Calhan School District in Colorado has recently become the first registered K-12 Teacher Apprenticeship Program in the state approved by the United States Department of Labor. The new Teacher Apprenticeship Program will help school districts grow their own teacher pools from the experienced staff working within their district. The program will also act as an accessible and affordable pathway into the education profession.
This program was designed in partnership with Calhan School District, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and The Colorado Urban Workforce Alliance joining together to create a teacher apprenticeship for Colorado that was molded after the Grow Your Own Tennessee Apprenticeship Model.
“What this program does is allows schools to give those professionals who have already shown their abilities and dedication to students the opportunity to move into the classroom as a teacher sooner, with significant support, actionable feedback, and a path to licensure,”
Stephanie Curtis, apprenticeship sponsor, and creator.
Under the curriculum set by the Colorado Department of Education, this apprenticeship allows a program participant with 2 years or 2,700 hours of experience working in a general education setting to have a path to becoming an educator without having first earned a bachelor’s degree a 4-year institution.
This apprenticeship program is designed for elementary and secondary teacher apprentices. The partnership with UCCS is a crucial component of the program as the UCCS College of Education will offer specific courses and pathways for apprentice teachers to earn college credits through the apprenticeship program. The elementary education pathway includes 8 education courses representing 24 credit hours. The secondary education pathway includes 4 education courses for 12 credit hours and 4 subject-specific content courses to earn 12 credit hours.
The apprentice teacher who meets the hours of experience required must also obtain a CDE substitute authorization, and meet observation and coaching requirements while completing expected competencies and required coursework throughout the apprenticeship.