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. An RSVP is not required.

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.

Information Sessions are held 5:30-7:30pm:

February 17th, 2020 ONLINE SESSION - please register for this event at 

March 26th, 2020 CNM Westside Campus, Room WS II 115

April (TBD), 2020 CNM Main Campus

Please check back for future Information Session dates.  As soon as future dates are scheduled, they will be posted here! 

Apply to the Program

Apply to the ATL Program

Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline
August 1

Spring Deadline
December 1

Summer Deadline
May 1

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

Applications for 2020 will be reviewed starting in February!

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
  • Submission of passing score on
    • the three NES Essential Academic Skills*: Subtest I Reading, Subtest II Writing, and subtest III Mathematics
    • OR
    • the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics (review the testing site carefully for NM specific tests 
  • GPA of 3.0 on highest degree earned (or passing score on appropriate Assessment exam)
  • Ability to pass a Criminal Background Check

Essential Academic Skills Preparation

A review course for the Essential Academic Skills tests is offered through CNM's Workforce Training Center several times a year.

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

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

*Passing results from a NMTA Basic Skills exam - or a comparable out of state teacher assessments—will be accepted in lieu of the Essential Academic Skills tests.

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.