Teacher Education consists of two departments:
- The Department of Elementary, Linguistically Diverse, K-12 and Secondary Education
- The Department of Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Reading and Educational Technology
The Departments of Teacher Education offer professional preparation for teaching and education-related careers. These departments prepare and recommend candidates to the Colorado Department of Education for initial teacher licensure and endorsement to teach in Colorado public schools in the following areas: Early Childhood Education (preschool through 3rd grade), Elementary Education (K-6th grade), K-12 Education (Art, Music, Physical Education, and Modern Languages), Secondary Education (7-12th grade Math, Science, Social Studies, and English), and Special Education K-12 Generalist (ages 0 through 21, mild through severe needs). Minors are available in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Special Education, and Linguistically Diverse Education. Courses and workshops are also offered to meet Colorado Department of Education requirements for renewal of teacher licenses and Colorado Department of Human Services group leader and director qualifications.
Alternative Licensure Programs
The underlying theme of teacher education at MSU Denver is “The Teacher as Decision Maker in Diverse Contexts.” MSU Denver faculty members believe that as decision makers, teacher candidates must seek information regarding the diversity of pupils’ needs, interests, abilities, cultural backgrounds, and learner characteristics. Teacher candidates must also utilize the school district’s benchmarks to develop an understanding of district curriculum. Having become familiar with pupils, goals, and the content of the curriculum, teacher candidates must then be able to make decisions regarding the appropriate arrangement of the classroom environment, selection of materials, use of appropriate methods and management techniques, and make all the concomitant decisions these choices entail.
Additionally, the student teaching assignment provides opportunities for teacher candidates to become aware of the variety of decisions they must constantly make and the possible choices available to them. They will be afforded opportunities to evaluate advantages and disadvantages of their decisions through participation in a sequence of developmental field experiences. Upon completion of the teacher licensure program, teacher candidates will be ready to begin careers as caring and competent educational decision-makers. Teacher candidates exiting the program will be able to:
- Use and apply knowledge gained from general studies, content, pedagogical studies, and personal experiences;
- Develop a reflective instructional practice that is standards-based and grounded in philosophical beliefs, research, and theory;
- Integrate math, literacy and technology into instruction;
- Use both informal and formal assessments;
- Recognize and make necessary modifications for diverse instructional learners; and
- Possess the necessary professional and personal dispositions to maximize instructional impact on the P-12 learner.
The theme “Teacher as a Decision Maker in Diverse Contexts” is found throughout the courses and field experiences that are designed to expose teacher candidates to a variety of teaching theories, models, and practices formulated to help develop decision-making skills.
Teacher Education at MSU Denver is fully accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The University’s teacher education programs have been approved by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE).
Academic departments in the School of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, the School of Business and in the School of Professional Studies prepare candidates with the content and professional knowledge needed. Licensure programs in Early Childhood, Elementary, K-12 (Art, Music, Physical Education, and Modern Languages), Secondary (Math, Science, Social Studies, and English), and Special Education offer teacher licensure courses, field experiences, and student teaching. The completion of a licensure program, including student teaching, a passing score on the appropriate content exam, and the completion of a bachelor’s degree in an approved major or content area (post-baccalaureate) enables a prospective candidate to apply to the Colorado Department of Education for teacher licensure in the designated endorsement area.
The particular sequence of licensure courses to be taken is determined by the level at which a candidate wishes to teach. The licensure courses may be taken along with the bachelor’s degree program or after the baccalaureate degree program has been completed. Candidates must earn at least a “C” in all licensure courses, PSY 1800 and MTH 1610, MTH 2620 and MTL 3600 (if required.) Per university policies, only courses with a grade of “C-” or better can be transferred to MSU Denver. Major departments may have their own acceptable grade guidelines. Effective fall 2011, undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students may attempt to repeat a licensure course if needed or desired. A course can be repeated no more than two times for a maximum of three attempts for a specific course. Licensure is granted by the Colorado Department of Education based on the presentation of appropriate documents, recommendation by the licensure officer, and payment of fees. Candidates receive endorsement in the level and/or subject area in which they are qualified to teach.
