Nov 17, 2019  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Teacher Education Program: Master of Arts in Education and Human Development with a concentration in Teaching in Diverse Contexts

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Lawrence Street Center, 701
Campus Box 106
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Telephone: 303-315-6300
Fax: 303-315-6311

Graduate Teacher Education Program Overview

The Graduate Teacher Education is housed within the Education and Human Development Master of Arts degree with a concentration in Teaching in Diverse Contexts.  The Graduate Teacher Education 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 CU Denver Professional Development School Network comprised of over 20 urban schools across numerous districts in the Denver metro region. Teacher education students live the life of a teacher for an entire academic year while enrolled in the program through a series of residency internships in a professional development school. Ultimately our goal is that all teacher candidates-whether their emphasis is elementary, secondary, or special education– 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 Graduate Teacher Education Program is a nationally accredited program that exceeds expectations.

Education Pathways

The graduate teacher education program at CU Denver is designed to allow individuals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to seek a master’s degree along with an initial Colorado 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 Structure

The program admits teacher candidates in cohort groups that begin either in the summer or fall. The cohort model provides a unique learning community for candidates and engenders significant support for success. The program includes full time 1 - 1.5 year licensure plans for regular education and a 1.5 - 2 year full time option for initial special education and dual special education. Students enroll in course work at the university and clinical internships in one of CU Denver’s professional development schools throughout the program. By enrolling in several courses and internships together, elementary, secondary, and special education teacher candidates are well prepared to support K-12 students with a wide range of diverse needs. 

Once teacher candidates complete the licensure portion of the program, they are eligible to begin teaching.  Candidates then complete the MA in Education and Human Development by taking one final three credit hour course.  In addition, students have the option of pursing an MA in Curriculum and Instruction in their choice of specialization (see MA Options below).  

Clinical Experience in 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, whereas secondary teacher candidates spend their internships in one of the partner middle schools and one of the partner high schools.  Special education teacher candidates complete internships at multiple levels, P-12 due to the wide-span of their license that enables them to support students with special needs ages 5-21.  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.


Both 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

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.

Master’s Degree Options

The Graduate Teacher Education Program views 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  complete the MA in Education and Human Development with a concentration in Teaching in Diverse Contexts by taking one final three credit hour course.

Students may also pursue  an MA in Curriculum & Instruction with multiple options to obtain specialized knowledge in specific areas of curriculum & instruction like Literacy & Language, Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education, STEM, Special Education, and others.  These options typically require 12-15 additional credits and can also be coupled with added endorsements from the Colorado Department of Education.  Students should refer to the information for the Curriculum and Instruction program for specifics.

Requirements for Admission

Admission Deadline:  March 1 for both summer and fall start dates

Graduate Teacher Education Information Sessions

All prospective teacher candidates are strongly encouraged to attend an information session before applying to the program. Information sessions are typically held both face-to-face and through online webinars lasting approximately 60-90 minutes (check the SEHD website for exact dates and times).  An advisor will be available to review prospective students’ transcript and provide pre-admission advising. To more effectively facilitate this process, please bring copies of all transcripts with you.

Prerequisite Content Review

Teacher licensure requires that all initial licensure candidates hold a degree or have sufficient content knowledge obtained through university coursework aligned to the licensure area the candidate will be teaching.  A prerequisite content review of a candidate’s bachelor’s degree transcript is required to determine if the candidate meets the minimum requirements or will have to take additional prerequisite content courses.

Graduate Teacher Education Admission Requirements

  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Candidates with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 are required to take the GRE, with a combined score of 150 each on verbal and quantitative sections; or the Miller Analogies Test, with an average score of 400-600, before consideration to admittance.
  • Verification of passing official scores for PLACE or PRAXIS content exam specific to their licensure area. Consult the Colorado Department of Education website for specific testing information
  • A complete application which can be obtained online at which includes transcripts, essays, recommendations, and an interview.

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