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Western Colorado University

Western Colorado University


More than one hundred years old, Western Colorado University is a public university that offers 100+ four-year degrees, as well seven master's track programs, five of which are accelerated five-year programs. In 2017, Forbes magazine designated Western Colorado University as one of the top 100 institutions in the West and in 2019, Western received an $80 million dollar gift from alumnus Paul Rady to partner with CU Boulder to create a world class school of Computer Science and Engineering in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Sitting atop the world at 7,702 feet, Western was named three times by Elevation Outdoors magazine as the "Top Adventure School in the West." Having an average class size of fourteen, Western offers a one of kind opportunity for world class education in a small town environment.

Western student Justine Chang won TEACH Colorado's $1,000 "Shape the Future" scholarship. See her reason for teaching below!

Justine Chang Scholarship Winner


  • College or University
  • Gunnison, CO

Institution Links

  • Admissions
  • Financial Aid Office
  • Online Application
Amy Jo Odubhaigh

The year long residency experience was invaluable. I felt like my student teaching was my first year teaching.

Amy Jo Odubhaigh

Western Colorado University


Bachelor’s & licensure

Initial Licensure for Undergraduates

  • 48 months

    Program Duration

  • Hybrid

    Program Format

  • Pre-Test Required


Relevant Links

Program Info

Western's program for undergraduates is second to none. Upon completion of their content area coursework, our candidates are placed with a mentor teacher for a year-long residency. Our coursework is implementation based, which balances theory with real world practice. Our candidates are able to immediately put their knowledge to work and are supported by not only their mentor teacher, but a regional coordinator and clinical coach who guide them through the process of becoming a teacher. Because of our personalized online model, our candidates are able to complete their residency anywhere in the state, the country, and even the world. Are graduates are often hired straight out of their clinical experience.

Our graduates are well prepared. In a February 2020 CDE study, 100% of Western Traditional and Alternative residents were rated as effective or highly effective by their administrators in their first year of teaching.

Additionally, undergraduate program participants are eligible for Western's innovative 3+2 program, allowing students to achieve both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in education in five years (plus an initial teaching license).

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Application Fee & Annual Tuition

  • $6,816

    In State Tuition

  • $18,600

    Out of State Tuition

  • $30

    Application Fee

Ways to Lower Your Costs

Students at Western Colorado University have reduced the cost of their program using these methods. Check with Western Colorado University to see if you can, too!


Grants, Stipends, Scholarships

Barr, Robert M. and Roberta Armstrong Scholarship: Mrs. Roberta Barr established this scholarship to help potential teachers gain the education they need to be successful. Mrs. Barr was an educator, over several decades, and understood the importance of well-trained, dedicated teachers.

Birkholz, John and Rosalie Scholarship: For full time students with a declared or plan to declare an Education major. Recipients will be expected to volunteer their time with the Western Foundation, to help with special projects, fundraising events, ect. as a learning experience to advance their practical education

Brennecke/Elkins, Magdalene Scholarship: Students with junior standing or above at the end of term in which he/she applies. Must plan to teach either elementary or secondary level. Award depends on funds available.  

Dr. Jerrold Hanson Scholarship: Studying in Western’s Education Program with plans to become a teacher. Preference given to those with financial need. Award depends on funds available.  

Haefeli, Delia Fay Scholarship: For female education students majoring in K-12 Teacher Education. Applicants must have graduated from Colorado Western Slope High School and be a first generation college student. 

Hansen, Dr. Kenneth H. and Mary Alice Memorial Education Scholarship: Preference given to non-traditional students in Western’s education program with demonstrated financial need. Award depends on funds available.

Knight, Sophie Hamrick Memorial Scholarship: For Western students who have established a financial need and a positive attitude. Preference will be given to freshmen. 

Lorena A. Casebier Memorial Scholarship: For promising future teachers (merit-based) who are passionate, committed to and focused on their teaching career. Preference given to female applicants with financial need. Awards depend on funds available.

Nyluend, Jnnie & Fritz Memorial Scholarship: Graduates of Nucla High School attending Western full time who intend to pursue a career in teaching. If no candidate from Nucla High applies, any Education major is eligible. Award depends on funds available.

Owen Kuhn McWilliams Memorial Scholarship: Has been established by Raylene Owen to provide scholarship assistance to Western Colorado University students who plan to become science or mathematics teachers.

Randall, Edwin H. Memorial Scholarship: Seniors at Western who are active members of intercollegiate sports teams who also plan to teach are awarded $500 per academic year.

Randall, Edwin H. Memorial Scholarship: Seniors at Western who are active members of intercollegiate sports teams who also plan to teach are awarded $500 per academic year.

Rouse, Roberta M. Scholarship: For full-time Western students planning a career in elementary education. Preference given to students returning to college to continue their education. Award depends on funds available (approximately $500). 

Tredway, Dan Memorial Education Scholarship: For full-time, motivated, high-achieving seniors obtaining a teaching license. Preference given to Western Slope residents. Award depends on funds available.  

Tutor, Dr. Charles R. Scholarship: Full-time Western undergraduate and/or graduate juniors or seniors with an Education emphasis. Preference given to seniors and to those of underrepresented populations. Award depends on funds available.  

Zugelder, Ann Award Fund: Full-time sophomore or junior students pursuing certification in elementary education with 3.5 GPA or higher. Award depends on available funds.

For more information visit:Financial Aid Office

Licensure Areas

English Language Arts (7-12)
Mathematics (7-12)
Music (K-12)
Physical Education (K-12)
Science (7-12)
Visual Arts (K-12)
World Languages (K-12)
World Languages—Spanish (K-12)

Program Semesters/Steps Overview

Program Hallmarks


  • Male

  • Female



  • American Indian or Alaskan Native

  • Asian

  • Black

  • Hispanic/Latino

  • Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander

  • White

  • Two or more races








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