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T-PREP Program

About the Program

The Partnership for Rural Educator Preparation (T-PREP) is a unique and flexible program that provides tomorrow’s teachers who are living and/or working in rural communities with a way to earn a four-year degree and teaching license without leaving home.

Key Features

  • Start taking classes at Otero College to earn your associate’s degree.
  • Complete the rest of your classes as a CU Denver student in face-to-face classes taught by CU Denver faculty in La Junta or online.
  • Master the art of teaching while working with students in local schools and early childhood programs throughout your program.
  • Save money by opting into the bachelor’s to master’s program. As a bachelor’s to master’s student, three classes during your senior year double count towards both your bachelor’s and your master’s degrees and are billed at the undergraduate tuition rate.
  • Expand your options as an elementary education teacher by taking two extra classes and adding a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse endorsement to your elementary education teaching license.

Click Here For Teacher Education Inquiry Form

Why earn a bachelor’s degree?

By choosing a T-PREP pathway, your career opportunities will widen. In T-PREP, we prepare highly competent professionals who embrace the whole child in inclusive, culturally and linguistically diverse settings. Continuing your education can help to advance your knowledge and abilities to be an agent of social change and serve young children, youth and families more effectively. The School of Education & Human Development at CU Denver is rated a top school by U.S. News and World Report, and graduates become some of the best-prepared teachers in the country. Requirements for the teaching workforce are evolving in Colorado and in the age of universal Pre-K. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree now will prepare you to work with students in Pre-K through 12th grade and enable you to serve in leadership positions in the future. Additional schooling, spent in a caring, networked learning community, will be an asset to you.

Licensure Options

  • Early Childhood Education (ages 0-8, launches Fall 22)
  • Elementary Education (grades K-6)
  • Special Education (ages 5-21)
  • Middle School Math (grades 6-8)
    *Candidates can add the secondary math grades 7-12 license by passing an additional state licensure exam.
  • Secondary Science (grades 7-12)

How it Works:

  • Apply to Otero College and choose the Associate of Arts degree
  • Take 60 credits during the first two years and receive an associate’s degree from Otero. You’ll receive instruction from a group of Otero instructors who will be working closely with both schools.
  • Apply for admission to University of Colorado Denver. The application fee to CU Denver will be waived.
  • Continue your studies on site at Otero through a combination of CU Denver education courses (online and in-person), teaching internships, and student teaching experiences in Southern Colorado schools, for a total of 66 credits.
  • Earn a BA in Education and Human Development with elementary licensure from University of Colorado Denver.

Why Choose Otero for Your Elementary Education Degree?

  • As a degree-seeking student in the program, you are eligible for financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
  • Participate in a prescribed degree plan with coursework closely connected to field experiences to best prepare you to teach in the field of elementary education.
  • Experience and build relationships in local classroom settings with built-in field experience throughout the program, working with teachers and faculty to support your development.
  • Become part of a strong learning community that meets regularly to include support with peers, mentors, and faculty.
  • The program supports paraeducators working in elementary general education classrooms with district and T-PREP program approval.

Note:Students who may have already earned, or started, an associate’s degree and/or bachelor’s degree are also eligible to apply. Students will meet with an advisor to determine what they need to do to move into the program.