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Becoming a Designated Agency

Welcome! If you're reading this, your organization is likely interested in becoming a Designated Agency in the State of Colorado or adding a new endorsement area to an already existing program.

On this page, you can learn about the role of a Designated Agency, the type of organizations that can serve as one, and the pathway your organization would follow to become one or to add an endorsement.

Designated Agency Defined

The State Board of Education can allow Designated Agencies to create one-year and two-year alternative teacher programs to assist districts and BOCES that face a shortage of teachers and often struggle to find qualified persons to teach their students (State Statute 22-60.5-205 and the Educator Licensing Act Rules). Such programs shall:

  • Decrease the use of emergency authorizations to hire persons who do not have teacher licenses and, in some cases, have not received any form of teacher preparation thus jeopardizing a school district's goal of providing a quality education for each student; and
  • Identify persons with experience in areas other than education to help alleviate the teacher shortage faced by many school districts, so long as these persons receive adequate supervision and education in teaching methods and practices.

Organizations Eligible to Become a Designated Agency

School District(s), BOCES, regionally accredited Institutes of Higher Education or non-profit organizations can serve as a Designated Agency in Colorado (State Statute 22-60.5-102 [10] and 22-60.5-205 [2]). Any of these entities may partner or collaborate for the operation of an approved alternative teacher program. A district or BOCES may choose to contract with an Institute of Higher Education that already provides an approved teacher preparation program. An individual’s successful completion of an alternative teacher preparation program leads to a recommendation for initial licensure by the Designated Agency providing the program.

State Statute 22-60.5 was intended to address teacher shortages in public schools. Designated Agencies must serve an identified need(s) of a Colorado school district(s) or BOCES. Designated Agencies can create alternative preparation programs in numerous teacher endorsements areas. State Statute does not allow alternative licensure pathways for Specialized Service Professionals.

To address principal shortages in public schools, districts may hire individuals as principals who can serve on a Principal Authorization. Districts create individualized learning plans for these alternative principal candidates

Pathway to Becoming a Designated Agency

The flowchart below describes the basic steps to becoming a Designated Agency in Colorado or adding an endorsement to an already existing program. 

flowchart depicting steps to become a designated agency

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