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Educator Recruitment and Retention

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Click here to learn more about substitute resources and authorizations.

Educator Recruitment and Retention

Educators play a crucial role in the life of every child.  Research confirms that teachers are the single most important school-based influence on how well students learn.  "Educator quality is the single most important school-level contributor to student learning and achievement" (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005). 
Our team provides service to education candidates by providing preparation, licensing and placement assistance to current and future educators.  Details regarding professional development opportunities, including Licensing 101, Educator Boot Camp and Substitute Boot Camp, can be found below.

Educator Recruitment and Retention Program

The Educator Recruitment and Retention (ERR) program was created by SB21-185 to provide support to members of the armed forces and nonmilitary-affiliated educator candidates in pursuing a career as an educator and to provide support to local education providers to recruit, select, train, and retain highly qualified educators across the state. Under this program, qualified program applicants can apply for up to $10,000 in one-time financial assistance toward their educator preparation program costs if they commit to teaching in a rural or small rural district for three years. On November 10, 2021, the State Board of Education approved the rules for this program. The application will be available by February 2021. Applicants can meet eligibility criteria for the program by first being enrolled in a Colorado-approved traditional or alternative educator preparation program (or institute of higher education for applicants pursuing a CTE credential)  and then through three different pathways:

  1. Has an earned bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university and has secured employment as an alternative teacher or temporary educator eligibility (TEE) educator in a rural or small rural district; or
  2. Is currently employed as a paraprofessional in a school district, charter school or BOCES and is working toward a baccalaureate degree as required to pursue a professional teaching license; or
  3. Has secured a position as a CTE instructor in a rural or small rural district and meets state CTE requirements

An informational webinar on this program will be hosted on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 10:00 am. The webinar can be accessed via this link.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are funds available for the 2021-22 school year?
    • Yes. Applicants can apply for funds to cover any semester during the 2021-22 school year. These applications must be submitted by May 31, 2022. A new application window for 2022-23 will open in the summer of 2022.
  • Does the applicant or the preparation program submit the application?
    • The applicant will submit the application. However, there will be some documentation that needs to be completed by the preparation program.
  • Coming soon! How does someone apply?
    • A link to an online application will be posted on this page when it is available.
  • What can funds be used to cover?
    • Funds can only be used to cover the tuition costs associated with completing the Colorado-approved educator preparation program or institute of higher education courses needed for a professional CTE credential. Funds will be paid directly to the educator preparation program.
  • Are the funds paid directly to program participants?
    • No. Funds are paid directly to the educator preparation program or institute of higher education.
  • What happens if the program participant does not complete the three years of teaching in a rural or small rural district?
    • The program participant must return the fund received to CDE.
  • Can the three-year commitment be satisfied by teaching in more than one rural or small rural district?
    • Yes. As long as the total years spent teaching in any rural or small rural district(s) is three years, the requirement is met. Residency years also count toward this requirement.
  • How does an applicant know if they meet CTE requirements?
    • Applicants can meet CTE requirements in one of two ways:
      • as outlined in 23-60-304(3)(a) and section 4.04 of 1 CCR 301-37; or
      • having the equivalent of eighteen (18) semester hours of postsecondary enrollment and six (6) years of military experience that are applicable to a CTE credential. 

Educator Recruitment

Licensing 101

Attend this virtual professional development seminar to learn about the requirements to become teacher in Colorado, including various licensure pathways, the Colorado K-12 landscape and an overview of high-need areas.  View the printable Licensing 101 flyer for additional information.

All seminars will be held virtually, via Zoom from 6 to 7:30 pm on the following dates:

  • Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • Thursday, February 24, 2022

  • Thursday, March 24, 2022

  • Thursday, April 28, 2022

  • Thursday, May 26, 2022



Registration is required.  Register for Licensing 101 via the online form. Zoom details will be sent with registration confirmation separately.  Licensing 101 seminars fill up quickly so be sure to register early!  Registration will close three days prior to the seminar date.

Educator Boot Camp

The Educator Boot Camp is a free virtual and/or in-person seminar specifically designed to support, assist and encourage first year educators, first- to third-year educators desiring additional pedagogy supports, and educators in alternative licensing programs.  Participants will learn about their roles and responsibilities as an educator, including:

  • Classroom management and identification of challenged and high-needs students

  • Curriculum mapping and preparation of lesson plans

  • Differentiation of instruction and exposure to teaching strategies

  • Educator evaluation process and Teacher Quality Standards

  • Educational values and ethical standards

  • Cultural diversity and school culture

  • Administrative expectations

  • Maintaining appropriate student records, including recording grades

  • School policy and emergency response


  • Watch this space for the 21-22 schedule! 


  • Watch this space for the 21-22 schedule! 

Substitute Boot Camp

The Substitute Boot Camp is a free, virtual seminar specifically designed to support, assist and encourage substitute teachers with starting their first day on the job.  This seminar is an excellent resource for currently authorized substitute teachers and individuals who are in-process of obtaining their substitute authorization.  Participants will learn about their roles and responsibilities as a substitute teacher, including: 

  • Understanding and executing academic lesson plans

  • Preparing lesson plans when lesson plans aren't available

  • Classroom management and identification of challenged and high-needs students 

  • Maintaining appropriate student records, including recording grades

  • School policy and emergency response  

Participants will also have opportunities for networking and connecting with experienced educators.  Substitute Boot Camps will be led by experienced educators and will feature guest speakers currently working in Colorado's K-12 classrooms.  Visit the Be a Sub webpage or Substitute Boot Camp flyer for details.

Register for a Substitute Boot Camp today!  NOTE:  Boot Camps fill up quickly, so  be sure to register early!  Registration for each scheduled Boot Camp will close 3 days prior to the event.  Substitute Boot Camps are scheduled to be held via Zoom from 4 to 6:30 pm on the following dates (Thursdays):

  • January 6, 2022

  • January 20, 2022

  • February 3, 2022

  • February 17, 2022

  • March 3, 2022

  • March 17, 2022

  • April 7, 2022

  • April 21, 2022

  • May 5, 2022

  • May 19, 2022


Learn more about becoming a substitute/guest teacher, the different authorizations available, and resources available to support you in this pathway!  

Substitute Stipend for New Substitutes

The Colorado Department of Education, in partnership with the Colorado Center for Rural Education at the University of Northern Colorado, are pleased to announce the availability of a $300 stipend for new substitutes that can be used to reimburse a variety of costs associated with obtaining a substitute authorization. Individuals obtaining their first time, valid 1-year, 3-year, 5-year or 2020-21 Substitute Authorization may qualify for the stipend upon meeting eligibility requirements detailed below.


To be eligible for the $300 funding, individuals must:

  • Obtain a valid Colorado substitute authorization

  • Register and attend a Substitute Boot Camp

  • Work a minimum of one day as a substitute in a Colorado school district, BOCES, charter or approved facility school.


Eligible applicants must submit a completed Substitute Certification Form and W-9.  Stipends are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to submit your application early!  Additional information, including application details, are available on the Substitute Stipend Details document.  


For questions, visit the Colorado Substitute Stipend webpage or email the Colorado Center for Rural Education.


Contact Educator Recruitment at