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Rural Alternative Licensure Stipend

The Colorado Center for Rural Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education encourage talented individuals interested in teaching to enroll in an alternative licensure program and work in a rural or small rural school district in Colorado. The Rural Alternative Licensure Stipend (RALS) provides recipients with up to $6,000 to pay for a variety of program-related costs (e.g., Alternative Licensure program-, PRAXIS-, Alternative License-, Initial License-, technology- and travel-related costs). 

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Eligible Applicants Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  1. Be employed in one of Colorado's 146 rural or small rural school districts (see below)
  2. Be enrolled in one of Colorado's approved alternative licensure programs. 
  3. Provide an Alternative License or completed Statement of Assurance from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). 
  4. Be committed to remain in a rural school district for a period of three (3) years after receiving an alternative teaching license from CDE

Definition of Rural School District

According to the Colorado Department of Education, a Colorado school district  "is determined to be rural giving consideration to the size of the district, the distance from the nearest large urban/urbanized area, and having a PK-12 student enrollment of 6,500 students or less. Small rural districts are those districts meeting these same criteria and having a student population of less than 1,000 students." The current official list of rural and small rural school districts is available at https://www.cde.state.co.us/ruraledcouncil

Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate a willingness to teach in a rural school district (especially small rural school districts with less than 1000 students) located 50 miles or more from major metropolitan areas and outside of the Front-Range region of Colora 

Selection and Award Process

In the event that the number of applications exceeds the amount of available funding provided by Colorado’s General Assembly, stipend recipients will be selected using a random lottery draw and by CDE region. Of the total applications, 55% will be awarded to individuals working in small rural school districts, and 45% will be awarded to individuals working in rural school districts.