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Questions about Alternative Teacher Licensure?

Frequently asked questions about the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program

How long does it take to complete this Program?

Every student moves through the Program at a different pace, but most students are able to complete our Program in as little as 3-4 semesters.

Our classes are offered once a week in the evenings at CNM’s Main campus.

We find students in our Program are most successful when they limit themselves to 2 classes a semester, as students can expect to spend 5-7 hours per course per week on homework and assignments.

How much does the ATL Program cost?

CNM’s tuition & fees is $53.50 per credit hour.

There is a registration fee of $40.00 every semester.

Every class requires textbooks which can average $150 per class.


General Education - Elementary (21 credit hours): tuition alone is $1,123.50

General Education - Secondary (18 credit hours): tuition alone is $963.00

Special Education (21 credit hours): tuition alone is $1,123.50


Are there other associated costs?

Yes, other associate fees include, but are not limited to, Fingerprint/Background Check process fees, NMTA exam fees and NMPED Licensure application fees.


Is Financial Aid available to students in the Program?

Yes.  Students may be eligible for the Pell grant and are eligible to borrow at the 5th year undergraduate level.  Please refer to the Financial Aid information page for details about eligibility.


Can I get a job before I finish the CNM Alternative Teacher Licensure Certificate Program?

Yes. Upon acceptance into our program, students may apply for an Internship License, which allows students to apply for and accept teaching positions while they complete the ATL Program.

Once you receive an intern license you have 2 years to complete all licensure requirements (including all required ATL Program coursework and NMTA testing). If you are hired to teach on an intern license, you will be the lead teacher of a class and will receive standard entry-level pay.


Upon completion of our program and successful completion of all required NMTA exams, students may apply for a Level 1 (five-year) provisional teaching license.

Upon successful completion of a minimum one-year mentorship and other PED requirements students will eligible to apply for a Level 2 (nine-year) professional teaching license.  Students may hold a Level 1 license for a minimum of three years and maximum of five years at which point they will be required to apply for a Level 2 license or forfeit the Level 1 license.

To advance to a Level 3 license, you must obtain a Master’s degree.


Can I transfer a New Mexico Teaching License to another state?

Yes, a New Mexico Teaching License has reciprocity in 42 states.  If you know you will be relocating to another state it is important to discuss transfer requirements with that state’s Department of Education.

What grades will I be able to teach with an elementary license?

With an elementary license you are eligible to teach grades K-8. In grades K-5, teachers teach all subject areas. In the middle school grades (6-8), teachers teach 1 (or sometimes more) content area classes (ie. English or math). However, teachers must be “highly qualified” to teach core subject areas in middle school on an elementary license.


How do I know if I am “highly qualified?”

To be “highly qualified” teachers must pass a middle-level NMTA content test in the content area, or have 24 credits in the content area, with 12 of those credits being upper division level on a college transcript.


What grades will I be able to teach with a secondary license?

With a secondary license you are eligible to teach grades 7-12. You are required to have at least one content area endorsement with the secondary license. The content area is the subject you will teach (ie. English, art, math).


Can I add more endorsements to my license?

Yes. With your first endorsement, you must have 30 undergraduate credits in the subject area on a college transcript (typically, this is the candidates undergraduate major) or 12 graduate credits in the subject area, and you must pass an NMTA content area test in the same subject area.

You can add additional endorsements, with either 24 credits in the content area, 12 of which must be upper division, or by taking the NMTA content area test.


What is the supervised field experience/student teaching course like?

The Supervised Field Experience (SFE) course is to be taken as the last class in our Program.  All other ATL Program coursework and required NMTA exams must be completed prior.

Teacher Candidates must spend a minimum of 160 hours in a classroom working with students: individually, in small groups, and leading whole class lessons.

There is a separate, required application prior to conducting SFE.

This does require flexibility in scheduling or a leave of absence from a day-time job.


Does the coursework in this Program transfer to a Master’s in Education?

No, the CNM Alternative Teacher Licensure Program coursework is numbered at the “200” level and thus will not be accepted as graduate credit at any institution other than Eastern New Mexico University towards their Master of Education, Pedagogy & Learning.