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Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Colorado

Colorado’s mathematics standards have been updated to incorporate the Common Core State Standards, which are designed to outline the concepts and skills students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

These standards include:

  • Number sense, properties and operations
  • Patterns, functions, and algebraic structures
  • Data analysis, statistics, and probability
  • Shape, dimension, and geometric relationships

If you want to become a math teacher in Colorado, you must be prepared to complete the following steps in accordance with Colorado Department of Education requirements:

Complete at Least a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics
Demonstrate Professional Competence in Mathematics
Apply for a Colorado Math Teaching License
Earn your Colorado Professional License in Math

 


 

Step 1. Complete at Least a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics

The minimum requirement for becoming a mathematics teacher in Colorado is a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

The program you take must be accredited through one of the following accrediting organizations:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education

The Colorado Board of Education does NOT accept a degree that is accredited through one of the following accrediting organizations:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Board of Trustees
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Technical and Career Institutions

 


 

Step 2. Demonstrate Professional Competence in Mathematics

You may demonstrate professional competence in mathematics one of two ways:

  • Option 1: The completion of at least 24 semester hours of college level coursework in mathematics approved by the Board of Education
  • Option 2: Passing the PLACE Mathematics Exam (04) or the PRAXIS II Exam (5161)

Option 1

If you have not yet achieved a bachelor’s degree and you want to become a mathematics teacher in Colorado, you may choose to complete an approved teacher preparation program, which includes a bachelor’s degree program, all necessary coursework requirements to attain content competency in mathematics, and a student teaching experience.

The 24 semester hours of mathematics coursework include the following:

  • Number Systems, Number Theory, and Algebraic Structures (6 semester hours)
  • Calculus and Analysis, Functions (6 semester hours)
  • Geometry and Measurement (3 semester hours)
  • Statistics and Probability (3 semester hours)
  • Mathematical Modeling/History of Mathematics (3 semester hours)
  • Additional coursework in one of the above categories (3 semester hours)

Option 2

If you have not completed an approved teacher preparation program, you must take and pass one of the following content examinations:

PLACE Mathematics Exam (04): The PLACE Mathematics Examination, a Colorado State examination, is designed to assess your knowledge and skills of:

  • Foundations of mathematics
  • Functions and relations
  • Measurement and geometry
  • Probability and statistics
  • Calculus and discrete mathematics

You can view preparatory materials, pay the registration fee of $95 (includes a registration processing fee of $35 and testing fee of $60), and register to take a test by visiting the PLACE website.

PRAXIS II Exam (5161)

The PRAXIS II Exam: Mathematics, Content Knowledge, a nationwide examination administered by Pearson, consists of the following:

  • Number and operations
  • Algebra
  • Functions
  • Geometry and measurement
  • Statistics and probability

You can view upcoming testing dates and locations and register to take the PRAXIS II by visiting the Pearson website.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for a Colorado Math Teaching License

Once you have demonstrated your competency in mathematics, you may apply for an initial teaching license. The application process will vary, depending on your chosen route to licensure:

If You Have Completed an Approved Teacher Preparation Program

If you have completed an approved teacher preparation program, you may apply for a Colorado teaching license. The Colorado Department of Education only accepts online applicationsat this time; any additional documentation required must be scanned and uploaded to the online system.

You may contact the Professional Services and Educator Licensure department at 303-866-6628 with any questions regarding the online application process.

If You Have Not Completed a Teacher Preparation Program

If you have not completed a teacher preparation program, you must first apply for an Alternative Licensure Program, which allows you to attain a full-time teaching position while you complete the 225 required hours of instruction as to meet the performance-based standards set forth by the Colorado Department of Education.

You must apply for an Alternative Teacher Program through one of the recognized Designed Agencies. Upon registering with an Alternative Teacher Program, you must complete the application for the Alternative Licensure Program, which must also be completed online. Upon completion of the Alternative Teacher Program, you must then apply for an initial educator license.

 


 

Step 4. Earn your Colorado Professional License in Math

To qualify for a professional license, you must complete a Colorado State Board of Education-approved induction program, which is provided by Colorado school districts, charter schools, private schools, and other approved facilities. These programs include supervision by mentor teachers, development and training, and performance evaluations.

Upon completion of an induction program, you may apply for an Initial to Professional online application. To maintain your license and be eligible for license renewal, you must complete at least 6 semester hours of coursework or professional development every 5 years. Like the initial licensure process, you must complete your license renewal application online.

There are a number of national and state associations for professional development in mathematics:

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