Apply to the ATL Program

How to apply to the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program.

Minimum Requirements

CNM's Alternative Teacher Licensure Program screens applicants based on licensure requirements enforced by the New Mexico Public Education Department. Before applying to the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree (or higher-level degree). Degree must be complete prior to applying to the program; you cannot apply while “in progress.”
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on highest degree earned. 
  • Passing scores on the 3 Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.
  • Can pass a Criminal Background Check.
  • If interested in pursuing licensure in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education, you need 30 credit hours of coursework in the core disciplines of math, science, social studies, and language arts (a minimum of 6 credit hours in each). 
  • If interested in pursuing licensure in Secondary Education, you need 30 credit hours of coursework in a single content area (12 credits must be upper-level credits). All credits in the content area must be complete prior to application.

Important Coursework Notes:

  • Completion of courses in desired certification area must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.
  • A list of “accepted” courses for each endorsement area is available on the Application Resources page.
  • CNM Education Programs department does not review transcripts prior to a complete application to the program.  
  • Any missing coursework will be highlighted during the application review process.
Important Assessment Notes:
  • If you are a continuing teacher who is currently licensed, previous scores will be accepted.
  • Passing results from a comparable out-of-state teacher assessment will be accepted in lieu of the Praxis Core assessments.

    Testing centers are open but have limited space, register early. Praxis is offering "at-home" options for some assessments. 

Applying to the ATL Program (ATLP)

Please review the Candidate Information Guide thoroughly, under ATLP Application Resources, before applying to the ATLP.

Before you apply to the ATL Program, you must complete steps 1-4:

Application Processing Schedule

Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Fall Term
May 15 - August 1

Spring Term
September 1 - December 1

Summer Term
January 15 - April 15

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

To allow time to get each cohort started, there is a 4-6 week window after each application deadline where new applications for the next term will be accepted but not reviewed.

Step One: Take & pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Assessments
  • Take and pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Assessments:
    • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators:
      • Reading (5713)
      • Writing (5723) &
      • Mathematics (5733)


                           Combined Reading/Writing/Mathematics (5752) 

***If your cumulative GPA is below a 3.0 on your highest degree earned you will also need to provide passing scores on a content knowledge assessment to fulfill the GPA requirement of the Program.  View the above minimum requirements section for further details on which content knowledge assessments are accepted.

  • Visit the Praxis website for information on exam dates, registration fees, etc.
  • Note Central New Mexico Community College as the reporting institution to ensure CNM receives your results.
  • If English is not your primary language, you may be eligible for extended testing time: Praxis PLNE Accommodations.  

Testing dates and times may be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Praxis is offering At-Home testing in response to the pandemic.

Step Two: Apply to CNM to become a CNM student
  • Enroll as a CNM student (if not already a current CNM student)
  • Application Type - Select "General"
  • Student Type - Select "Return to CNM” or "Transfer" (if never attended CNM)
  • Education Goal - Select "Certificate"
  • Program Applying For - Select "No Degree or Certificate"
    • ATL Program is a locked major, it will not be available to select during the CNM application process.
  • Provide your previous degree information; CNM will verify you currently hold a Bachelor's degree
Step Three: Set Up CNM Accounts
  • Once your CNM application is processed, you will be assigned a 9 digit CNM Student ID number (010-xx-xxxx) & CNM email address.
  • Ensure your CNM email address is functioning properly, contact Information Technology Services if you have questions or are experiencing any technical difficulties.
Step Four: Submit Transcripts
  • Submit official transcripts from all institutions you have attended
  • Submit electronically to if possible or via mail:

                            ATTN: Graduation/Evaluation

                                     525 Buena Vista SE

                                       ABQ, NM 87106

Important Transcript Notes:

  • Official Transcripts must be on file showing completion of a Bachelor's Degree before ATL Program application will be reviewed.
  • Once transcripts have been received by CNM's Records office, it can take up to 2 weeks to process.
  • Submit transcripts at least 3 weeks before the application deadlines. 
  • Transcripts from a foreign institution must be evaluated (course-by-course, degree, & GPA) by a NACES accredited evaluation provider prior to submitting them to CNM. 
  • If you attended an institution that no longer exists, or attended an institution outside of the U.S. and are having trouble obtaining an official transcript, contact the Education Program’s Office to discuss next steps.
Step Five: ATL Program Application Forms 

Part 1: Submit Alternative Teacher Licensure Program Application

Only complete applications will be processed.  Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

      • Passing results of the Praxis Core Academic Skills Assessments must be uploaded with application.
      • If interested in pursuing Bilingual Education, passing results of La Prueba de Español para la Certificación Bilingüe must be submitted with the application. Visit the ENMU Testing Center website for exam dates and registration information.

Access Part 1 of the ATLP Application at: ATL Program Application

Part 2: Submit a Transcript Analysis form for all licensure pathways you are applying for:

Access Part 2 of the ATLP Application by using the following links:

Early Childhood, Elementary, & Special Education Transcript Analysis Form

Secondary Education Transcript Analysis Form

Step Six: Background Check - Upon Acceptance

Upon Acceptance into the ATL Program you will need to provide proof of a district background check.   This will be the school district you will be doing your observations in for your ATLP coursework.  Each school district has different requirements to get this completed.  

Teacher Candidates will be provided with further instructions on background checks upon acceptance into the Program.

      Next Steps 

      • Only complete applications will be processed and are done so on an ongoing basis.
      • Applications and transcript analysis forms are downloaded once a week on Mondays, applicants will receive an email when their application is downloaded.
      • Applicants will be notified of their application status via CNM email within 5 business days of a downloaded application.
      • It is the applicant's responsibility to check their CNM email account regularly.
      • ATL Program coursework is reserved for those students who have applied for and have been accepted into the Program.

      How do I know my ATL Program application is complete?

      The following components make up a complete ATLP application:

      • ATL Program Online Application Form - Part 1
      • ATL Program Student Transcript Analysis Online Form - Part 2
      • Official Transcripts - processed by CNM Records Department & accessible by our Department
      • Passing Teacher Licensure Assessment Results

      What do you mean applications are processed on an ongoing basis?

      "Ongoing basis" means applicants do not need to wait until the deadline to receive a decision from us.  Once a complete application is received it will be processed within 7-14 business days and an email will be sent to the applicant regarding the decision.

      Acceptance into the Program

      • Students accepted to the program are required to officially accept a seat in the Program, attend a mandatory ATL Program Orientation, and begin ATLP coursework in the term they applied for.
      • Students who do not accept their seat or wish to defer their program start date will be required to reapply to be considered for future cohorts.  All application materials would need to be re-submitted.
      • Accepted candidates will receive an acceptance letter via CNM email along with registration permissions for ATLP coursework and the mandatory ATLP Orientation 5-7 business days after they officially accept their seat into the Program.
      • Candidates seeking teaching positions may use their acceptance letter to apply for an Alternative Level I License with the New Mexico Public Education Department.

      New Mexico Public Education Department

      • Alternative Licensure information may be accessed from the NMPED website.