Site Index | CDE Offices | Staff Directory

Educator Licensing Office Overview

The Educator Licensing Office ensures the implementation of current policies, procedures and state statutes as they apply to authorizing educator preparation programs and providing licenses and authorizations to educators in Colorado. In addition to reviewing both traditional and alternative educator preparation routes in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the office evaluates more than 20 different application types, processing upwards of 37,500 applications each year.

The office also works in cooperation with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to ensure all applicants for licensure submit fingerprints and undergo a comprehensive background check based on these fingerprints. Office staff assist in gathering and reviewing information on those individuals whose backgrounds reveal misdemeanor or felony charges, preparing charges and reports when necessary for review by the attorney general’s office and/or the State Board of Education.

Address: 6000 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80222
Room Number(s): Building 2, Suite 100

Unit Supervisor: Executive Director Dr. Colleen O'Neil
Administrative Lead: Reneé Lovato
Lead Email Address:
Lead Phone Number: 303-866-6822

Visit Office's Home Page

Office Responsibilities

  • Provide customer service to individuals seeking teacher, administrator and alternative educator licenses, substitute authorizations and content area endorsements, Customer Support (303-866-6628) or
  • Evaluate applications and accompanying documents to ensure qualifications are met for licensure, Customer Support (303-866-6628)
  • Provide support to district HR directors regarding expedites and concerns regarding licensure, Tanya Klein (
  • For issues relating to a person's background or the HR lookup, contact CDELicensingBackgroundUnit
  • Work with Colorado Department of Higher Education on the evaluation, review and authorization/reauthorization of traditional educator preparation programs, and with designated agencies for alternative preparation routes across the state, Mary Bivens (
  • Investigate circumstances regarding incidents either self-disclosed by applicant, reported by school districts or revealed in a background check, Darrin Bacca (
  • Work to establish and upgrade online eLicensing application system for accuracy and ease of applicant use, Darrin Bacca (

Major Projects

  • LEAN Project: In conjunction with the governor’s office, “Educator Licensing” is conducting an ongoing review of all of its protocols to identify inefficiencies, eliminate bottlenecks and streamline its evaluation, customer support and enforcement processes. Evaluation and Customer Support: Tanya Klein ( and Enforcement: Darrin Bacca (
  • “Making Licensure Matter”: In cooperation with the Rose Community Foundation and The New Teacher Project, Dr. O'Neil,, are examining ways to reduce the number of educator licenses, streamline the application and renewal process, and establish licensure policies to ensure they align with the work being accomplished by the educator effectiveness unit.


Quick Links


Contact Us

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

CDE Hours
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See also: Licensing Hours

Educator Licensing 

WCC Access