Online Teacher Licensure Programs

Teaching Residency Program

"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 one-year Residency program allows you to earn your teaching license while experiencing life as a teacher.  You are matched with a mentor teacher in a K-12 classroom for 24 hours per week while taking 27 credits of online coursework. Western assists with the Residency placement for all admitted students. You may complete your Residency in-state, out-of-state, or anywhere in the world!  

You will be accepted as part of our MA in Education program, so all your credits will apply toward a MA degree.

Summer:  You attend a five day orientation session in Gunnison, scheduled July 29 - Aug 2.  This session covers foundational teaching skills and reviews program expectations. It is also a great opportunity to connect with your instructors and peers face-to-face.

Fall:  You enroll in three or four online courses, depending on your endorsement area, and work 24 hours/week in a K-12 school. 

Spring: You enroll in three or four online courses and work 24 hours/week in a K-12 school. You will be progressing toward a point of independence and will assume the role of lead teacher, full-time, for 5 consecutive weeks.

Following your licensure year, you may complete 16 credits of additional coursework to earn your Master’s degree in Education.

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Alternative Teacher Licensure Program

Western's Alternative Teacher Licensure program is a rigorous program for candidates who are hired as a full-time teachers. Western does not secure a teaching placement for you.  You complete 27 credits of online coursework and spend one hour per week with a mentor teacher while working in your own classroom.  Following your licensure year, you may complete 16 credits of additional coursework to earn your Master’s degree in Education.  For more information about Colorado's Alternative Licensure program, see the Colorado Department of Education's Alternative Licensure webpage.

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What sets Western's teacher preparation program apart?

  • Intentional planning for career success
  • Average class size of 14
  • Highly relevant coursework continuously aligned with Colorado's Teacher Quality Standards
  • Connection between research and practice. We join the best practices of the top teachers in local schools with the knowledge developed by educational researchers. 
  • Our public schools are our partners in growing the next generation of great teachers. Western works closely with school districts in Colorado and beyond. 
  • Continuous feedback and support from your mentor teacher, regional coordinator and Western instructors

Endorsement Options for your Initial Teaching License

Western can prepare you for the following endorsements:

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

  • Secondary Endorsements  (Grades 7-12): English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Business Education, Business and Marketing, Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Studies, Instructional Technology, Technology Education (Industrial Arts), Trade and Industry Education ​Course Requirements

  • Elementary Education (Grades K-6)​ Course Requirements

  • Special Education Generalist (Ages 5-21) Course Requirements

  • *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.

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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