Additional Pathways to Teaching

University Partnerships

The traditional route to becoming a teacher is to earn an undergraduate degree in education. But you can also become a teacher if you have previously earned a baccalaureate degree and apply to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for teacher licensure.

No matter which route you take, you can choose from several programs at local colleges and universities that will prepare you to become a teacher.

What to Look For in a Teacher Preparation Program:

A quality teacher preparation program will integrate recent research, theory, and best practices to meet the educational needs of school districts. It will also provide a curriculum that recognizes:

  • the multi-cultural composition of the population served
  • the centrality of standards-based education
  • the role of schools in society
  • the importance of existing knowledge about learning and teaching; and
  • the role of technology in instruction.

Which Program Is Right for You?

Denver Public Schools works closely with all of these teacher preparation programs to ensure that every candidate is well-trained and committed to working in a diverse, urban school district.

Student Teacher Residency

Through the Student Teacher Residency, DPS is forging a groundbreaking partnership with two local universities to invest in aspiring teachers’ education while they are earning an undergraduate teaching degree. College seniors at Metropolitan State University at Denver and the University of Colorado Denver who are working toward a bachelor’s degree and teaching license will have the opportunity to student teach in a DPS school for a full year. This enhances the practical learning experience for undergraduate students and increases the experiences they have in their final year as an undergraduate.

The partnership will present an opportunity for student teachers to work directly with a veteran DPS teacher for the year, receiving additional support, mentorship and feedback during their senior year of college before becoming a first year teacher.

Student teachers who complete the Student Teacher Residency with DPS will receive high hiring priority when seeking a position with the school system as first year teachers. Once new teachers are hired at DPS, they experience a variety of supports, from mentoring and professional learning courses to classroom observations and feedback, that help them learn to engage students, deliver challenging content and tailor instruction for diverse learners so that they achieve their full potential as effective teachers.

Alternative Routes

Paraprofessionals provide crucial support for students in the classroom. While working as a paraprofessional in DPS, you can earn a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate in four years. For more information on this Para to Teacher program, contact the University of Northern Colorado Center for Urban Education directly at 303-637-4336.

To learn more about qualifications, review our paraprofessional candidate brochure.

Teach for America (TFA)

Teach for America is the nation’s largest provider of teachers for low-income communities. Nationwide, over 17,000 college graduates and professionals of all academic majors and career interests work together to help create transformational classrooms for all kids.
This year, a corps of nearly 60 of the nation’s most promising future leaders are teaching in our city’s lowest-income classrooms as a part of Teach For America Denver.

You can join them. Commit to two years teaching in urban public schools. Become a leader in the effort to expand educational opportunities to every child.

Sign Up