New Mexico Alternative Teacher Certification
The New Mexico Public Education Department provides an alternative route option for aspiring educator's that do not possess an education degree. This article provides information on alternative route requirements in New Mexico.
Alternative Path for Teacher Certification in New Mexico
There are many educated individuals who are interested in becoming a teacher in the state of New Mexico. The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) offers an alternative route to certification for aspiring educator's that did not complete an educator preparation program. The alternative route option allows for individuals with subject matter experience and knowledge to begin teaching in the classroom while fulfilling the requirements to obtain certification.
|Education/Experience Required||Bachelor's Degree|
|Exam Requirements|| Essential Academic Skills Subtests I, II, and III, |
Assessment of Professional Knowledge,
Content and Grade level exams depending on endorsement
|Certification Renewal Period|| 2 year for the Alternative Certification, |
5 years for the Level 1 license
|Renewal Requirements||Application form & Fee|
Recommendation form from Superintendent or a notarized statement - depending on length of time teaching on license
|Average Salary|| $55,390 Elementary, |
$52,810 Middle School,
$55,380 High School (New Mexico as of May 2018) *
|Estimated Job Growth|| 7% Elementary ,|
8% Middle and High School (National)*
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Alternative Preparation Program
The minimum qualification to become a licensed educator in New Mexico is a Bachelor's degree from an accredit university. Alternative route candidates will be those that completed a major that is not an education related degree. The candidate is required to apply and be accepted into an alternative preparation program that is approved by the NMPED and obtain employment at a New Mexico public school to gain in-classroom teaching experience. The applicant must file an application with the NMPED to request a 2-year license to complete the requirements of in classroom teaching and course work required by the alternative educator program. The 2-year license is not renewable and all requirements to apply for a Level 1 teaching license must be fulfilled during that time.
All licensed educators in New Mexico are required to take the Essential Academic Skills (EAS) Subtests I, II, and III. Alternative route candidates may not be required to take this exam to receive acceptance into their alternative preparation program, but will be required to pass the exam before applying for a Level 1 license. Each institution that offers alternative preparation programs have their own requirements as to when this exam should be completed. Candidates wanting to certify in elementary to 8th grade are required to also take the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary exam, the Elementary Education Subtests I and II, and the Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction. Candidates wanting to receive a Secondary Certification are required to also take the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary and the Content Knowledge Assessment that endorses the candidate to teach in specific subject area.
If the candidate has not fulfilled all requirements to apply for a Level 1 license, they may submit a request for an extension of the alternative program license that requires the candidate's employer to submit a letter requesting the extension. If the candidate has fulfilled all program requirements of the alternative educator program the candidate must apply for the Level 1 teaching license that allows the educator to teach in New Mexico for five years. This license is still considered an alternative license during the level 1 phase and may be upgraded once all requirements for the Level II license have been met. A Level 1 licensed educator must complete all requirements to upgrade to a level II teaching license within the five years. When applying for the Level I license the candidate will have to submit documents supporting the completion of the alternative preparation program, college transcripts, and passing exam scores to fulfill the requirements to obtain the license.