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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver

School of Education and Human Development

The University of Colorado Denver Approach To Practice-based Preparation

Multiple Partners/Many Possibilities for Preparing Teachers and Leaders

CU Denver is committed to preparing forward-thinking, highly-effective, results-focused educators who are deeply invested in student achievement. Our graduates are champion educators in Colorado with advanced knowledge about state and national trends. CU Denver students gain real-world, mentored experience by world-class faculty members working alongside master P-12 teachers and leaders in a nationally accredited program that exceeds expectations. Our approach produces educators who are intellectually equipped to make important decisions based on a thorough understanding of children’s learning and methods of teaching in urban and diverse contexts.

Practice-based preparation:

We prepare teachers in a practice-based approach through intensive field-based internships and yearlong school residencies that increase their ability to impact student growth and achievement. In the 900 plus hours our students spend in classrooms prior to graduation, they have hands-on experiences that allow them to develop the knowledge, strategies, skills and dispositions that make them more prepared than the average first year teacher. At the same time, university classes promote civic leadership skills, collaborative approaches to working with families and communities, innovation and opportunities to explore and critically analyze learning theories and best practices from around the world. We develop teachers and leaders who know how to use theory and research combined with data to make decisions that support the learning of all students.

Multiple practice-based pathways for teachers and leaders:

Pathways for Teachers:

CU Denver offers multiple pathways into teaching that are nationally recognized as innovative and practice-based. All of our pathways prepare graduates to support language, cultural and ability diversity in the classroom and to advocate for educational excellence for ALL children. We have options for young adults and non-traditional students who have chosen teaching as their first career as well as pathways for career changers. These pathways include more traditional undergraduate and graduate preparation programs as well as alternative licensure programs. With multiple licensure options, online and hybrid classes and part-time options, we strive to be flexible when it comes to the complex schedules of our students. All of the teacher education curriculum and experiences within these pathways are aligned with Colorado reform legislation, district evaluation frameworks and national trends.

Pathways for Leaders:

CU Denver’s Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies program offers two leadership programs: the Principal Licensure Program and the Executive Leadership Program. We serve all of Colorado through our online Principal Licensure Program. This fall semester, we are starting new partnerships with BOCES and charter schools. Our graduates serve in these school districts as principals and assistant principals. They also serve as superintendents and central office personnel after returning to us to earn the administrator credential to their leadership repertoire through our Executive Leadership Program. Our principal licensure program is one of the Denver Public Schools’ Pipeline Partners. Our curriculum is aligned with state and national standards (CPQS 2014 and ELCC 2011) and also with the effective principal and school behaviors of the DPS School Leadership Framework Domains. Students are taught by instructional teams comprised of CU Denver faculty and principal partners from local school districts. They demonstrate mastery of state and national standards through performance-based assessments. We have recently hired experienced former school superintendents to join our instructional team to provide Executive Leadership Program students with recent and valuable content.

Partnering for success:

In our work in educator preparation, we partner with the largest urban and rural school districts in Colorado, communities, state agencies, foundations and local/national education reform leaders. Our undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs partner with six Denver Metro school districts to support full-year internships and residencies. Our alternative teacher licensure program ASPIRE to Teach collaborates with Teach for America and Northeast, San Luis, Southeast and Uncompahgre BOCES. Our principal and Executive Leadership programs are offered through long-time (20+ year) partnerships with seven Denver Metro school districts (Denver Public Schools, Jeffco Public Schools, Boulder Valley School District, Adams County School District 14, Adams County School District 50, Douglas County School District and Aurora Public Schools).

Colorado Proud:

All of our teacher education curriculum and experiences are aligned with Colorado reform legislation, district evaluation frameworks and national trends. We have designed each experience to support the rich cultural and linguistic diversity that is Colorado.

Measured Outcomes:

CU Denver is at the forefront of the national movement to measure the effectiveness of our educator preparation programs through an evaluation of student outcomes. We design our programs around the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards and regularly measure our student’s progress toward these standards. We are actively working with the Colorado Department of Education to design an approach to measure our graduate’s impact on student learning.

CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

1380 Lawrence St., Denver, CO 80204 | Map It

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