Boulder Journey School (BJS)

Boulder Journey School Teacher Education Program (BJSTEP)

University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver)

Colorado Department of Education (CDE)

*The BJSTEP is a progressive, innovative program that is continually evolving; thus the information below, including program structure and fees, are subject to change at any time.

What are the Estimated Fees for the BJSTEP?

*These tuition estimates are for the 2021-2022 school year only and tuition is subject to change

            Total Tuition = Approximately $22,000 (Please note, this rate is subject to change)  


What is the MA Degree name?

Graduate with a Masters Degree in: Learning, Developmental, and Family Sciences

-with an Emphasis in Early Childhood Education

Please Note: Degree name and plan of study is subject to change.

What is the application review  process?

The application review timeline occurs on a rolling basis.

Are Resident Teachers eligible for Financial Aid?

Yes, students are eligible to apply for Financial Aid through the FAFSA process. Applicants and/or accepted students can submit a FAFSA at any time, but please be aware that the CU Denver Financial Aid office will have access to FAFSA records only after admission into the program has been processed. At that time, the Financial Aid office will be able to address questions regarding the student’s specific financial aid awards. The approximate range of Financial Aid Loans eligibility is $27,600 - $34,000, which includes both the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Graduate Plus Loan (credit stipulations apply). The maximum for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized  Loan for graduate students is $20,500 per academic year (fall, spring, and summer), approximately $10,250 for fall and $10,250 for spring. Students who have borrowed the maximum annual limit of the Unsubsidized Loan may qualify for additional Federal Graduate Plus loans (credit stipulations apply) for approximately $6,500 for fall and spring and $7,100 for summer based on the student’s educational cost of attendance. Possibilities also exist to request additional loan money based on additional educational costs.

Are there scholarships available?

While there are no current scholarships specific to this MA, please feel free to peruse the information regarding general scholarships and Early Childhood Education scholarships on the CU Denver website. Please note there are specific eligibility requirements for each scholarship, which may include being an active CU Denver student. Students may also find various scholarships outside of CU Denver.

What are the Professional Objectives of this program?

The BJS TEP is designed to support Resident Teachers  in embracing the following professional qualities: Professional Character, Reflective Observation, Creativity, Resiliency & Humility, Communication & Collaboration, Courage, Critical Knowledge, Curiosity, Literacy of Technology, and Visionary Leadership.

Does this program include a paid practicum?

Everyone accepted to the BJS TEP completes a 12-month paid teaching practicum, as an employee of the practicum site where each Resident Teacher is placed. Resident Teachers earn $12 per hour for working a minimum of 1,000 hours, totalling $12,000 before taxes. Specific schedules and weekly hours vary from practicum site to practicum site, and based on the scheduled weekly hours there could be a potential to earn more income. Resident Teachers will complete the necessary paperwork regarding employment at a later date. If a Resident Teacher is currently employed at a school and will complete the practicum at his/her current school, hours and salary can be negotiated between the Resident Teacher and his/her employer, as long as a minimum of 1,000 hours is completed.

How do the BJS TEP Administrators make decisions regarding practicum placements?

The placement process for both the practicum site and the age group is very complex. BJS TEP Administrators consider many factors and feel confident that all of the practicum sites and all of the age groups, from Infants through Pre-Kindergarteners, offer an extraordinary and unique experience for all  in this program. For applicants who have already applied to the program, there has likely already been communication around possibilities for a practicum placement site. Please understand that Resident Teachers can be placed with any age group within these sites (Infant, Toddler, Preschool, or Pre-Kindergarten). All of the practicum sites, classrooms, and age groups offer the potential to develop the intended professional qualities, which are the objectives of the BJS TEP.

Do Resident Teachers participate in more than one practicum?

The BJS TEP includes a 12-month practicum at one school, affording Resident Teachers the opportunity to establish long-term relationships with children, families, teachers, and administrators. Based on circumstances that can occur in any school, there may be a situation in which a placement could shift within a practicum site.

What if a Resident Teacher wants to plan a trip or event during the year?

The BJS TEP is an accelerated 12-month program, so missing parts of this program can lead to falling behind in program requirements. Applicants who have a big event(s) currently scheduled for the upcoming year should consider applying to this program at another time.

What is required through the Colorado Department of Education before the start of the Program?

For Resident Teachers who do not already have an existing Teaching License, it is required to apply for an Alternative Teaching License prior to the start of the program. The status of the application must state, "Pending Employment/Program" before the start of the program. During Orientation, Resident Teachers will submit the remaining documents in order to be issued the Alternative Teaching License - Early Childhood Education (0-8). It is required to hold this License during the program year. For those who currently hold a Teaching License, further instructions will be shared.

