Teacher Licensure

Careers

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Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Brian Coppess, Ed.D headshot
Assistant Professor, Director of Principal Licensure
Phone: 970.943.2135
Office Location: Crawford Hall 108
Caroline Powders Forrest, M.Ed. headshot
Lecturer, Clinical Coach
Phone: 970.943.7035
Office Location: Crawford Hall 122
Brooke Hanks, M.A. headshot
Senior Lecturer
Phone: 970.943.2504
Office Location: Crawford Hall 105
Jeff Hulbert, M.S. headshot
Lecturer, Clinical Coach
Phone: 970.943.2141
Office Location: Crawford Hall 107
George Kamberelis, Ph.D. headshot
Professor, Chairperson
Phone: 970.943.2033
Office Location: Crawford Hall 103
Jackie Luft, Ed.D. headshot
Lecturer
Phone: 970.943.7043
Office Location: Crawford Hall 110
Ian  Parker Renga, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor
Phone: 970.943.2244
Office Location: Crawford Hall 106
Alissa Tower, J.D. headshot
Director of Licensure
Phone: 970.943.3092
Office Location: Crawford Hall 122
Jennifer Whitacre, M.S. headshot
Lecturer, Clinical Coach, Director of Summer Teacher Institute
Phone: 970.943.2120
Office Location: Crawford Hall 104
Cori L. Woytek, M.S. headshot
Lecturer, Clinical Coach
Phone: 970.943.3019
Office Location: Crawford Hall 122

Courses

For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 EDUC 600 - Foundations of Literacy Development (3 cred.)

Provide in-depth understanding of the reading acquisition process and current issues in reading research related to preliterate and emergent readers through observation and analysis of reading and written language development.

 EDUC 601 - Methods and Strategies of Effective Reading Instruction (3 cred.)

Provide in-depth understanding and application of scientifically-based methods of teaching reading comprehension vocabulary, and fluency.

 EDUC 602 - Literacy Assessment Informed Instruction (3 cred.)

Screen, diagnose, and monitor student progress in reading and writing to inform instruction and build home-school partnerships that promote reading and writing.

 EDUC 603 - CONTENT AREA LEARNING (3 cred.)

Apply concepts, methods, and practices related to curriculum, assessment of learning, and teaching in content areas.

 EDUC 604 - Learning Environments (3 cred.)

Recognize needs for a successful classroom environment and apply strategies to support learning.

 EDUC 605 - Curriculum Development and Assessment (3 cred.)

Study and apply standards-based curriculum and assessment practices.

 EDUC 606 - Reading and Writing in the Content Area (3 cred.)

Analyze, evaluate, and apply methods for developing effective reading and writing strategies that improve student academic achievement in the content area.

 EDUC 607 - Rethinking Learning Through 21st Century Skills (3 cred.)

Investigate the research and theory of 21st Century Skills as they affect the education program. Develop effective teaching strategies through theory and simulation.

 EDUC 608 - Methods and Strategies of Effective Writing Instruction (3 cred.)

Provide in-depth understanding and application of research based methods of teaching writing as they apply to cognitive processes and socio-cultural context for diverse students.

 EDUC 609 - Secondary Student Teaching (3 cred.)

Work in a secondary school setting over the course of the year, in collaboration with mentor teachers. This course can be repeated twice for credit.

 EDUC 610 - K-12 Student Teaching (3 cred.)

Work in a K-12 school setting over the course of the year, in collaboration with mentor teachers.  This course can be repeated twice for credit.

 EDUC 611 - Strategies for Exceptionalities (3 cred.)

Outlines lesson planning that accounts for accommodations, modifications, and adaptive technologies. Discusses the importance of self-advocacy in assisting students with individualized education plans. Addresses classroom management and organizational strategies needed for compliance with federal regulations.

 EDUC 612 - Assessment and Programming (3 cred.)

Encapsulates the process of assessing the eligibility of a student for an individualized education plan (IEP) from referral to the created of a plan. Details the various parts of the IEP that are federally mandated and the programs that students with specialized plan are eligible for under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act.

 EDUC 613 - Methods and Strategies of Effective Mathematics Instruction (3 cred.)

Examine and apply research-based teaching strategies that promote mathematics learning.

 EDUC 614 - Collaborating for Students with Support Needs (3 cred.)

Use data and collaboration process to develop Individual Educational Plans, and provide support needs and technologies for students with disabilities.

 EDUC 615 - Student Teaching Exceptionalities (3 cred.)

Provides a link between the student’s classroom experience which includes student’s collaboration with mentor teachers, and clinical coach. Addresses lesson implementation, teacher evaluation, professional development, education ethics, and caseload management. Students develop and monitor progress on instructional goals with input from support team.

 EDUC 619 - Elementary Student Teaching (3 cred.)

Work in an elementary school setting over the course of the year, in collaboration with mentor teachers. This course can be repeated twice for credit.

 EDUC 620 - Engaging Diverse Learners (3 cred.)

