Alternative Teacher Licensure

The Alternative Teacher Licensure Certificate Program at CNM is a state-accredited post-baccalaureate program for obtaining your New Mexico Level 1 teaching license.

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Admission Requirements

For admission to the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program, you are required to have one of the following:

  • a Bachelor's degree including 30* credit hours in a particular field that appertains to the licensure area sought; OR
  • a Master's degree including 12 graduate credit hours in a particular field that appertains to the licensure area sought; OR
  • a Ph.D. in a particular field that appertains to the licensure area sought.

*Note: If you are a candidate in the Elementary or Special Education program, the 30 credit hours must include a minimum of 6 credit hours in each of the core subject areas (math, science, social studies, and language arts) for a total of 24 credit hours. Here is a list of acceptable coursework for each Endorsement Area.

CNM does not review transcripts prior to a complete application to the program. Applicants are encouraged to use the Endorsement Area handout to review their previous coursework to the best of their ability.  Any missing coursework will be highlighted during the application review process.

FAQs & Other Resources

Frequently asked questions about the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program

The ATL Program Candidate Information packet outlines qualifications, program expectations,  testing requirements, required coursework, and other related program information.

Attend an Information Session

All applicants should plan to attend an information session prior to the application deadline for which they are applying. 

During the Information Session, you will obtain vital information regarding NM licensure requirements, the Program expectations, as well as information on the application and screening process. Please register for an info session using the links below. 

Online Information Sessions offered via WebEx Training

  1. Please register to attend a session using the links below
  2. Please save the email  you receive from Webex with your: a registration ID, password, and link to the information session. 

Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 1:30 PM MT - register  at: 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 5:30 PM MT - register  at:  

Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 10:00 AM MT  - register  at:

Apply to the Program

Apply to the ATL Program

Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline
August 1

Spring Deadline
December 1

Summer Deadline
April 15

*Applications are accepted year-round.  All application materials must be received by the deadlines above to start classes that term. 

Applications for Summer 2020 are now closed.  Fall applications will be reviewed starting in June.

The application process includes admission to CNM as a non-degree student, submission of official transcripts and submission of Online ATL Program application forms.

Application requirements will include:

  • Submission of official transcript to CNM Records Office confirming Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • GPA of 3.0 on highest degree earned (or passing score on appropriate middle grades or secondary Praxis content exam)
  • Ability to pass a Criminal Background Check
  • Submission of passing scores on
    NES Essential Academic Skills*: Subtest I Reading, Subtest II Writing, and Subtest III Mathematics OR  PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics (review the testing site carefully for NM specific tests) 

Teacher Assessments  Preparation

Study guides and practice tests can be purchased through the NES testing website or the Praxis website.

CNM's library has several online test-prep resources as well as test study guides available for student review housed at the library located on CNM's Main campus. 

*Passing results from a comparable out of state teacher assessment—will be accepted in lieu of the Essential Academic Skills or Praxis tests if taken within the past 10 years.

Testing dates and times may be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.  

 High-Need Areas: CNM strives to fill the needs of area schools by giving priority to candidates who are qualified to teach in designated high need areas. We are currently recruiting teachers in the areas of special education, secondary math and science, and bilingual elementary.

Financial Aid

If you are a student in the ATL Program, you may be eligible for the Pell grants and are eligible to borrow at the 5th year undergraduate level.

Please refer to the Financial Aid information page for details about eligibility.

Questions about aid availability should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at (505) 224-3090.

There are many scholarships available for teacher education.  Please go to the scholarship page for more information, and be sure to check out these opportunities:

Program Contact Information

If you have additional questions about the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program, or the application process, go to Program Contact Options.