Is childcare offered for Resident Teachers who are also parents of young children?

Each practicum site has different policies regarding childcare for employees’ children. Upon acceptance, a Resident Teacher can request childcare, and once placed at a practicum site, the site Director or Administrator will discuss whether childcare is offered to employees, the costs involved, and if space is available.

What does a typical week look like? 

Depending on the practicum site, Resident Teachers typically work in the classroom 3-5 days per week, in addition to any scheduled school meeting or event. Resident Teachers also participate in a variety of BJS TEP instructional hours, including courses, in-services, seminars, workshops, and field trips, totalling over 225 instruction hours.

Resident Teachers attend a combination of online courses and courses that meet weekly. The weekly meetings are held at BJS on Wednesdays, during a three hour block, with one additional hour block scheduled at another time during the week. During the summer, the structure of instruction time changes slightly, with condensed course timelines. Please Note: There might be additional instruction hours that are scheduled on nights and/or weekends, held at BJS.

What is the attendance policy for BJS TEP Instruction Hours?

Attendance and participation in all aspects of the program are required. Any missed BJS TEP instruction time, including courses, in-services, seminars, workshops, field trips, must be made up. Course Instructors and BJS TEP Administrators assign make-up work to account for instruction hours missed.

What is the workload like for the courses?

Resident Teachers take 12 courses, 4 courses each term, which are a combination of in person (weekly meeting times) and online courses. Each Instructor has different timelines, as well as different assignment workloads. The summer session Courses are condensed. Please remember that these are graduate level courses, so plan accordingly. Past Resident Teachers have indicated that they have spent approximately 10-20  hours a week on assignments.

What is the structure of the weekly courses?

Each year the structure of the weekly meeting times changes due to the progressive nature of this program. For the 2021-2022 school year, it is anticipated that these will be held on Wednesdays between the hours of 8:30am- 5:30pm in a three hour block, with one hour meeting time scheduled at a different time during the week. All practicum sites schedule teaching hours around these Wednesday blocks.

When is the first day of this program?

Resident Teachers are required to participate in Orientation at BJS on Monday, August 2, and Tuesday August 3, 2021. If accepted to the program, please do not schedule anything for the entire week, as each practicum site may have additional requirements. Depending on the practicum site, childcare for Resident Teachers’ children may or may not be available during the week.

What materials do Resident Teachers need to start this program?

Are there any recommendations regarding budgeting for the year?

The BJS TEP Administrators understand that during this 12-month program, finances are different for each Resident Teacher. If a Resident Teacher takes out Financial Aid for fall and spring, the Resident Teacher receives up to $10,250 for each term from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. This loan can pay for the BJS TEP Tuition ($6,000 Fall/ $6,000 Spring) and the CU Denver Tuition (approximately $10,000 (not including fees) in three to four payments throughout the year), with some monies left over each semester for living expenses. Students who have borrowed the maximum annual limit of the Unsubsidized Loan may qualify for additional Federal Graduate Plus loans for approximately $6,500 for fall and spring, which would increase fall and spring loans to approximately $3,250 each term.

For summer, if a Resident Teacher receives the full $7,100 Grad Plus Loan, this loan can pay for CU Denver Tuition and the rest can be put towards living expenses. Once a Resident Teacher is placed at a practicum site, and the number of weekly hours and pay period information is determined, the Resident Teacher will want to estimate how much he/she will net (after taxes) on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. BJS TEP Administrators recommended saving funds prior to the start of the program to use toward living expenses.

Can Resident Teachers work another job, in addition to the paid teaching practicum, while completing this program?

Having another part time job could be feasible, as long as the hours are flexible and can be scheduled around the Resident Teacher’s required practicum hours, course schedules, and other school requirements. Because there needs to be a lot of flexibility, BJS TEP Administrators suggest the following possibilities for earning extra income: Seek babysitting opportunities, substitute at your practicum site or at other schools in the area. To substitute in public school districts a Substitute Teaching License through the CDE is required. This is an accelerated program, requiring weekly teaching hours, attendance during classes/instructional times, and time for graduate level assignments for four courses per term, so other part time work might not be desirable.

Do Resident Teachers need a car to participate in this program?

Once practicum placements are determined, Resident Teachers will want to research the local bus system or carpool possibilities, based on the location of their practicum. Resident Teachers attend classes at BJS once or twice a week, and there is a bus stop directly outside the school. Please note, an Instructor may choose to schedule one or two classes per semester at a different location.

What careers are Resident Teachers qualified for upon completion of this program?

