Colorado Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

The state of Colorado requires that all aspiring teachers complete an approved teacher preparation program and earn a teaching certificate in order to be eligible to work in the state’s public education system. There are many teaching schools in Colorado that offer degree programs designed to prepare future teachers for a career in the classroom or further an established teaching career. For useful information on teaching degrees in Colorado, take a look at our lists of top-rated teaching programs, table of accredited, state-approved teacher preparation programs, and student reviews. For anyone looking for information on teaching degrees in Colorado, this guide will help you find the right program for your career goals.

Table of Contents

Quick Facts

For not-for-profit schools with teacher degree programs.

Comparison of Colorado Teacher Preparation Programs

We have designed the following table to help you compare teacher preparation programs in Colorado according to various factors. All of the schools included are not-for-profit institutions approved by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for the preparation of teachers. Completing a state-approved teacher preparation program is an important step towards earning licensure.

While accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is not a requirement for licensure, it is included in the following table as CAEP provides a highly-regarded accreditation that is accepted in many states.

You will also find data on teacher preparation program enrollment, completion, and licensing exam pass rates by institution, for both traditional and alternative programs, for the 2018-2019 academic year in this table. These data points are collected from annual US Department of Education reports under Title II (Teacher Quality) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which holds institutions and state departments of education accountable for increasing academic achievement through improvements in teacher quality. Traditional teacher preparation programs are usually completed as part of a bachelor’s degree program. Alternative certification programs are typically designed for career changers looking to enter the field and lead to a postgraduate certificate or a master’s degree. Many schools in our table offer both traditional and alternative programs. Take a look at our Colorado traditional and alternative certification guides for more information.

Finally, we have provided the net price per year for undergraduate tuition, based on the cost of attendance (tuition, books, room and board, and related expenses) for students who qualify for in-state tuition and fees, less the average financial aid award (including grants and scholarships).

State-Approved SchoolCAEP Accred.?5Trad. Teacher Program Enrollment7Trad. Teacher Prep Prog. Completers7Trad. Licensing Exams Pass Rate7Alt. Teacher Program Enrollment 7Alt. Teacher Prep Prog. Completers7Alt. Licensing Exams Pass Rate7Net Price1
Adams State UniversityNo2162996%$13,193
Colorado Christian UniversityNo3429298%3121N.Av.$25,882
Colorado CollegeNo2112100%$27,319
Colorado Mesa UniversityNo2797194%$15,327
Colorado Mountain CollegeNo2663773%$4,784
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsYes387163100%$17,609
Colorado State University-Global CampusNo53N.Av.53N.Av.$14,024
Colorado State University-PuebloNo24969100%532883%$13,388
Fort Lewis CollegeYes914497%$15,723
Metropolitan State University of DenverNo1,10027091%1586890%$13,563
Naropa UniversityNo8$30,725
Regis UniversityNo3927693%$27,785
University of Colorado-BoulderNo36211198%$21,198
University of Colorado-Colorado SpringsYes69113492%2117N.Av.$15,852
University of Colorado-DenverNo41010499%$15,585
University of DenverYes7554100%$38,322
University of Northern ColoradoNo1,81645999%$16,510
Western Colorado UniversityNo5748100%2521100%$16,951

  • — indicates none or not applicable.
  • N.Av. indicates data was not available or pass rates were omitted for confidentiality.

Top-Ranked Schools with Education Programs in Colorado

US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2022

  • University of Colorado-Boulder (#34 tie)
  • University of Colorado-Denver (#85 tie)
  • University of Denver (#85 tie)
  • Colorado State University (#111 tie)
  • University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (#144 tie)
  • University of Northern Colorado (#148 tie)

US News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2022

  • University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (#53 tie)
  • University of Northern Colorado (#80 tie)
  • University of Colorado-Denver (#90 tie)
  • Colorado State University (#140 tie)
  • University of Denver (#162 tie)
  • Western Colorado University (#205 tie)
  • Fort Lewis College (#242-321)

Select Colorado Schools with Teacher Preparation Degrees

University of Colorado

The University of Colorado (CU Boulder) is the flagship institution for the state of Colorado and is home to the CU School of Education. The School of Education is one of the largest on campus and specializes in preparing teachers, administrators, and other professionals within K-12 education. Traditional and alternative paths to teacher certification are offered, including a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Elementary Education as well as multiple BA degrees and a Master of Arts (MA) in secondary school (7-12) subjects. Additional graduate degrees are offered in complementary areas, such as the MA in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education. The CU School of Education aims to conduct intensive research into innovative and effective teaching practices as well as prepare students to be passionate and professional educators that influence their communities and beyond.

