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 
    • If below 3.0 - passing score on appropriate middle grades or secondary content knowledge assessment will be accepted (these are available through both NES and Praxis).  For further information please review Questions about ATL.
      • Passing scores on content assessments will qualify you as Highly State Certified and can be added as an endorsement to a teaching license
  • Passing scores on the NES Essential Academic Skills or Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators:
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Mathematics
  • Ability to pass a Criminal Background Check

  • 30 credit hours of coursework in the core disciplines of math, science, social studies, and language arts - if candidate is interested in pursuing licensure in Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education 

  • 30 credit hours of coursework in a single content area (12 credits must be upper-level credits) - if candidate is interested in pursuing licensure in Secondary Education. 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 in the Application Resources section of this 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:

  • Assessments must be taken within the past 10 years. 
  • If you are a continuing teacher who is currently licensed, previous scores will be accepted (even if beyond the 10 year mark).
  • 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.
  • A list of Assessments for Educators required by NMPED is available in the Application Resources section of this page, please review.  It shows the equivalencies for NES/NMTA and Praxis assessments and there are direct links to each assessment.  This list also includes the available Content Knowledge Assessments for both test administrators.

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

Applying to the ATL Program

Application Deadlines

Fall Term Deadline
August 1

Spring Term Deadline
December 1

Summer Term Deadline
April 15

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

Step One: Enroll as a CNM Student
  • Enroll as a CNM student (if not already a current CNM student)
  • Student Type - Select "returning student” or "transfer" (if never attended CNM)
  • Student Major - Select "non-degree"
  • Provide your previous degree information; CNM will verify you currently hold a Bachelor's degree
Step Two: Set Up CNM Accounts
  • Once your CNM application is processed you will receive your assigned CNM ID number and 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 Three: Submit Transcripts
  • Submit official transcripts from all institutions you have attended
  • Submit electronically to 
  • Direct any transcript questions to (505) 224-4330 or 

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) 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 Four: Required Assessments for Program Entrance
  • Take and pass the Essential Academic Skills Assessments through NES or Praxis:
    • NES Essential Academic Skills:
      • Reading (NT001)
      • Writing (NT002) 
      • Mathematics (NT003) 
    • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators:
      • Reading (5713)
      • Writing (5723)
      • Mathematics (5733)
      • Combined Reading/Writing/Mathematics (5752) 
  • Visit the NES website or 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 first language, please contact to discuss potential testing accommodations.

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

Step Five: FBI Background Check
  • If you currently do not hold an active license through the New Mexico Public Education Department, complete the FBI background check through the Public Education Department.
  • This process can take up to 30 days.
Step Six: ATL Program Application Forms

Part 1: Submit Alternative Teacher Licensure Program Application

  • Passing results of NES or Praxis 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.

ATL Program Application

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

Early Childhood, Elementary, & Special Education Transcript Analysis Form

Secondary Education Transcript Analysis Form

      Next Steps / Additional Information


      Contact the Education Program’s Office if you have questions about the application process for the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program.

      Phone: (505) 224-3040


      • Only complete applications will be reviewed.
      • Applications, transcript analysis forms, and reported NES and Praxis assessment results are downloaded once a week on Mondays.
      • Applicants will be notified of their admission status via CNM email.
      • It is the applicant's responsibility to check their CNM email account regularly.
      • Students accepted to the program are required to officially accept a seat in the Program, attend a mandatory ATL Program Orientation, and begin 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.
      • Candidates seeking teaching positions may use this letter to apply for an Alternative Level I License with the New Mexico Public Education Department.
      • Alternative Licensure information may be accessed from the NMPED website.