Preparing for Your Residency

Learn about teaching firsthand

Your yearlong residency experience begins in July with our Summer Licensure Orientation, which is taught over three days on Western’s campus. You’re then matched with a mentor teacher in a K-12 school for one full year. In-state and out-of-state school placements are available.

While completing your residency, you’ll have a network of support, receiving continuous feedback from your mentor teacher, regional coordinator and Western instructors.

Your commitment

You’ll work 24 hours per week in the mentor teacher's classroom, and in the spring, you’ll increase to full-time teaching for a minimum of five weeks. You’ll follow the calendar of your placement school (i.e., beginning the year on the day that new teachers report to work, take school holidays, etc.).


To be recommended for teacher licensure, you must perform at a “3, Proficiency” level in all relevant standards and standard elements in the classroom and earn a score of  “3, Proficiency” on each summative assignment in all courses required for licensure. You must demonstrate the ability to apply the standards and standard elements in the classroom setting, assess student learning and evaluate your own teaching performance.

Mentor teachers

Master mentor teachers are selected carefully to ensure that Western students have strong models. The potential mentor teacher will self-assess their knowledge of the standards and standard elements. Students accepting residency placements are expected to successfully complete the year-long residency. Students who do not successfully complete the residency will be withdrawn from the program and must appeal to the Selection and Retention Committee for re-admittance.

Mentor requirements

  • Must hold a valid teaching license in whichever area the candidate seeks licensure.
  • Must have taught for three or more years.
  • Must have taught for two or more years, in the present district.
  • Must teach in an accredited school.
  • Must be recommended by their principal.


  1. Pass EDUC 340: Application of Pedagogy and Practice.
  2. Apply for your residency.
  3. Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.75.
  4. Pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators in reading, writing and math #5751 or prove B- or better in all Math and English/Communications courses.
  5. Attend both mandatory residency meetings in fall and spring.
  6. Attend Summer Licensure Orientation, July 26-28, 2019 on Western’s campus.

Applying for Your Residency

  1. Send your residency application spreadsheet, professional resume and signed transcripts to
  2. Undergraduate applications are due by Feb. 15.
  3. Your primary advisor must review and sign the following application items:
  • Unofficial Transcripts or Degree Works worksheet, showing that all major/minor requirements will be met before the residency begins.
  • Elementary Ed. candidates must pass the Praxis Content Exam # 5001 for their licensure area. Send test scores to Western (code 4946) by Dec. 31 of the residency year. First attempt is due by June 15—before the residency year begins.
  • Other licensure candidates may either prove 3.0 cumulative GPA in their Major Block or pass the Praxis Content exam in the licensure area. Please check that the test for which you are registering is approved by the State of Colorado and accepted for the endorsement that you're seeking. Praxis Content Area Exams

The Colorado Department of Education only accepts content knowledge tests administered by Praxis.