University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is home to the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, which strives for excellence in teacher preparation, research, and scholarship. Undergraduate teacher preparation programs are offered in the areas of early childhood, elementary education, secondary education, and K-12 education. Over 10 graduate degrees and numerous certificate programs provide additional opportunities to meet the educational requirements for licensure or gain additional areas of certification. Individuals hoping to teach other languages may be specifically interested in the graduate certificate in Chinese as a Second Language, the Master of Arts (MA) in Multilingual Education, or the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate. Numerous centers within the College also offer students the chance to learn about specific areas of the education system, such as the Center for Gifted and Talented, Tointon Center for Educational Change, and the Colorado Center for Rural Education.

Schools with Associate Degrees in Education

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational level required to qualify for state certification, an associate’s degree can be the first step towards a career in education. It can qualify graduates for careers in non-licensed roles in early childhood education, after-school care, and related areas. The credits earned from an accredited associate degree program can also typically be transferred towards a bachelor’s degree. The following Alabama schools offer associate’s degrees in education.1 Schools with an asterisk (*) also offer four-year teaching programs and/or alternative route to certification programs.

Aims Community College
5401 W. 20th St
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 330-8008

Colorado Mesa University*
1100 North Ave
Grand Junction, CO 81501
(970) 248-1020

Colorado Mountain College*
802 Grand Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601-0233
(800) 621-8559

Colorado Northwestern Community College
500 Kennedy Dr
Rangely, CO 81648-3598
(970) 675- 2261

Community College of Aurora
16000 E CentreTech Pkwy
Aurora, CO 80011-9036
(303) 360-4700

Community College of Denver
1111 W Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80204-2026
(303) 556-2600

Front Range Community College
3645 W 112th Ave
Westminster, CO 80031
(303) 404-5000

Nazarene Bible College*
1465 Kelly Johnson Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
(719) 884-5000

Northeastern Junior College
100 College Ave
Sterling, CO 80751-2944
(970) 521-6600

Otero Junior College
1802 Colorado Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-6823

Pikes Peak Community College
5675 S Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80906-5498
(719) 502-2000

Pueblo Community College
900 W Orman Ave
Pueblo, CO 81004-1499
(719) 549-3200

Red Rocks Community College
13300 W Sixth Ave
Lakewood, CO 80228-1255

Trinidad State Junior College
600 Prospect St
Trinidad, CO 81082
(719) 846-5011

Student Reviews

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

University of Colorado at Denver
1201 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 556-5600

Student Review: “I got my elementary education teaching license from a teacher preparation program at the University of Colorado at Denver. My professors were amazing, and most of them had high standards for research writing, which I feel is important for a program educating future teachers. I learned a lot from my professors about child development and the way children learn. My professors were philosophically aligned with my beliefs about how children learn best and that made my coursework feel very relevant. I had a teaching internship and continue to teach in a Title I (high poverty) school. I feel like my professors and classmates were not as familiar with teaching children of poverty as I would have liked. I have learned far more from my colleagues and mentor teachers about the unique needs of children living in urban poverty than I did from my courses. UCD’s website is not very user-friendly. Registering for and paying for classes online is a pain. The administration was not very responsive to questions when problems arose. My advisor seemed like a great guy, but he seemed overworked. They either need more staff to support student registration or they need to improve the registration process.” -Student at University of Colorado at Denver

University of Denver
2199 S University Blvd
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-2000

Student Review: “The University of Denver’s, Denver Teacher Residency program prepared me to be a leader in the teaching profession. It did this by providing me with a full year of hands on experience in a classroom within Denver Public Schools as part of my residency. The classes for the program were taught by both University professors and Denver Public Schools teachers and staff. This model allowed me to see the practical hands on approaches to teaching that worked and to become a part of the teaching staff at a school prior to graduating with my license. The staff of the Denver Teacher Residency ensured that I was prepared by doing frequent observations and check ins, they helped to create a safe environment that was also rigorous to ensure the best teachers came from this program. I felt prepared to not only obtain a job but maintain a long term teaching career from this program.” -Student at University of Denver

University of Northern Colorado
501 20th St
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890

Student Review: “I really enjoyed how structured and explicit the steps in attaining a teaching degree were at UNC. Each semester, you met with your advisor and they would go over a ‘4-year plan’ with you to make sure you were on track to graduate when you planned. It was really nice to get that one on one attention with faculty. Additionally, UNC has great connections with schools in the area, the state and across the nation to make student teaching placement simple and convenient. Staff members work hard to place you in your first or second preferences, which is phenomenal. What I did not like however was how long it took my program to actually get me into a classroom for the first time. Per the degree, most students do not set foot into a K-12 classroom until the second semester of their sophomore year. I think that it is important that students have the opportunity to be exposed to a K-12 classroom earlier in their college career to allow them to decide if this is something that they truly want to pursue. If not, they can change majors without already being halfway done with one.” -Mary C., student at University of Northern Colorado

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2022 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2021.
3. US News & World Report Best Graduate Education Schools 2022: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/edu-rankings
4. US News & World Report Best Online Graduate Education Schools 2022: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
5. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP): http://caepnet.org/provider-search
6. Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP): https://aaqep.org/accredited-programs
7. US Department of Education 2020 Title II Report: https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx