To become a licensed teacher, you’ll need the right credentials and firsthand experience in the classroom. This dynamic combination provides the knowledge, tools and expertise required to launch your professional career as an educator.
Set yourself up for success as licensed teacher.
Western’s one-year Teacher Residency program is strongly aligned with Colorado’s Teacher Quality Standards. We combine the best practices of top teachers with methods informed by educational researchers to help you develop skills to thrive in a variety of classroom environments. As a Teacher Licensure candidate, you’ll receive continuous feedback from your mentor teacher, regional coordinator and Western instructors. You may complete an additional 16 credits of coursework to earn your M.A. in Education. This degree must be completed within four years after earning your teaching license.
*Teacher licensure requirements vary from state-to-state. This program is approved based on the State of Colorado standards. You are solely responsible for checking what the specific requirements are from the department of education in the state where you plan to work.
Advance your career as an educator
Ranked as one of the top 10 most effective and top five most affordable online education degrees in the nation, Western’s small classes, innovative instruction and experienced faculty will enable you to advance your career as an educator.
At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.
|EDUC 600||Foundations of Literacy Development||3||View|
|EDUC 601||Methods and Strategies of Effective Reading Instruction||3||View|
|EDUC 602||Literacy Assessment Informed Instruction||3||View|
|EDUC 603||Content Area Learning||3||View|
|EDUC 604||Learning Environments||3||View|
|EDUC 605||Curriculum Development and Assessment||3||View|
|EDUC 606||Reading and Writing in the Content Area||3||View|
|EDUC 607||Rethinking Learning through 21st Century||3||View|
|EDUC 608||Methods and Strategies of Effective Writing Instruction||3||View|
|EDUC 609||Secondary Student Teaching||3||View|
|EDUC 610||K-12 Student Teaching||3||View|
|EDUC 611||Strategies for Exceptionalities||3||View|
|EDUC 612||Assessment and Programming||3||View|
|EDUC 613||Methods and Strategies of Effective Mathematics Instruction||3||View|
|EDUC 614||Inclusivity with Collaboration||3||View|
|EDUC 615||Student Teaching Exceptionalities||3||View|
|EDUC 619||Elementary Student Teaching||3||View|
|EDUC 621||Creating Effective Online Learning Environments||3||View|
|EDUC 622||Using Data to Plan for Online & Blended Learning and Targeted Interventions||3||View|
|EDUC 623||Designing and Delivering Effective Online & Blended Instruction||3||View|
|EDUC 624||Managing to Differentiate||3||View|
|EDUC 627||Innovations in Student Centered Teaching and Learning||3||View|
|EDUC 630||Inclusivity in the Content Areas||3||View|
|EDUC 631||Inclusive Methods and Strategies for Literacy||3||View|
|EDUC 632||Overview of Special Services||3||View|
|EDUC 633||Differential Literacy Assessment||3||View|
|EDUC 680||Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders||4||View|
|EDUC 681||Instructional Program Development and Evaluation||3||View|
|EDUC 682||Shaping School Systems||3||View|
|EDUC 684||Materials and Motivation for Reading||2||View|
|EDUC 685||Assessing, Evaluating, and Instructing At-risk and Struggling Readers||3||View|
|EDUC 686||Literacy Coaching and Mentoring||2||View|
|EDUC 687||School-Wide Comprehensive Literacy Program Development||2||View|
|EDUC 688||Reading Teacher Internship||3||View|
|EDUC 689||Reading Specialist Internship||3||View|
|EDUC 695||Resource Management in Education||3||View|
|EDUC 696||Engaging External Stakeholders||3||View|
Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.
Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.
The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.
Everything you need to start your career.
- Residency: You’ll complete a year-long residency under the guidance of a mentor teacher while taking online courses. Western assists with the residency placement for all admitted students. You may complete your residency anywhere in Colorado, the U.S. or the world.
- Summer: You’ll attend a Licensure Orientation, which covers foundational concepts and reviews program expectations, while also allowing you to connect with your instructors and peers before starting the program.
- Fall and Spring: You’ll enroll in four online courses while spending 24 hours per week in a K-12 classroom. By spring you will progress toward teaching independently and will assume the role of the full-time, lead teacher for five consecutive weeks.
Making it count
100% of students in Western’s Teacher Licensure program pass their licensing exams and 96% land full-time teaching positions.
Attain your licensure while you teach.
The Alternative Teacher Licensure Program was designed for candidates who have secured a full-time teaching position in a Colorado K-12 school. With proof of employment, you’ll teach in your own classroom under an Alternative License (granted by CDE), complete online coursework, and meet with a mentor for at least one hour per week. Please note your current employment must be in the endorsement area you are seeking. For more information about Colorado’s Alternative Licensure program, see the Colorado Department of Education’s Alternative Licensure webpage.
Firsthand teaching experience
Western’s one-year Teacher Residency program allows you to earn your teaching license and optional master’s degree while gaining firsthand teaching experience in a classroom.
Customize your master’s based on your interests.
After completion of the teacher licensure year coursework (27 credits), you may complete an additional 16 credits of coursework to earn your M.A. in Education. This degree must be completed within four years after earning your Teaching License. You aren’t required to complete the degree if you only want to earn the teaching license.
Based on your interests, you may choose one of three leadership emphases for your master’s degree.
Teacher Licensure students complete a yearlong residency under the guidance of a mentor teacher while taking online courses anywhere in Colorado, the nation or the world. Western assists with the residency placement for all admitted students.
Teacher Leadership Emphasis
Teacher Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a teacher-leader) within a school who is regarded as an excellent educator; is well respected by peers; is recognized for his or her leadership capacity; holds a lifelong learning orientation; and has been identified to facilitate, advocate, and advance school reform and improvement of student learning. The work of a Teacher Leader is typically carried out through informal and formal venues and processes; for example, with teachers in their classrooms, and district level task forces, committee, and/or membership in district level professional development projects.
The Teacher Leadership Emphasis focuses on advanced professional development — turning experienced teachers into accomplished professionals and instructional leaders.
Reading Leadership Emphasis
Reading Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a reading-leader) situated in the classroom or in a school or district-level position who has advanced knowledge of federal and state policies related to literacy; has deep understanding of the development, implementation, and evaluation of scientifically-based reading programs; and can work effectively with other instructional staff to meet the literacy needs of all students. The reading leader provides professional guidance and expertise to classroom teachers, school and/or district literacy curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs; and develops and conducts in-service programs related to literacy.
The Reading Leadership Emphasis at Western enhances the ability of teachers to deliver high-quality reading instruction and promotes fair access to literacy for all students.
K-12 Online Teacher Leadership Emphasis
K-12 Online Teacher Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (an online-teacher leader) teaching online in a virtual school and/or in a blended K-12 learning environment who knows federal and state policies related to online and blended teaching; has advanced knowledge of the development, implementation and evaluation of online teaching and instructional design; and can work effectively with other online or blended instructional staff to meet the needs of all students. This emphasis provides guidance and expertise to virtual or brick and mortar schools on effective curriculum, instruction and assessment programs in relation to blended learning.
Western is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This regional accrediting agency is responsible for accrediting degree-granting post-secondary institutions in a 19-state region.
Lead with confidence
The K-12 Online Teacher Leadership Emphasis cultivates teachers to engage students and understand how the subjects they study can be used to explore important issues in their lives and the world around them.