, but not a full degree, you can enroll in Western’s Adult Degree Completion program to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies and add licensure certification to your degree plan.

Yes. In addition, current teachers seeking to add an endorsement must log 135 hours/semester with that student population.

No, Western does not help residents secure a position.

Rest assured however, the employment rate for Western’s licensure completers seeking a teaching or administrative position is over 90% each year.  More than 60% are hired in the same district in which they complete their residency.  Similarly, many of our resident teachers who are either working under an Alternative Teacher license or as a paraprofessional, are hired as licensed teachers in the schools where they completed their residency.

Western has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1915. This regional accrediting agency is responsible for accrediting degree-granting post-secondary institutions in a 19-state region.

Every year, Western’s Education Department places and oversees out of state and international teacher residencies. If you are interested in completing your residency year outside of Colorado, Western can assist you in finding a placement and you will be able to complete your online coursework from anywhere, so long as you are placed in a face-to-face learning environment.

Successful completion of Western’s residency program results in recommendation for an initial Colorado teaching license. Licensing for teachers, administration and special service providers in public K-12 Education is overseen and facilitated by the Colorado Department of Education. If you are seeking a license outside of Colorado, it is strongly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing entity (linked below) in the state in which you are seeking licensure. Please note that as teacher licensure requirements vary by state and are continually updated, we cannot make a blanket determination as to whether or not Western’s program meets any particular state’s licensing requirement. We will, however, help you navigate each state’s educational licensing board’s requirements.

If you are interested in seeking licensure outside of Colorado, please contact Sherri Anderson, Director of Educator Preparation at: sanderson@western.edu

This list is updated annually.

State State Department of Education Link to Out-of-State Requirements
Alabama Alabama Department of Education https://www.alabamaachieves.org/teacher-center/teacher-certification/out-of-state-certificate/
Alaska Alaska Department of Education & Early Development https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification
Arizona Arizona Department of Education https://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/forms-and-information/reciprocity
California California Department of Education https://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/out-of-state-ged
Colorado Colorado Department of Education https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/checklist-initialteacher
Connecticut Connecticut State Department of Education https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Certification/Out-of-State-Certified-Teachers/Regulations
Delaware Delaware Department of Education https://www.doe.k12.de.us/Page/3504#oosdoc
District of Columbia District of Columbia State Board of Education https://osse.dc.gov/page/initial-teacher-credential
Florida Florida Department of Education https://www.fldoe.org/teaching/certification/pathways-routes/teacher-edu-program-graduates.stml#03
Georgia Georgia Department of Education https://www.gapsc.com/EducatorPreparation/Resources/OutOfStateInstitution.aspx
Guam Guam Department of Education https://www.gdoe.net/district
Hawaii Hawaii State Department of Education https://hawaiiteacherstandardsboard.org/content/permits-and-license-types/
Idaho Idaho State Department of Education https://www.sde.idaho.gov/cert-psc/cert/apply/out-of-state.html
Illinois Illinois State Board of Education https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Professional-Educator-License.aspx
Indiana Indiana Department of Education https://www.in.gov/doe/educators/educator-licensing/
Iowa Iowa Department of Education https://boee.iowa.gov/
Kansas Kansas State Department of Education https://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Teacher-Licensure-and-Accreditation/Licensure/License-Application/Form-2-Out-of-State
Kentucky Kentucky Department of Education http://www.epsb.ky.gov/mod/page/view.php?id=30
Louisiana Louisiana Department of Education https://www.louisianabelieves.com/
Maine Maine Department of Education https://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/initial
Maryland Maryland State Department of Education https://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DEE/Certification/index.aspx
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education https://www.doe.mass.edu/licensure/out-state-applicants.html
Michigan Michigan Department of Education Out-Of State Requirements
Minnesota Minnesota Department of Education https://mn.gov/pelsb/aspiring-educators/requirements/
Mississippi Mississippi Department of Education https://www.mdek12.org/OTL/OEL/Reciprocity
Missouri Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education https://dese.mo.gov/educator-quality/certification/out-state-information
Montana Montana Office of Public Instruction https://opi.mt.gov/Educators/Licensure/Educator-Licensure/Educator-Licenses#9389210446-class-5-provisional-teaching-license
Nebraska Nebraska Department of Education https://www.education.ne.gov/tcert/out-of-state-certification/ 
Nevada Nevada Department of Education https://doe.nv.gov/educator-licensure/new-teachers-out-of-state-applicants/
New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Education https://nhdoepm.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/CHD/pages/190447701/Out-of-State+Applicant
New Jersey New Jersey Department Education https://www.nj.gov/education/license/out/reciprocity.htm
New Mexico New Mexico Department of Education https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/licensure/how-to-apply/
New York New York State Education Department http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/teachrecother.html
North Carolina North Carolina Department of Public Instruction https://www.dpi.nc.gov/educators/educators-licensure/beginning-process-educators-license
North Dakota North Dakota Department of Public Instruction https://www.nd.gov/espb/licensure/license-information/license-faqs
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands State Department of Education https://www.cnmipss.org/
Ohio Ohio Department of Education https://sboe.ohio.gov/
Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Education https://sde.ok.gov/traditional-path-oklahoma-teacher-certification#otherstate
Oregon Oregon Department of Education https://www.oregon.gov/tspc/LIC/Pages/Out-of-State.aspx
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Education https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Certification/OutOfState/Pages/Completed-Approved-Preparation-Program-Outside-of-Pennsylvania.aspx
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico State Department of Education https://de.pr.gov/
Rhode Island Rhode Island Department of Education https://www.ride.ri.gov/
South Carolina South Carolina Department of Education https://ed.sc.gov/educators/teaching-in-south-carolina/pathways/
South Dakota South Dakota Department of Education https://doe.sd.gov/certification/documents/RECIPROCITY-%20ED.pdf
Tennessee Tennessee Department of Education https://www.tn.gov/education/educators/licensing/educator-licensure/out-of-state-educators.html
Texas Texas Education Agency https://tea.texas.gov/texas-educators/certification/out-of-state-certification/out-of-state-certified-educators
U.S. Virgin Islands The Virgin Islands Department of Education https://www.vide.vi/
Utah Utah State Board of Education https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aK3jls3-rzMeMzoL-kCQ-3uUWfvTNMlJt5JHRj6oA5k/edit?pli=1#heading=h.g3icvbw1j3bx
Vermont State of Vermont Agency of Education https://education.vermont.gov/educator-licensure/become-a-vermont-educator/reciprocity
Virginia Virginia Department of Education Go to this webpage and click on the top search to download a Microsoft Word Document detailing out-of-state reciprocity information.
Washington Washington State Board of Education https://www.k12.wa.us/certification/teacher-certificate/out-state-applicants-teachers/residency-teacher-out-state
West Virginia West Virginia Department of Education https://wvde.us/certification/certification-info/application-forms/form-23-application-instructions/ 
Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction https://dpi.wi.gov/licensing/pathways-licensure/oos-pathways#Out-of-State%20Pathway
Wyoming Wyoming Department of Education http://wyomingptsb.com/licensure/out-of-state-applicants/

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