Facts About Colorado Education
Colorado’s education and teaching opportunities offer employment options for veterans and service members transitioning after their military service. According to the Colorado Department of Education, there are 1,888 schools: 1,091 elementary schools, 284 middle schools, 513 high schools and enrollment has grown every year since 1988, with enrollment currently at 905,000+ students. Source: https://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/20180206edfacts
Who can help veterans and service members with transition to the classroom? The Colorado Troops to Teachers (TTT) Grant Office can help. The Colorado TTT grant program focuses on building face-to-face relationships at six military bases across the state, as well as with local schools and districts, higher education and communities.
Colorado TTT Grant Office
Colorado has been helping veterans and service members transition into the classroom through the TTT program since 1995. Since the state received its 2017 TTT grant, it has proudly helped more than 820 veterans, with 62 participants employed with the center’s help.
John Scheuer, principal consultant, Troops to Teachers Colorado, says, “The most important service that they provide to veterans is counseling and advisement on licensing pathways and job placement assistance.” She also says that the hardest part about the transition process from the military to the classroom is understanding and navigating state licensure requirements and pathway options.
Advice for service members and veterans to help make the transition process to the classroom easier is – to start planning early and this means two years before retirement or separation.
Tips for Transitioning Veterans
The biggest challenge when helping veterans pursue employment as teachers is bridging the knowledge gap for the K-12 landscape, differences across the states, and understanding licensure, certification and credential regulations towards gaining teacher employment. Colorado TTT Grant Office consultants, John Scheuer and Korey Brown provide service members and veterans with advice and counseling about all of the steps to becoming a teacher.
The top three steps a veteran can take to help be prepared for the transition journey to teaching are:
1) to begin planning as early as possible
2) ensure any civilian education is with a regionally accredit (vs nationally accredited) Institute of Higher Education (college/university)
3) gain as much experience as possible, through avenues such as volunteering (i.e. Junior Achievement), shadowing a TTT mentor currently in the classroom, and substitute teaching
According to Scheuer, “I would also add an additional tip to seek and join the professional association for the content area the veteran wants to teach in.”
There is an association for nearly every content area… the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (nctm.org), National Science Teachers Association (nsta.org), Music Teachers National Association (mtna.org), and World Language teachers have the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (actfl.org).
Not only does this show that a candidate is already connected to the professional field, but most associations also offer discounts, “new teacher” membership rates, and they also have resources, such as lesson plan ‘banks’, etc. Plus, these memberships might be that ‘extra factor’ that competing candidates might not have on a resume.
One last tip -- be sure to register and begin to work with the TTT folks most knowledgeable in your chosen state(s).We are here to help you get started!
As a consistent “top” TTT-supporting state, Colorado has numerous veteran success stories. One that stands out is TTT participant, Dr. Elmer Harris, who began teaching special education in Colorado in 2011. He was selected as one of six nationwide selections to be a U.S. Department of Education School Ambassador Fellow in 2017. READ MORE: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/schoolfellowship/2017fellows/harris.html
Contact TTT Program Office: Call 1-800-231-6242 or find all other state TTT office contact information by clicking on individual states on the U.S map on the TTT official website, http://www.proudtoserveagain.com/
For more details about Colorado’s TTT grant services provided by the Colorado TTT grant office, visit their website, http://www.cde.state.co.us/educatortalent/troopstoteacherscolorado
Print a Colorado TTT Department of Education fact sheet: http://www.cde.state.co.us/educatortalent/troopstoteachers_counseling_advising
Contact Colorado TTT Grant Office personnel: Email TroopsToTeachersCO@cde.state.co.us or call John Scheuer or Korey Brown, PH: 719-526-2208 to schedule an appointment.