None of Colorado’s TESOL programs earn distinctions from the top ranking sites as of 2013. However, they do offer flexibility in the form of program delivery, with weekend, evening, and partially online coursework for working adults. There are master’s programs that fold in initial teaching licensure for K-12, as well as certificate endorsement programs that allow practicing Colorado educators to earn add-on licensure to work in ESL or bilingual settings.
ESL Teacher Certification
According to the Educator Licensing division of the CDE, the state awards the following categories of teaching licenses, among others:
- Initial Teaching License
- Professional Teaching License
- Interim Authorization (for out-of-state applicants seeking reciprocity)
The official ESL endorsement granted by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) applies to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has a guide dedicated to Adding an Endorsement to a Valid Teacher or Special Service Provider License. To add the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Education K-12 to a valid Colorado teaching license, educators can complete a state-approved program or submit evidence of having completed 24 semester hours in university-level classes covering:
- Language Development and Second Language Acquisition
- Literacy Development for CLD Students
- English Language Structure and Linguistics
- ELL Assessment
- Multicultural Education
- TESOL Curriculum and Instruction
- Field Experience in ELL Classrooms
- Optional: Foreign Language Knowledge
Educators can also complete courses and take an exam to earn CDE’s endorsement for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Bilingual (K12).
Alternative Certification Options
Recent college graduates and career changers can participate in one of CDE’s approved Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs. These programs do not place candidates in a school, but do provide on-the-job training and accelerated coursework to help them meet state licensure requirements.
Master’s in ESL Programs
University of Colorado at Boulder is also home to the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, and offers a Master of Arts in Linguistics for TESOL Professionals. The University of Colorado Denver‘s program has a global focus and is ideal for educators preparing for a career in EFL or adult ESL education: Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics. The University of Northern Colorado is ranked among the top 10 online graduate programs in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report. The MAT in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education degree incorporates the requirements for state CLD endorsement (equivalent to an ESL endorsement) and continues with a master’s degree program. Students can take this online course of study concurrently with a teacher preparation program, but not in lieu of one if they seek state licensure.