The two-year corps commitment is only the beginning of the impact you’ll have in one of our three unique communities in Colorado. Between our 110 corps members this school year and alumni base, the Teach For America-Colorado family is over 1,400 strong. Our network of change-makers are known for taking on leadership at all levels in education and advocating for students across sectors. The challenges and opportunities are unique in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver, but we are one Teach For America-Colorado.
Teaching & Leading Here
- Colorado Springs
The 2016-17 school year marks the third year of Teach For America’s partnership in Pueblo. As a corps member, you’ll play a role in rallying champions and enthusiastically speak to the greatness of our students as you stand with a community-driven movement for educational equity. As a teacher in Pueblo, you will join a tight-knit corps and serve at schools designated as priority improvement or turnaround in our partner district, Pueblo City Schools (PCS). In PCS, 68 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch, 75 percent are students of color, and 71 percent are Latino. TFA alumni like Alex San Filippo-Rosser (Rio Grande Valley Corps ‘04), a public defender with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, and Mary Keohane (Colorado Corps ‘13), a teacher at Pueblo Academy of Arts, are continuing to lead in Pueblo in and out of the classroom.
The culturally rich and historical town of Pueblo sits at the meeting point of the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek. Once a city on the border between the United States and Mexico, Pueblo was a hub of the Chicano Movement in Colorado in the 1960s and 70s and its residents continue to infuse the Chicano culture into the city. There are endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture of Pueblo, from the First Friday Art Walks to the over 20 year old annual Chile and Frijole Festival to the ever changing exhibits at the El Pueblo History Museum. You will enjoy the revitalized downtown area including the “Historic Arkansas Riverwalk” beautification project year round with picnics, festivals and boat rides. Nicknamed the “banana belt,” Pueblo tends to get less snow than other major Colorado cities, which will allow you to enjoy the beautiful outdoors at Pueblo Mountain Park and other surrounding areas throughout the year. And while other cities in Colorado are experiencing record high real estate prices, you will find affordable and beautiful housing in whichever community in Pueblo you choose to live.
Since 2009, Teach For America corps members in Colorado Springs have served a highly diverse student population with the majority teaching in Harrison School District Two. You will work alongside fellow corps members and over 80 alumni working in partnership with community members to improve education and expand opportunities for kids and families. Knowing that Teach For America members are in fact leaders for life, TFA in Colorado Springs offers two unique fellowships that ensure after the initial two years, alums have meaningful ways to continue to engage and grow in this movement. Additionally, TFA-Colorado Springs closely partners with Leadership Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs Rising Professionals to bring unique networking and professional development opportunities to corps members and alumni that focus on expanding and amplifying the impact young professionals can have on our city. We are proud of the work our alums continue to do in Colorado Springs, including Kaitlyn Bradley (Colorado Corps ‘09) who is now in her 7th year as a teacher in Harrison School district, and Joe Laliberte (Colorado Corps ‘10) and Monica Colón-Glickman (Colorado Corps ‘11), who work as assistant principals in two of our placement middle schools.
Forbes Magazine recently named Colorado Springs one of the best places in America to live, and it doesn’t take much exploring to see why. Known to many as the Olympic City and located at well over a mile above sea level, Colorado Springs residents truly enjoy a gold standard of living. Not only is the Springs home to Pikes Peak, the inspiration for “America The Beautiful,” but also there over 250 miles of park and urban trails and over 5,000 acres of open space. While the natural beauty of Colorado Springs is apparent, the heart of the community is the people who are continually working with each other to improve their city. Many shops, restaurants, bars, and gyms are locally-owned, making Colorado Springs have its own distinct feel.
