Teacher Institute at La Academia

The Teacher Institute at La Academia (TILA) is an alternative teacher licensure program located in Denver, Colorado and is an official Colorado Department of Education Designated Agency. TILA provides alternative certification programs for individuals that have not completed a traditional teacher certification program. TILA is specially designed for people who have already received an undergraduate degree, and have the desire to change their career or enhance their professional status through teacher licensure. TILA candidates are awarded an alternative teaching license, while working as a full-time teacher in the state of Colorado. Successful completion of the year-long TILA program results in the recommendation of an Initial Colorado Teaching license that is valid for three years.

TILA has functioned as a designated agency for alternative teacher licensure since 2001 and has been approved by the Colorado Department of Education. The agency can recommend licensure for teachers seeking endorsements in elementary education, special education, linguistically diverse education, and a variety of secondary content areas.

Since its inception, TILA has recommended licensure for over 400 teachers in a variety of endorsement areas, the majority being in special education. The program has grown significantly over the last five years and is a recent recipient of a federally sponsored Department of Education Transition to Teaching grant that will support 250 classroom teachers in the Alternative Teacher Licensure program by 2014, statewide.

The Teacher Institute has developed a strong partnership with the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center (UCDHSC) that enables licensure candidates to earn 9 graduate credits at the University. These credits will directly transfer into one of two M.A. programs (Curriculum and Instruction with a Focus on Language, Literacy and Culturally Responsive Teaching and Special Education) at UCDHSC. The cost of these credits is included in the TILA fee schedule. The path to the graduate credits is embedded into the State-approved TILA program and negotiated into the agreement between TILA and UCDHSC.

TILA candidates can choose one endorsement area during their program.
    Early Childhood Education (Ages Birth-8)
    Elementary Education (Grades: Grades K-6)
    Special Education Generalist (Ages 5-21)
    Linguistically Diverse Education
    All K-12 Endorsements
    All Secondary Endorsements

Program Components
The Teacher Institute at La Academia consists of three major components:
    Classroom teaching experience, in which the TILA candidate must be a full-time teacher of record
    Direct pedagogical instruction in a seminar format that offers university graduate credit
    A reflective and research-oriented competency based portfolio

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