Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should require alternate route programs to exceed the admission requirements of traditional preparation programs while also being flexible to the needs of nontraditional candidates.
While the admission requirements for Colorado's alternate routes do not exceed those for traditional preparation programs, the state does allow flexibility for some nontraditional candidates.
Colorado passed legislation in January 2011 that restructured alternate route programs in the state into a one-year program and a two-year program. Applicants for both are required to obtain the Colorado Alternative Teacher license. Colorado does not require candidates to demonstrate prior academic performance, such as a minimum GPA, as an entrance standard for the alternate route program.
Colorado no longer requires all applicants to pass a content exam. Candidates for elementary education must pass a subject-matter test; however, the state does not require a subject-matter test for secondary teachers. Secondary candidates must either complete 24 semester hours of coursework or pass a content-area test in the subject they plan to teach.
Colorado Rule 2260.5.R-3.12
Screen candidates for academic ability.
Colorado should require that candidates to its alternate routes provide some evidence of good academic performance. The standard should be higher than what is required of traditional teacher candidates, such as a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Alternatively, the state could require one of the standardized tests of academic proficiency commonly used in higher education for graduate admissions, such as the GRE.
Extend subject-matter test requirement to secondary certification applicants.
While Colorado is commended for requiring elementary candidates to demonstrate content knowledge on a subject-matter test, it is strongly recommended that the state extend this requirement to all of its candidates. The concept behind alternate routes is that the nontraditional candidate is able to concentrate on acquiring professional knowledge and skills because he or she has strong subject-area knowledge. Teachers without sufficient subject-matter knowledge place students at risk.
Colorado asserted that a candidate must have a minimum GPA of 2.6 for admission to the alternative licensure program.
NCTQ was unable to find policy that addresses a minimum GPA requirement. Still, the academic standard should be higher than what is required of traditional teacher candidates, such as a GPA of 2.75 or higher.