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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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Application Requirements 

Eligible Applicants Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  • Be enrolled in an approved Alternative Licensure Program
  • Be employed as an educator in a Colorado rural school district.
  • Be committed to teach in a Colorado rural school district for three (3) years after receiving their alternative license from the Colorado Department of Education.
  • Be committed to maintain communications with the Colorado Center of Rural Education staff  to share experiences, complete surveys, and provide a letter from the alternative licensure program provider or school administrator verifying the recipient has received an initial license and remains employed in a rural school district. 

Eligibility Preference

Recipients must commit to teach for three (3) years in one of the rural school districts (especially small rural school districts with less than 1,000 students)  located 50 miles or more from major metropolitan areas and outside of the Front-Range region of Colorado.

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 and a helpful map can be found at https://www.unco.edu/colorado-center-for-rural-education/2019.2020map.pdf.

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