Online Teacher Licensure Programs

Earning your Teaching License

"The compassion my instructors have shown me over these past two years has been a huge inspiration to me as to the kind of teacher I hope to be to my own students. You are all very much appreciated and I have recommended this program to more people than I can even count.”

- Cortney Berry, Vientiane, Laos

Western's Residency Program allows you to earn your teaching license while experiencing life as a teacher. You will work in a classroom with a mentor teacher for 24 hours per week, while taking 27 credits of online coursework.  This Residency model of teacher preparation, unlike traditional student teaching, allows Western students to apply their coursework directly in a real classroom setting. Western assists with the Residency placement for all admitted students. 


  • Online courses paired with in-person support
  • Highly relevant coursework continuously aligned with Colorado's Teacher Quality Standards
  • Connection between research and practice.  Our students learn from both researchers and practitioners, joining the best practices of the top teachers in local schools with the knowledge developed by educational researchers
  • Western works closely with Colorado school districts to prepare new teachers for the region. Our public schools are our partners in growing the next generation of great teachers.
  • Continuous feedback from mentor teacher, regional coordinator and Western instructors

Endorsement Options for Initial Teaching License:

  • K-12 Endorsements: Art, Music, Foreign Language, Physical Education​

  • Secondary Endorsements  (Grades 7-12): English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Business ​

  • Elementary Education (Grades K-6)​

  • Special Education Generalist (Ages 5-21)

*Teacher licensure requirements vary from state-to-state. This program is approved based on the State of Colorado standards. Students are solely responsible for checking what the specific requirements are from their state’s Department of Education.

Alternative Teacher Licensure

Alternative Teacher Licensure is for candidates who are hired as the teacher of record 100% of the day, with at least 51% of the day spent in the candidate's endorsement area. Candidates complete 27 credits of online coursework and spend one hour per week with their mentor teacher.  For more information about Colorado's Alternative Licensure program, see the Colorado Department of Education's Alternative Licensure webpage.

Pursuing your Master's degree

Following your licensure year, you may continue to pursue your Master’s degree, if you choose.  Western's many degree options produce uniquely skilled educational leaders and include additional endorsement opportunities to advance your career.  Find out more about our Master's degree options.

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