How to Become an ESL Teacher in Colorado
Persons who would like to become English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers in Colorado can do so by meeting the necessary academic achievements and regulatory requirements for that specific teaching license.
Information on Becoming a Licensed ESL Teacher in Colorado
In order to become an ESL teacher, candidates must satisfy the criteria for obtaining an Initial Teacher License from the Colorado Department of Education. The general requirements are summarized in the table below.
|Education/Experience Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Exam Requirements||None required|
|Certification Renewal Period||Three years (initial license)|
|Requirements for Renewal||Submission of the application form and non-refundable application fee|
|Average Salary (2018)||$47,670 (adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors in CO)*|
|Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)||10% (teachers and instructors, all other, nationally)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
General Academic Requirements
Traditionally, a prospective ESL teacher in Colorado must complete an approved educator preparation program in the area of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Bilingual Education Specialist (K-12). This program must have been undertaken at an accredited college or university. The Colorado Department of Education maintains a database of approved institutions that offer this program and this database includes Colorado Mountain College, Fort Lewis College, University of Colorado Boulder and University of Northern Colorado. By doing this, the educator will satisfy the requirements both for an initial license and an ESL endorsement.
Fingerprinting and Self-Disclosure
Applicants must submit their fingerprints for analysis prior to applying for a teaching license. To initiate the process, the applicant must create an eLicensing account using his or her social security number with the Colorado Department of Education. This will allow the applicant to track the background check process. Once this is done, the applicant will be guided to schedule an appointment with an approved vendor to have their fingerprints collected. The fingerprints will then be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who will conduct a state-wide background check and send the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) so a check can be done on a federal level. The results of the background check will be automatically sent to the Colorado Department of Education. The applicant will only be contacted if the fingerprints have been rejected because of poor quality.
It is also a requirement for applicants to disclose any misdemeanor or federal convictions to the Colorado Department of Education regardless of how long ago it occurred. The applicant must also present the relevant supporting documentation for these charges, such as police reports and court dispositions.
Applicants are able to apply online through the eLicensing portal on the Colorado Department of Education website. They will need to submit a valid government ID as well as official transcripts and a completed Approved Program Verification Form. Official transcripts should not be mailed to the department of education but to the applicant. The applicant can then upload the document to the online portal. The transcripts must include the signature of the university registrar, the degree conferred and the list of coursework undertaken. The applicant can then complete the online application form with the relevant information and pay the $90 application fee through the online portal.
The Initial Teacher License is valid for three years. It is possible for an educator with this license to renew it or advance to a Professional Teacher License. In order to renew the initial license, the educator only needs to complete the required application form and submit it with the $90 application fee. To upgrade to the professional license, the educator would need to complete a teacher induction program approved by the Colorado State Board of Education.