Graduates work in a variety of settings upon completion of this program. Some Resident Teachers choose to look for a job while completing the program, while some Resident Teachers choose to wait until graduation to search for a job. Both seem to be good choices, based on individual preferences. Graduates from the program hold a variety of jobs, ranging from public to private sectors, Early Childhood programs, K-3, Higher Education, Parent Outreach, Leadership and Advocacy positions, etc. Graduates of this program also become a part of the BJS TEP Alumni Network, which connects graduates with one another. Job opportunities are an integral part of the Alumni Network.

Will Resident Teachers learn about the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education during this program?

Since 1995, Boulder Journey School educators and BJS TEP Administrators have been inspired by a strong relationship with educators from the world-renowned schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and intensive study of their philosophy and pedagogy. This relationship has also influenced the BJS TEP. The social constructivist approach to the BJS TEP reflects this inspiration and also reflects inspirations from many other local, national, and international partnerships.

Will Resident Teachers learn about other approaches, in addition to the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education?

Resident Teachers are exposed to a variety of approaches through conversations with fellow Resident Teachers and colleagues and as part of courses.

Will Resident Teachers work with children with special rights?

The student population varies from practicum site to practicum site, with some sites having a larger number of students with identified special rights. All of the practicum sites recognize the value of supporting individual rights for all children.

Will Resident Teachers without much experience with technology receive support?

The BJS TEP program relies heavily on the use of innovative technology, and there are different support systems offered depending on need. BJSTEP Administrators send online introductions to Google Drive, the system of communication for the BJSTEP, before the program begins. In addition, CU Denver uses a learning management system called CANVAS that supports the Courses.

How long has the BJS TEP been in existence?

The BJS TEP began in 1999 and has developed in partnership with CU Denver and the Colorado Department of Education. Each year, we assess the program so that it remains innovative and responsive to 21st century educational goals.  

What are the basic requirements that Resident Teachers will need to complete in order to graduate at the end of the program?

To complete the BJSTEP, Resident Teachers are required to teach a minimum of 1,000 practicum hours and fulfill all teaching responsibilities as outlined by each practicum site. Resident Teachers also complete all instructional hours by attending and fulfilling the requirements for the BJSTEP, including 12 CU Denver courses, in-services, seminars, workshops, and field trips. Resident Teachers are required to submit an Archive of all of the work completed during the program.  Resident Teachers are also required to complete a Culminating Assessment Requirement toward the end of the program. For Resident Teachers, who will be obtaining an Initial Early Childhood Education Colorado Teaching License, all necessary paperwork must be completed by the start of the program. All Resident Teachers who do not already hold a state Teaching License are required to apply for their Alternative Teaching License before the program starts, and must complete the necessary paperwork needed for the Alternative Teaching License at Orientation.

Are Resident Teachers Eligible for Health Insurance?

Please see below, for information from the University of Colorado Denver website, to review health insurance options through Connect for Health Colorado.

“Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government requires that U.S. citizens have health insurance coverage or pay a fee on their next federal tax return. CU Denver does not have its own requirement that students have coverage, but had historically offered an optional health insurance plan to students. However, since the opening of the health insurance exchange marketplace in 2014, the market for health insurance has changed. More affordable care is available, and the market for optional university health plans has practically disappeared.”  

Students should visit​, the official State Health Insurance Exchange for Colorado, to explore their health insurance options.”

Is there any information available to Resident Teachers relocating to Boulder?

Below is some helpful information regarding moving to the Boulder area:

Map of Boulder

Surrounding Areas 

Lafayette, Niwot, Longmont, Lyons, Louisville, Gunbarrel, Broomfield,

Housing Helpers   


Apartment Guide

Please Note: There are many different types of housing options (renting a room in a house, renting a house with multiple people, or renting an apartment in a complex or through a private party. The above link only lists apartment complexes.

Affordable Housing through the City of Boulder

Please understand that affordable housing has eligibility restrictions. The housing department does not accept full time students; however,  might qualify, based on age (over 24), number of work hours, or dependents.

The BJS TEP Administrators have not had personal experiences, nor can they recommend specific housing options. The list above is only intended as a resources.

What if a Resident Teacher Decides Not To Participate in the Program after Acceptance?

Once accepted to the BJSTEP, a Resident Teacher will have a period of time to confirm their acceptance (see program fee above). If someone is accepted to the BJSTEP and decides not to participate in the program for the school year that they have been accepted, they can apply again in the future if wanting to be considered for another year. Only in cases of extenuating circumstances after acceptance and after the program deposit fee is paid, deferment for one year can be requested. A written request and supporting documentation of the extenuating circumstance must be submitted to BJS TEP Administrators as a first step in the process.