Candidates planning to enroll in a teacher education program and seeking teacher licensure are urged to maintain contact with both a major advisor and a teacher licensure advisor once a semester to receive up to date information about the status of their MSU Denver teacher licensure program. Program requirements may be changed by the State or the University. Candidates need to stay in close contact with their advisors to stay abreast of changes and take advantage of transition procedures. Candidates who are not registered for three consecutive semesters will be readmitted under a new catalog, which may include new requirements.
Post-Baccalaureate Candidate Requirements
Post-baccalaureate candidates (teacher licensure candidates who are college graduates) must provide evidence of a baccalaureate degree. In consultation with an education and/or content advisor, a draft individualized program plan will be developed based on an analysis of transcripts to ensure the necessary and appropriate content knowledge and to meet the Colorado endorsement standards for licensure. Equivalent courses will be credited when feasible and appropriate. Final approval of the individualized program must be obtained from the designated education and content department advisor in secondary and K-12 licensure. Post-baccalaureate candidates should begin the program by taking the initial Teacher Education courses.
The admission criteria for post-baccalaureate candidates seeking licensure include evidence of having at least a bachelor’s degree and meeting the criteria for formal admission. Upon application to the Teacher Education program, copies of all official transcripts from previous institutions including the college where the candidate received the baccalaureate degree must be presented to the Application Center. Faculty in the Teacher Education Departments, and the content area major, will review the transcript for completed coursework appropriate for the endorsement being sought. The post-baccalaureate candidate must successfully complete any additional courses in the content (endorsement) area, in addition to the professional sequence coursework, as part of their approved teacher preparation program. It is STRONGLY recommended that post-baccalaureate candidates demonstrate successful completion of the (PLACE or PRAXIS II) content exam as soon as is practical. Candidates should check with an advisor to determine the appropriate exam.
Post-baccalaureate candidates who are seeking teacher licensure, are not degree-seeking and have courses to transfer from a previous teacher education program, may become eligible to student teach with a minimum of 9 credit hours of teacher education coursework. They must, of course, meet all licensure requirements. If only 9 credit hours are to be completed at MSU Denver, the candidate must provide a letter of recommendation from the previous teacher preparation program attesting to the candidate’s professional dispositions, performance in the field, and good academic standing.
Provisional Admission to Teacher Education Programs
All candidates must obtain provisional admission to the program before they can register for their first field experience course(s). Provisional admission is obtained by attending a Teacher Education Application Meeting and submitting the required fingerprinting information (contact or visit the Teacher Application Center for details on fingerprinting requirements). Upon application to the program, the candidate will be assigned an education advisor.
Previously taken education courses may be considered as substitutions for MSU Denver courses if they are less than seven years old and closely match the required courses. Candidates should take all transcripts to their education advisor for review during their first semester in the licensure program. Candidates must certify that they left any previous education programs in good standing and are eligible to return by providing a letter of verification.
To obtain provisional admission candidates must:
- Attend an Application Meeting;
- Complete the application forms, including the worker’s compensation form; and
- Submit fingerprints and fees or provide proof of prior fingerprint processing done through the Colorado Department of Education.
Formal Admission to Teacher Education Programs
Candidates receive information about formal admission requirements at the Application Meeting. Candidates must fulfill the following requirements for formal admission:
Evidence of the following Basic Skills:
- Writing Skills—Degree-seeking candidates who have successfully completed ENG 1010 and ENG 1020 (or equivalent) with a grade of “C” or better, will be initially considered as having met the MSU Denver Basic Skills requirement in writing. The CLEP Exam for English, with a score of at least 50, may be substituted for ENG 1010 if the candidate has successfully completed ENG 1020 (grade of “C” or better). Those teacher licensure candidates who are college graduates (also called post-baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate candidates) will be initially considered as having met the MSU Denver Basic Skills requirement in writing through their earned college degree. However, teacher licensure candidates (either post-baccalaureate or degree seeking) who do not demonstrate satisfactory writing skills as they progress in their teacher preparation coursework will be monitored and required to develop and follow a remediation plan in order to exit the program.
- Mathematics Skills—To demonstrate that candidates have met the Basic Skills requirement in mathematics, they must have either successfully completed a college-level mathematics course at an accredited college or university within the last five years (approved by the Math Department) OR passed an Advanced Placement Exam in mathematics OR they must have met the prerequisites for MTH 1610 by achieving one of the following within the last five years:
- score of 85 or higher on Accuplacer elementary algebra test (students who are freshman status)
- score of 72 or higher on Accuplacer elementary algebra test (students who are sophomore status or above) OR
- score of 460 or higher on the SAT mathematics test taken within the last five years OR
- score of 19 or higher on the ACT mathematics test taken within the last five years.