Teach For America first came to Colorado in 2007 as a partner in the city of Denver. As a corps member in Denver, you will teach at a traditional or charter school within our partner district, Denver Public Schools (DPS). Serving 72 percent of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, DPS is the largest school district in the state and is making incredible strides to improve the education of its students. As a leader in Denver, you will join hundreds of education champions who are working alongside business, philanthropic and policy leaders, all of whom are working together to improve education in Colorado. Teach For America alumni are a strong force working toward educational equity in the Denver area working both in and outside of the school system. For example, Veronica Palmer (Los Angeles Corps ‘06) and Milagros Barsallo (Colorado Corps ‘09) co-founded the non-profit RISE Colorado, which teaches families how to work closely with their students' schools and teachers.
Denver combines a vibrant urban lifestyle with the open spaces and easy access to the outdoors that characterize the West. Nicknamed the “Mile-High City,” Denver is both Colorado's capital and its largest metropolis. Visitors to Denver can sense an optimism and energy about the city that manifests itself in many ways, from the sharp angles of the new wing of the Denver Art Museum to the rapidly expanding light rail system to the school district's innovative approach to student achievement results. Denver is among the nation's most livable large cities, with a bustling downtown, historic tree-lined neighborhoods and the largest public parks system in the United States.
What You Need to Know
Becoming Certified to Teach
- Can I use my AmeriCorps Education Award towards my certification costs?
- Is it possible to complete a master's degree at the end of the two years?
- Is a master's degree required?
- Which universities do you partner with?
- Certification for corps members in all sub-regions can be obtained in one year through the University of Colorado – Denver.
- Corps members teaching in the Denver sub-region will have the option of obtaining certification through either University of Colorado – Denver or the Relay Graduate School of Education.
In order to meet the requirements to be able to teach in Colorado, all teachers must take and pass one or more exams depending on your teaching assignment. Taking and passing tests in your primary subject area is mandatory and should be completed as early as possible.
If you register on time and pass your tests the first time, the average overall cost for required tests across all subjects is about $360. Costs may vary based on the number of required tests, the subject area and other variables. If you register late for your tests and/or must take them multiple times, the cost for testing could be closer to or exceed $600.
For more information, please visit the Colorado Department of Education website.
Professional Development & Licensing Costs
Corps members are required to meet the Colorado state teaching requirements in order to maintain their position as a teacher, and they will continue to learn and grow through required professional development throughout their two years as a corps member. While teaching, corps members must attend all required courses and complete all required assignments in order to maintain their license as a teacher.
University of Colorado – Denver
Corps members that receive certification through the University of Colorado – Denver will pay $5,300 for professional development and licensing coursework over the course of their first year.
- $500 of this $5,200 is due by June 1, with $2,300 due by October 1 and $2500 due by January 1.
- Please note that an interest-free loan is available for all corps members to cover the full cost of the certification. This loan is disbursed in September of year one and corps members start paying back the loan in monthly installments beginning in October of year one.
Relay Graduate School of Education
Corps members that receive certification through the Relay Graduate School of Education could pay up to $18,000. After institutional aid from Relay and the application of two AmeriCorps education awards, anticipated out of pocket tuition costs for graduate students participating in TFA and teaching in high-needs schools is approximately $6,500. Tuition charges will be distributed across the six terms of the program.
In addition to the coursework fees noted above, corps members will need to pay Colorado Department of Education licensing fees up to $100 to process a statement of eligibility, a statement of assurance and an alternative teaching license. Those fees will be collected after Institute by the Colorado Department of Education.
No, you cannot use your AmeriCorps award toward the cost of licensure through the University of Colorado – Denver. However, if you choose to do the master’s degree you can use the award towards your master’s degree.
If you receive your certification from Relay Graduate School of Education (Denver sub-region only), you can apply your AmeriCorps award toward the cost of licensure.
No, corps members can enroll in a master’s degree program at the end of their first year and complete it within the subsequent two year period.
University of Colorado-Denver and Relay Graduate School of Education (available for Denver sub-region only).
Placement School Locations
Subjects And Grade Levels
- Elementary (Denver, Pueblo)
- Social Studies
- Spanish/Bilingual Elementary (Denver)
- Special Education