addressING the teacher shortage

Rural Educator PROGRAM

Partnership for Rural Educator Preparation (T⁠-⁠REP)

The Partnership for Rural Educator Preparation (T-PREP) addresses the critical teacher shortage in Colorado’s rural communities. Through a collaboration between the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), T-PREP allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree in education without leaving your hometown.

T-PREP uses a “2+2” model, where you complete an associate degree at a participating community college and then transfer credits to CU Denver to complete your bachelor’s degree and licensure in elementary or early childhood education.

This program is currently available at Trinidad State College (TSC) and Otero College, and will soon expand to Northeastern Junior College (NJC).

Working with CU Denver, we meet students where they are while building a sustainable educator pipeline in rural communities.

Landon PiriusCCCS Vice Chancellor


  • Local Learning: You can study in your communities, avoiding the need to relocate.
  • Cost-Effective: You’ll pay community college tuition rates for the first two years, reducing your overall education costs.
  • Flexible Schedules: NJC will offer night classes and hybrid schedules to accommodate adult learners.
  • Immediate Impact: You’ll gain classroom experience and can work as a substitute while completing your degree.

Program Success

  • Otero College: Launched in 2016, the program has produced eight licensed professionals, with 30 more in the pipeline.
  • Trinidad State College: Since 2019, five students have completed the program, with 24 more expected to graduate by Spring 2023.

Community Impact

T-PREP is highly anticipated by local schools. Superintendents and principals look forward to welcoming new, well-prepared teachers into their classrooms. The program aims to produce reflective, intentional educators who are equipped with strong classroom management skills and a solid educational background.

To learn more about the T-PREP program, visit the Otero and TSC websites.