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.

High Needs 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.

Related Information

Gainful Employment & Completion Rate Information

Career Technical Education

For more information attend any one of our regularly offered information sessions.

Not yet a student?

Get Started at CNM

  • Loading...

Admission Requirements

The Alternative Teacher Licensure (ATL) Program is an approved New Mexico Educator Preparation Program. Candidates are screened based on the New Mexico State requirements for Alternative Teacher Licensure. 

For admission to the ATL Program at CNM, candidates are required to have one of the following:

Bachelor's degree

With 30* credit hours in a particular field that appertains to the licensure area sought.

Master's degree

With 12 graduate credit hours in a particular field that appertains to the licensure area sought.


In a particular field that appertains to the licensure area sought.

*Note: Candidates pursing licensure in Early Childhood, Elementary or Special Education, the 30 credit hours must include a minimum of 6 credit hours in each of the core content areas (math, science, social studies, and language arts) for a total of 24 credit hours.

CNM Tuition and Fees

Find out more about CNM tuition and fees.

CNM Financial Aid & Scholarship Services

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

Find out more about CNM Financial Aid & Scholarship Services.

Available Scholarships

Teacher Preparation Affordability Scholarship

CNM Education Programs Department does not review transcripts prior to a complete application to the program. Please refer to the Endorsement Areas document for a list of typical coursework that is accepted for each content area.

FAQs & Other Resources

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program.

Teacher Assessments  Preparation

Study guides and practice tests can be purchased through both the NES and Praxis websites.

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. 

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

Find additional information regarding Alternative Level 1 licensure requirements through an Educator Prep Program at the New Mexico Public Education Department website.

View the New Mexico Public Education Department Assessment Requirements for Educators.

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. 

Apply to the ATL Program

Attend an Information Session

Join us for an Information session!

During the Information Session, you will obtain vital information regarding NM licensure requirements, program structure, and expectations, as well as information on the application and screening process. 

Online Information Sessions offered via WebEx Training

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

Monday, November 9, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. - Register at

Application Process Overview

View a detailed step-by-step guide to applying to CNM's Alternative Teacher Licensure Program.

The Alternative Teacher Licensure Program application process includes:

  • Admission to CNM as a non-degree student
  • Ability to pass a Criminal Background Check

A complete application to the ATL Program includes the submission of:

  • ATL Program Online Application form 
  • ATL Program Student Transcript Analysis Online form
  • Official Transcripts 
    • Submitted to CNM Records Office confirming Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Passing scores on NES or Praxis Academic Skills Assessments
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Mathematics

*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. Testing centers are open but have limited space. Praxis is offering "at-home" options for some exams. 

Program Contact Information

If you have additional questions about the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program or the application process, please register for an information session or go to Program Contact Options.