Undergraduate Teacher Education Program
Please click here to see School of Education & Human Development information.
There are several pathways that CU Denver undergraduates can take to become a licensed teacher in Colorado. The BA major in Education and Human Development (EDHD) includes three areas of specialization related to licensure – Early Childhood, Elementary or Special Education. In addition, several options are possible in conjunction with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).
SEHD Major Pathway:
The CU Denver bachelor’s degree with a major in Education and Human Development is a four-year, 126-credit-hour, interdisciplinary program with a licensure track in Elementary Education, Early Childhood and Special Education. It focuses on engaging Colorado’s rapidly diversifying student and family population and combines cutting-edge research with real classroom experiences.
The program prepares educators who are culturally affirming and responsive, collaborate closely with families and communities, and have the knowledge and skills to create engaging, relevant, and rigorous classroom communities where all students can achieve and grow. We work alongside our P-12 partner educators throughout the UCD Professional Development School Network comprised of over 20 urban schools across 6 districts in the Denver metro region. Through these internships UCTE students live the life of a teacher for an entire academic year while enrolled in the program. Ultimately our goal is that all teacher candidates have the unique knowledge and skills to positively impact urban and diverse schools and act with a sense of urgency to support equity in education for all children. The Urban Community Teacher Education Program is a nationally accredited program that exceeds expectations.
Professional Development Schools
While in the licensure portion of the program, teacher candidates intern in a professional development school for an entire academic year, gradually beginning with two days a week early on and increasing over time to five days per week by the end of the program. University courses are closely integrated with the sequence of clinical internship experiences providing teacher candidates with multiple opportunities to engage in the authentic work of teachers. Teacher candidates co-teach closely with practicing teachers in the school and gradually assume full responsibility for teaching by the end of the program. Elementary teacher candidates generally spend an entire academic year in a single partner elementary school. The schools are located in several Denver metropolitan districts 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 school is supported by a site professor from the university one day per week and by a master teacher, called a site coordinator, who supports teacher candidates through their academic year of internships.
The coursework and the internship experiences have been created to align with the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards, as well as frameworks for culturally and linguistically responsive instruction and Universal Design for Learning. Students in all programs engage in a common set of learning opportunities and internship assessments. They also engage in Program Level Assessments at different stages of the program. Colorado mandates that all teacher education programs be “performance based” in order to recommend candidates completing the program for licensure; thus all candidates in the Urban Community Teacher Education program must demonstrate proficiency in both the university-based coursework and their internships.
Programs of Study
Additional information about the three tracks can be found at the following links:
Early Childhood Education - BA in Education and Human Development
Undergraduate teacher education program in early childhood education
Elementary Education Track - BA in Education and Development
Undergraduate teacher education elementary
Special Education Track - BA in Education and Human Development
Undergraduate teacher education special education
Due to the complex nature of teacher preparation that is governed by state and national accreditation and legislative mandates that can change from year to year, please see current programs of study in the teacher education handbook.
The goal of all SEHD programs is to prepare students to become a highly effective, innovative, and compassionate elementary teachers skilled in improving student performance and reaching the needs of today’s diverse learners in a variety of school settings. The program is offered in a hybrid format with both in-class and online coursework that support the needs of talented students from all backgrounds, including nontraditional and underrepresented students.
SEHD accepts applications from incoming freshmen, current students at CU Denver, transfer students from community colleges or four-year institutions, individuals who are working as paraprofessionals, assistant teachers or developmental intervention assistants in early childhood centers or elementary schools and people who are interested in working in community-based organizations serving diverse families.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We encourage students to take advantage of the scholarships and grants that are available in this major.
CLAS Major Pathway:
The second undergraduate teacher education route at CU Denver is a joint effort between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education & Human Development. On this route, students earn a bachelor’s degree through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a teaching license through the School of Education & Human Development.
This undergraduate program is also dedicated to quality teacher education. To that end, our admission standards are rigorous and there are a number of program “gates” that teacher candidates go through to complete licensure.
CU Denver has selective admission standards for entering freshmen, including a 93 institutional index that includes students who are typically in the top third of their class or have a 3.4 GPA or score above a 23 on the ACT or 1100 on the SAT. Students transferring from community colleges must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA.
Please note: The admission into the School of Education & Human Development teacher education program for CLAS majors is a separate process from admission to the university. Summer deadlines are January 15* February 15; the fall deadline is March 15. Spring admission deadlines are August 15, September 15 and October 15.
CLAS Undergraduate Teacher Education Pathways
Undergraduate teacher candidates can earn a BA and a Colorado provisional teacher’s license in the following areas:
- BA-Individually Structured Major Elementary Education Licensure
- BA-English Literature Secondary English Licensure
- BS-Mathematics Secondary Mathematics Licensure
- BA-History Secondary Social Science Licensure
- BA-Political Science Secondary Social Science Licensure
- BA-Spanish Secondary Spanish Licensure
- BA-French Secondary French Licensure
The School of Education & Human Development teacher education program admits teacher candidates in two cohort groups: one in the summer/fall and one in the spring. The initial professional teacher education program includes a 12- or 15-month licensure plan. 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 one to four days per week, depending on the internship. University courses are closely interrelated with the four 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 four 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, called a site coordinator.
Passing the PLACE or PRAXIS II Content examination prior to the final internship is also required before a candidate is eligible for a provisional teaching license in Colorado.
Undergraduate teacher candidates from CLAS will have a team of individuals who work with them throughout the completion of their bachelor’s degree and teacher licensure. The following are the members of the advising team:
College of Liberal Arts and Science (CLAS) Education Advisor
The CLAS advisor will assist you upon entry to the university though graduation. The CLAS advisor will monitor your progress through the core curriculum, pre-UCTE curriculum, eligibility requirements for the UCTE program and transfer credits. The CLAS advisor will also approve individually structured major-elementary education contracts for elementary education teacher candidates.
A faculty advisor designated within the academic department works with undergraduate teacher education students pursuing secondary licensure regarding specific requirements within academic major (i.e., English, history, mathematics, Spanish, French, and political science). See the CLAS advisor for specific names and contact information.
School of Education and Human Development Advisor
An advisor in the School of Education and Human Development’s Student Services Center (Lawrence St. Center Bldg., 701; 303-315-6300) is able to help with questions about prerequisite completion, taking the PRAXIS II/PLACE exam and other general questions.
UCTE Undergraduate Academic Planning Sheets
Developed in collaboration with the academic departments and UCTE program faculty, advisors will work with the teacher candidates on an academic planning sheet. There is little flexibility in the program course requirements as these requirements meet and exceed the Colorado Department of Education’s teacher education professional and content standards.
UCTE Undergraduate Community College Articulation
CU Denver honors the community college articulation agreement to transfer the 60 designated semester hours from the community college to anyone admitted to the teacher licensure program. If the teacher candidate is a transfer student, he/she should work with his/her CLAS advisor early and often to ensure that all courses are transferred properly.
Programs of Study
Due to the complex nature of state mandated influences of teacher preparation courses and consistently evaluating this program for students, please refer to the most current version of the teacher education program handbook for academic requirements for this program.