Colorado English Learner (EL) Standards
Colorado is one of the largest states in the country with the most English language learners (ELL), yet PK-12 schools’ attempt at helping ELLs achieve academic success at an acceptable level is still a challenge. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has responded to this state crisis and is attempting to address this need by ensuring that all teachers receive appropriate training to address the needs of students who are ELLs. This fall, the CDE adopted new English Learner (EL) Standards that all preservice and in-service teachers are required to meet. You can read more about this on the CDE website. The charge by CDE is for all teacher preparation programs in Colorado to implement the new requirements and all preservice teachers graduating after Spring 2019 must demonstrate that they meet the new EL standards.
We know that there will be many questions, so we have included below some questions and answers we anticipate students may have. If you have questions not addressed below, please contact an advisor in your School of Education program.
We hope that our goal is clear: As teachers, we need to be prepared to serve all PK-12 students, including our English language learners. We realize that change is difficult, but we also feel that our children are worth the sacrifice. Thank you for your commitment to be the best teachers for our children!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the School of Education at MSU Denver doing to prepare preservice teachers to meet these requirements?
The School of Education has created a task force composed of faculty with expertise in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse education. The task force has been leading the analysis of all of our programs and making change recommendations to programs in order to authentically embed knowledge and skills that address the new EL Standards. During Spring semester, the task force and programs will be announcing the specific changes that will occur and the plan for implementation.
What if I’m pursuing an education degree but not interested in earning a teaching license?
If you are not pursuing a teaching license, then the EL standards are an option for you, not a requirement. You can choose to continue your program and graduate as planned or choose to take coursework to develop the knowledge and skills that support English language learners.
What if I am pursing a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) endorsement while pursuing my initial teaching license?
(click here for more information about the endorsement)
If you graduate from one of our programs with a CLD endorsement, you meet the new EL standards. Your program will not need modifications.
How does this affect me if I’m interested in earning a teaching license and am graduating Fall 2018 or Spring 2019?
If you are graduating Fall 2018 or Spring 2019, you do not have to make any changes to your program. CDE realizes that you will be a licensed teacher during Fall 2019, and you will participate in the training that all in-service teachers (educators with a teaching license teaching in PK-12 schools) will receive to meet the new requirements.
How does this affect me if I’m interested in earning a teaching license and am graduating Fall 2019 or Spring 2020?
If you are graduating Fall 2019 or Spring 2020, you fall into the transitional group who needs to meet the new requirements but has limited time in your program to do so. The task force is working on a plan for you. The plan will probably include a couple of options that will be either modules/workshops or a course.
How does this affect me if I’m interested in earning a teaching license and am graduating after Spring 2020?
If you graduate after Spring 2020, then there will be modifications in your program. The task force is working with all programs to identify the gaps and create a plan that helps all preservice teachers meet licensure requirements.
Will the modifications to my program mean that I am now eligible to apply for a CLD endorsement?
The new EL standards are to minimally prepare teachers to serve their students who are ELLs. The training requirements are not deep enough to culminate in a CLD endorsement. However, the new requirements will pave the way for all preservice teachers to earn the CLD endorsement if they choose to with additional courses. Pursuing the CLD endorsement is highly encouraged.
What are the next steps for the task force and how will students stay informed?
The task force will continue meeting next semester. They will continue to work with programs and faculty to address all the changes listed above. Students will receive communication from the School of Education throughout the semester as updates occur. There will be Q&A sessions planned during the semester that students are encouraged to attend and ask their questions to faculty and administration.