A study and application of research-based instruction to engage diverse learners. Focus is on creating learning experiences to maximize student engagement and achievement, while evaluating and reflecting on teaching practice.

 EDUC 621 - Creating Effective Online Learning Environments (3 cred.)

An inquiry into how K-12 educators can best develop relevant and engaging blended and online instructional contexts to meet the needs of all K-12 learners. Focus is on exploration of tools, resources and emerging technologies to determine how to build and manage learning environments which maximize student achievement.

 EDUC 622 - Using Data to Plan for Online Learning and Targeted Interventions (3 cred.)

A study of best practices in creating, implementing, and using assessments in the online environment. Focus is on analyzing real-time data and findings from assessments to make instructional decisions and to plan targeted interventions to ensure student success.

 EDUC 623 - Designing and Delivering Effective Online Instruction (3 cred.)

Online field-based experience in design, delivery, and evaluation of standards-based instruction in an appropriate K-12 setting. A collaborative approach will be fostered among students, teachers, and school-level administrators to support existing or emerging online or blended instructional needs.

 EDUC 624 - Managing to Differentiate (3 cred.)

This course provides a study of cognitive development as it impacts different learners' ability to access academic content. Participants will build a foundation of understanding from which they will develop skills, strategies and resources that they can then apply in their teaching to address the complex challenges of meeting the diverse learning needs of all students.

 EDUC 627 - Innovations in Student Centered Teaching and Learning (3 cred.)

Introduces the learner to student-centered teaching and learning and how technology can influence this approach.

 EDUC 630 - Inclusivity in the Content Areas (3 cred.)

Provides learners the opportunity to understand the importance of diversity in academic content areas. Addresses how curriculum is developed through understanding of state academic standards, cross curriculum teaching methods, ways of providing curriculum that is culturally responsive, and differentiating for the varied backgrounds of the classroom.

 EDUC 631 - Inclusive Methods and Strategies for Literacy (3 cred.)

Provides in-depth understanding of the reading acquisition process and current issues in reading research related to preliterate and emergent readers through observation and analysis of reading and written language development. Students will increase understanding and application of scientifically-based methods of teaching reading comprehension, vocabulary and fluency.

 EDUC 632 - Overview of Special Services (3 cred.)

Students consider the historical perspectives on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ) and related legislation. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of current trends and research in the various special services in public education. Also covers various exceptionalities and associated needs, along with current understanding of basic human growth and development.

 EDUC 633 - Differential Literacy Assessment (3 cred.)

Addresses ways of screening, diagnosing and monitoring student progress in reading and writing to inform instruction and build home-school partnerships. Students consider ways of promoting literacy through utilizing collaboration skills, creating and implementing instructional plans and monitoring student progress.

 EDUC 680 - Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders (4 cred.)

Examine, analyze, and synthesize research literature in relation to emerging trends in education. Explore concepts pertaining to quantitative and qualitative research methods and the synergistic relationship between research, theory and practice. Develop problem posing/solving, information literacy and critical thinking. Must be taken in the final year of the program.

 EDUC 681 - Instructional Program Development and Evaluation (3 cred.)

Investigate theories and trends in curriculum and instruction while understanding their relationship to student data and performance at the school and district levels. Evaluate teaching and assessment as they affect student growth. Assess best practices for developing teachers and schools to increase student learning outcomes.

 EDUC 682 - Shaping School Systems (3 cred.)

Understand the characteristics of effective organizational culture from various perspectives. Explore systemic structures and issues within a school and district. Examine and apply critical analysis and creativity related to educational group dynamics that advocate for all students, staff, and stakeholders within an educational community.

 EDUC 684 - Materials and Motivation for Reading (2 cred.)

Select and evaluate materials, develop independent readers, involve the community, and establish and manage the literacy environment.

 EDUC 685 - Assessing, Evaluating, and Instructing at-risk & Struggling Readers (3 cred.)

Develop in-depth understanding of scientifically based reading research and instruction for at risk and struggling readers. Provide the tools necessary to diagnose, evaluate and teach struggling readers. Assignments will include the development of intervention programs and the implementation of progress-monitoring reading assessments.

 EDUC 686 - Literacy Coaching and Mentoring (2 cred.)

Examine roles and functions of literacy coaching and mentoring to provide professional development for literacy in the school setting.

 EDUC 687 - School-Wide Comprehensive Literacy Program Development (2 cred.)

Prepare educators for school-wide comprehensive literacy program development and delivery.

 EDUC 688 - Reading Teacher Internship (3 cred.)

Complete supervised practicum(s) or internship(s) as a reading teacher at the appropriate grade level(s) for Colorado Department of Education Reading Teacher graduate endorsement. This course can be repeated twice for credit.

 EDUC 689 - READING SPECIALIST INTERNSHIP (3 cred.)

Complete supervised practicum(s) or internship(s) as a reading specialist at the appropriate grade level(s) for Colorado Department of Education Reading Specialist graduate endorsement. This course can be repeated twice for credit.

 EDUC 693 - Capstone (3 cred.)

