English Learner PD

What You and Our Members Need to Know About the English Learner Educator License Requirements

The “What”

In June 2018, the Colorado State Board of Education approved new rules for educator licensure. The new rules include four quality standards and eight elements for supporting the learning of culturally and linguistically diverse students that educators must meet. These new rules mean that as of September 1, 2018, educators endorsed in elementary, math, science, social studies, or English seeking a renewal of their professional license must complete or demonstrate completion of professional development activities equivalent to 45 clock/contact hours or three semester hours in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Education within a full five year renewal period that meets or exceeds the standards. This requirement must only be completed once during the term of the educator's license. Professional development activities completed to satisfy this requirement may also be counted toward the requirements of 90 clock hours of PD for professional license renewal.

For a full timeline concerning where and how these new rules emerged, please review a presentation that Colleen O’Neil, Executive Director of Educator Talent at CDE, shared with the State Board in February 2017. To read a CDE Frequently Asked Questions document about the new license requirement, please click here.

The CEA wanted to share information to field staff and elected leaders in response to the new rules tied to a license requirement. Please continue reading to better understand the CEA position regarding the license requirement.

The “Why”

As part of the CEA 2018 - 2021, the CEA believes equity encompasses everything we do, and to that end, “we will invest in strategies to support safe, equitable, and welcoming schools for educators, students, and the community. Our students deserve to experience positive discipline strategies, a culturally relevant curriculum, and a diverse educator workforce that reflects our school communities.” Furthermore, as part of the CEA Vision reads, “CEA members believe that the only way to guarantee our students' success is to put our students at the center: the center of our classrooms and our schools, the center of education reforms, and the center of attention in every conversation about public education.” The new English Learner Educator License Requirement fits into these beliefs because at its core, the new requirement asks educators to be mindful of how past, current, and future professional learning best supports all students.

The “How”

The CEA is committed to helping members easily meet this new requirement through supporting field staff, elected leaders, and the membership and offering free professional development classes through COpilot.

What about degrees and certificates members have already earned?

It is highly likely that many members have already met this requirement through prior professional development, which means they are not required to complete any additional PD. According to O’Neil, educators “can go back in time and use what they have already taken – this is something that is an exception for the English Learned Professional Development Pathways as usually they cannot reuse PD credits outside of the 5 year renewal cycle.” This means that members who have already earned and submitted PD credits/hours through a degree program, a certification, or various professional learning sessions for a license renewal can reuse them to satisfy the requirement. We encourage all members to review their prior professional development to determine what they can reuse in their next full license renewal cycle to meet English Learner Educator License Requirement.

What if members need new PD to meet the requirement?

The CEA has committed to offering free COpilot classes so that all members, regardless of whether or not they need new PD, can continue learning strategies and best practices that positively impact all of their students. Here is how the free classes work:

  • Free class enrollments will begin in November 2018 and apply to Spring  2019 COpilot classes.
  • Each member is eligible for one free one-credit class per school year ($45 value), which runs from August - July. Free classes are redeemed on a first come, first served basis until the maximum yearly budget set by CEA has been reached.
  • Each member is eligible for a maximum of three free classes. All free classes must be redeemed by July 31, 2021.
  • Free class enrollments only apply to classes that have been approved by CDE as fulfilling at least one of the English Learner Professional Development standards.
  • Free class enrollment may be applied to two or three credit classes, but members will only receive $45 off of the enrollment fee.
  • Non-members are eligible for reduced pricing on classes that qualify for the English Learner PD program.
  • With the exception of pricing, the same rules and stipulations that apply to members also apply to non-members.

The “Who”

This new license requirement applies to all educators endorsed in elementary, math, English science, or social studies. Educators endorsed in other subject/content areas are currently exempt from this new license requirement.

The “When”

Educators to whom the new license requirement applies must meet it within their next full license renewal cycle, which means the earliest any currently licensed educator will have to meet the requirement is September 2023. Please see the matrix below for more details about specific scenarios.

  Scenario Deadline Explanation
Alternative License

Teacher A holds an alternative license that will expire in May of 2019.

May 2027 When an alternative license holder advances to an initial license, the initial license is valid for three years. After completion of an induction program, the initially licensed educator advances to a professional license at which time the 5 year renewal cycle begins for the EL PD requirement. The requirement must be met upon renewal of the professional license
Initial License Teacher B holds in initial license that will expire in May                    of 2019. May 2024 After completion of an induction program, the initially licensed educator advances to a professional license at which time the 5 year renewal cycle begins for the EL PD requirement.  The requirement must be met upon renewal of the professional license.
Professional License Teacher C holds a professional license that will expire in May of 2019. May 2024 Even though this license expires in the year these requirements take effect, this educator has not had a full renewal cycle under these requirements. The full 5 year renewal cycle starts with the renewal of the professional license in 2019.
Professional License Teacher D holds a professional license that will expire in September of 2018. September 2023 Even though this license expires in the year these requirements take effect, this educator has not had a full renewal cycle under these requirements. The full 5 year renewal cycle starts with the renewal of the professional license in 2019.
Professional License Teacher E holds a professional license that will expire in May of 2022. May 2027 This license would have been issued/renewed in 2017, which was before these requirements went into effect.  Therefore, the full 5 year renewal cycle for the purposes of these requirements begins at the next renewal in 2022
Professional License Teacher F holds a license that will expire in September of 2023. September 2028 This license was issued/renewed in September of 2018 after these requirements went into effect.  Therefore, the full 5 year renewal cycle for the purposes of these requirements began at the time of issuance/renewal.
Our Partners