- Oral Competency—All candidates (either post-baccalaureate or undergraduate degree-seeking) will be initially considered as having met the MSU Denver Basic Skills requirement in oral competency; however, teacher licensure candidates who do not demonstrate proficient oral communication skills as they progress in their teacher preparation coursework will be identified, monitored, required to follow a remediation plan and demonstrate proficiency in order to exit the program. Degree-seeking candidates are required to take SPE 1010 (or SPE 1710 for some licensure areas) for their required communications course.
2. Other Evidence to document for formal admission:
- 2.50 GPA overall coursework or 2.50 GPA over the most recent 30 semester hours of college coursework completed (Note: 2.75 GPA in all courses required for licensure is needed for application for student teaching);
- Copies of all transcripts from institutions of higher education, attended previously; and
- Completed fingerprint card and processing fee.
- Elementary Education students must provide proof of registration for the PLACE or Praxis II Elementary Education Content Area Exam.
- Special Education students must provide proof of a passing score on the PLACE or Praxis II Elementary Education Content Area Exam.
Eligibility for Student Teaching
Candidates begin the student teaching application process by completing the Student Teaching Meeting Part I (online) and attending the Student Teaching Meetings Part II and III (in person). The application deadline is the third Friday of September (for spring semester assignments) and the third Friday of February (for fall semester assignments). It is not possible to complete student teaching for initial licensure during the summer.
Prior to student teaching, all candidates must:
- Have been formally admitted to the teacher licensure program;
- Successfully complete all other college program and degree requirements;
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in all coursework or a 3.0 GPA in the last 45 credit hours;
- Successfully complete all courses required for licensure with a grade of “C” or better;
- Submit verification that the program plan and appropriate CAPP reports have been approved for student teaching by the candidate’s education and major advisors;
- Post-baccalaureate students must complete at least 9 credit hours at MSU Denver prior to student teaching; and
- Provide evidence of having passed the appropriate content examination (PLACE or Praxis II).
Secondary and K-12 candidates must:
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.75 for all courses required in the major (or licensure content for post-baccalaureates) and 2.75 overall in their Teacher Education courses.
Internship candidates who meet all the requirements for student teaching and have submitted an application to intern along with evaluations will be reviewed by the internship committee for approval. An interview with internship committee members is required. Approved candidates who are hired as full time teachers will be supervised by the University and will register for 18 hours of student teaching credit. It is the intern’s responsibility to find a paid position. Internships are usually available only in licensure areas where teacher shortages exist.
Recommendation for Licensure
To be recommended for licensure to the Colorado Department of Education, candidates must:
- Complete all requirements for a bachelor’s degree in the candidate’s major area;
- Complete all requirements in the teacher licensure sequence;
- Pass the appropriate content examination. Candidates should check with an advisor to determine the appropriate exam;
- Complete 16 weeks (640 hours) of supervised student teaching and 10 hours of seminar;
- Demonstrate proficiency in all licensure standards through the teacher work sample completed during student teaching;
- Receive final evaluations of the student teaching experience from the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor that indicate proficiency in all Colorado Performance-Based Standards for teacher licensure for a grade of SE (satisfactory education/B or better); and
- Submit required evaluation documents.
Linguistically Diverse Education Minor and Bilingual Endorsement Program
The principal objective of the Linguistically Diverse Education Minor and Added ESL / Bilingual Endorsement Programs is to prepare future teachers to meet the needs of all students, particularly the increasing numbers of culturally and linguistically diverse students. This minor and teacher endorsement program prepares teachers to conduct all phases of classroom instruction in a culturally and linguistically diverse setting and to promote K-12 students’ academic success and development of English language and literacy and/or continued Spanish literacy. In the developmental sequence, the minor provides the potential or practicing teacher with a background of intercultural understanding and the ability to deliver content and literacy instruction using research-based language acquisition theory and practice; if teacher candidates choose the bilingual focus they will also be prepared to deliver content and literacy instruction in Spanish. The Linguistically Diverse Education Minor and Added Bilingual / ESL Endorsement Programs provide three options teacher candidates may pursue in order to achieve their professional goals.