Interpreting, planning, conducting and reporting research results in the field of education. Students must be enrolled in EDUC 693 when utilizing Western Colorado University Graduate Faculty support in conducting research. This course can be repeated for credit and is required the final semester of the M.A. degree in Education Program. Prerequisite: EDUC 680 Research and Critical Inquiry for leaders.

 EDUC 695 - Resource Management in Education (3 cred.)

Explore and apply the characteristics of effective school and district leadership and resource management for education-specific programs and initiatives. Identify potential funding agencies and local/state/national partnerships that could help to build resources based to meet school and district needs. Utilize the characteristics of effective grant writing for education-specific programs and initiatives.

 EDUC 696 - Engaging External Stakeholders (3 cred.)

Identify stakeholders that support the education system and develop processes for meaningful involvement in activities and decision making. Explore and apply methods for communicating to a variety of audiences. Understand the political and financial nature of community partnerships with schools and districts.

Overview  

Western's one-year Teacher Residency program allows you to earn your teaching license while gaining firsthand teaching experience in a classroom. Aligned with Colorado’s Teacher Quality Standards, we join the best practices of top teachers with the knowledge developed by educational researchers to help you develop skills to thrive in a variety of classroom environments. As a Teacher Licensure candidate, you'll receive continuous feedback from your mentor teacher, regional coordinator and Western instructors. You may complete an additional 16 credits of coursework to earn your M.A. in Education. This degree must be completed within four years after earning your teaching license.

*Teacher licensure requirements vary from state-to-state. This program is approved based on the State of Colorado standards. You are solely responsible for checking what the specific requirements are from the department of education in the state where you plan to work. 

How It Works  

  • Residency: You'll complete a yearlong residency under the guidance of a mentor teacher while taking online courses. Western assists with the residency placement for all admitted students. You may complete your residency anywhere in Colorado, the nation or the world.  
  • Summer: You'll attend a Licensure Orientation on Western’s campus, which covers foundational concepts and reviews program expectations, while also allowing you to connect with your instructors and peers in person before starting the program.
  • Fall and Spring: You'll enroll in four online courses while spending 24 hours per week in a K-12 classroom. By spring you will progress toward teaching independently and will assume the role of the full-time, lead teacher for five consecutive weeks.  

Endorsement Areas for Initial Teaching License 

  • K-12: Art, Drama, Music, Modern Languages, Instructional Technology, Physical Education  
  • Secondary (grades 7-12): English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Business Education, Business and Marketing, Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Studies, Technology Education (Industrial Arts), Trade and Industry Education  
  • Elementary (grades K-6)  
  • Special Education Generalist (ages 5-21) 

Alternative Teacher Licensure Program 

The Alternative Teacher Licensure Program is designed for candidates who have secured a full-time teaching position in a Colorado K-12 school. With proof of employment, you'll teach in your own classroom under an Alternative License (granted by CDE), complete online coursework, and meet with a mentor for at least one hour per week. Please note your current employment must be in the endorsement area you are seeking. For more information about Colorado's Alternative Licensure program, see the Colorado Department of Education's Alternative Licensure webpage. 

M.A. in Education 

After completion of the teacher licensure year coursework (27 credits), you may complete an additional 16 credits of coursework to earn your M.A. in Education. This degree must be completed within four years after earning your Teaching License. You aren't required to complete the degree if you only want to earn the teaching license. 

Based on your interests, you may choose one of three leadership emphases for your master’s degree:

Teacher Leadership Emphasis

Teacher Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a teacher-leader) within a school who is regarded as an excellent educator; is well respected by peers; is recognized for his or her leadership capacity; holds a lifelong learning orientation; and has been identified to facilitate, advocate, and advance school reform and improvement of student learning. The work of a Teacher Leader is typically carried out through informal and formal venues and processes; for example, with teachers in their classrooms, and district level task forces, committee, and/or membership in district level professional development projects.

Reading Leadership Emphasis

Reading Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a reading-leader) situated in the classroom or in a school or district-level position who has advanced knowledge of federal and state policies related to literacy; has deep understanding of the development, implementation, and evaluation of scientifically-based reading programs; and can work effectively with other instructional staff to meet the literacy needs of all students. The reading leader provides professional guidance and expertise to classroom teachers, school and/or district literacy curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs; and develops and conducts in-service programs related to literacy.

K-12 Online Teacher Leadership Emphasis

 

K-12 Online Teacher Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (an online-teacher leader) teaching online in a virtual school and/or in a blended K-12 learning environment who knows federal and state policies related to online and blended teaching and learning; has advanced knowledge of the development, implementation, and evaluation of quality online teaching and instructional design; and can work effectively with other online or blended instructional staff to meet the targeted learning needs of all students. The K-12 online teacher leader provides professional guidance and expertise to virtual or brick and mortar schools on effective curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs in relation to online and blended learning.

Western is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This regional accrediting agency is responsible for accrediting degree-granting post-secondary institutions in a 19-state region.

Apply to the M.A. in Education

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Headshot of Deanna Banker
Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: 
Office Location: 
Crawford Hall 111

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