Apr 05, 2020  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Elementary/Secondary Education Licensure

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Urban Community Teacher Education Program

Lawrence Street Center, 701
Campus Box 106
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364
Telephone: 303-315-6300
Fax: 303-315-6311
E-mail: education@ucdenver.edu
Website:  www.ucdenver.edu/education

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Urban Community Teacher Education Licensure Program Overview

The Urban Community Teacher Education program is both an undergraduate and graduate level program for general education licensure. (Special education is currently only an option at the graduate level, but undergraduates who want to obtain a special education license are encouraged to consider pursuing their endorsement plus an MA in special education .) The expectations for performance are identical for both undergraduates and graduates because the expectations for newly licensed teachers in the state of Colorado are exactly the same. Undergraduates and graduates work side by side in coursework and internships. There are very slight differences including the course registration numbers (undergraduates register for 4000 level; graduate students register for 5000 level) and undergraduates take 1-2 licensure courses and one internship prior to admission in the program. The teacher education program fosters critically reflective inquiry about teaching and learning and the development of collaborative skills necessary to work effectively with other adults on schooling issues. The program strives to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population of students, and to productively participate in and lead school renewal by applying democratic principles in educational settings.

Education Pathways

The graduate teacher education program at CU Denver is designed for individuals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree who seek a master’s degree along with an initial Colorado provisional teacher’s license in the following areas:

  • Elementary Education (K-6) (43 semester hours)
  • Secondary Education (7-12) (36 semester hours)
    • English
    • mathematics
    • science (general science, biology, earth science, physics, chemistry)
    • social studies
    • foreign language (Spanish, French)
  • Special Education Generalist (Ages 5-21) (57 semester hours)
  • Dual General Education/Special Education (60-67 semester hours)

Program Distinctions

Program Structure

The program admits teacher candidates in three cohort groups, one in the summer and one in fall. The initial professional teacher education program includes a full time 1 - 1.5 year licensure plan for regular education and a 1.5 - 2 year full time option for initial special education and dual special education. Students will be taking course work at the university and field-based work in one of CU Denver’s partner schools. By enrolling in several courses together, elementary and secondary teacher candidates consider how students develop as learners over the entire K-12 school span. This collaborative approach applies to students in the general and special education program as well. This ensures that all elementary and secondary classroom teachers are well-prepared to work with students with special needs and that all special educators have a solid foundation in general education in curriculum and instruction.

Professional Development Schools

While in the licensure portion of the program, teacher candidates work in a partner school two to five days per week, depending on the internship level with the sequence of the program plan. University courses are closely interrelated with the three internship experiences in which teacher candidates gradually assume responsibility for teaching. Elementary teacher candidates generally spend an entire academic year in a single partner elementary school, whereas secondary teacher candidates spend their internships in one of the partner middle schools and one of the partner high schools. The partner schools are located in several Denver metropolitan districts with most serving large populations of low-income and/or minority students, as well as a sizeable number of students for whom English is a second language and students with special needs. Each partner school is supported by a site professor from the university one day per week and by a master teacher/mentor, called a site coordinator, who supports teacher candidates through their entire internships.


In 2000, Senate Bill 154 required all Colorado teacher education institutions to become performance based. PBA stands for performance based assessment. PBAs are created that correspond to many of the teacher education courses and concurrent practice in the series of internships. In doing so, knowledge can be evaluated as a result of coursework and performance in schools simultaneously. As teacher candidates progress through the program, they will be introduced to Performance Based Assessments (PBAs) and will be guided and supported in both course work and internships. Students seeking dual licensure are responsible for four additional PBAs associated with their second endorsement in Special Education. 

The PBAs are:

  1. Literacy Instruction & Assessment (elementary and secondary versions)
  2. Mathematics Instruction & Assessment (elementary)
  3. Subject Matter Content (secondary)
  4. Student Profile
  5. Classroom Management
  6. Teacher Work Sample (TWS)
  7. Internship Performance Rubric (used at the end of each internship)

Programs of Study

Due to the complex nature of state mandated influences of teacher preparation courses and consistently evaluating our program to meet student needs, please see current programs of study in the teacher education handbook.

Master’s Degree Options

The teacher education program design supports the concept of teacher education as an ongoing developmental process linking preservice, induction and ongoing professional growth experiences. Upon completion of the licensure portion of the program, beginning teachers continue working toward their master’s degree (an additional 18-38 semester hours) in the areas of special education, educational psychology, content in English or history in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, or curriculum and instruction with emphasis areas during their first or second year of teaching. This ensures that CU Denver’s new teachers are provided with continuing support from the university while in their first few years of teaching. 

Requirements for Admission

The program has two windows for admissions each spring. Summer admission deadlines are February 15; Fall admission deadline is April 15.

Urban Community Teacher Education Information Sessions

All prospective teacher candidates are strongly encouraged to attend an information session before applying to the program. Information sessions are held once a month lasting approximately 60-90 minutes.  An advisor will be available to provide prospective students transcript reviews and pre-admission advising. To more effectively facilitate this process, please bring copies of all transcripts with you. A calendar of upcoming information sessions can be viewed on the CU Denver website. Go to  www.ucdenver.edu/education  to reserve a space under the menu item “Admissions.”

Urban Community Teacher Education Program Requirements

  • Applicants to the urban community teacher education program must hold at least a bachelor’s degree with a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 for admission.
  • Graduate candidates with a GPA less than 2.75 are required to take the GRE, with a combined score of 150 each on the verbal and quantitative sections; or the Miller Analogies Test, with an average score of 400-600, before consideration for admittance.
  • Verification of passing official scores for PLACE or PRAXIS II.
  • All elementary education candidates must have a liberal arts major or equivalent content courses that provide a broad background of knowledge. *
  • All secondary education candidates must have a major or major equivalent of at least 30 semester hours in their desired teaching field. *
  • Undergraduate candidates must have an individually structured elementary emphasis.
  • A complete application which can be obtained online

*This is determined through transcript evaluations with an evaluator.

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