Special Education Teacher Training (SETT)

The Special Education Teacher Training (SETT) program is a collaboration between Albuquerque Public Schools (APS), Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF) to provide a supported alternative licensure pathway to attract and retain high quality special education teachers in APS.

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SETT CNM Identifier

Contact Us

(505) 224-3040 or

Roles of the Collaboration

The Special Education Teacher Training supported pathway is possible through the collaborative relationship between APS, CNM, and ATF.

Albuquerque Public Schools
APS oversees the implementation of the program in alignment with the partner agreements.

CNM Teacher's Education Logo
CNM facilitates the placement and education of Teacher Candidates.

Albuquerque Teacher's Federation Logo
ATF sustains the partnership work in conjunction with the APS Board of Education. 

All three entities work closely to support each other and the Teacher Candidate to ensure recruitment and placement of high-quality educators who will bring skill, caring, and passion to complex, special education classrooms.

How SETT Works

The 15-month SETT alternative licensure program provides new special education teachers the opportunity to co-teach with an experienced teacher during their first semester of teaching while taking academic coursework for Pre-K–12 special education licensure.  

Teacher Candidates in the SETT program begin co-teaching in the fall while earning a first-year teaching salary and benefits.  Classroom teaching is supported with rigorous  coursework in the foundations of special education, curriculum and assessment, classroom and individual behavior management, and literacy instruction.  Candidates will also complete coursework for a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) endorsement.

After co-teaching in the fall, teacher candidates will teach in their own classroom with continued mentorship, coaching, and support during the first two years of teaching.  

More details about the program can be found on the Program Information and Timeline page.

Teacher Candidate Eligibility

To qualify for the SETT program, teacher candidates must:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA from highest degree earned*
  • Pass the New Mexico Teacher Assessment Test of Essential Academic Skills
  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Successful completion of the required background check 
  • Agree to work as a special education teacher in APS for three years

* Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may still apply, but will need to contact the CNM Education Department for more information.

Teacher Candidate Benefits

  • Fully-paid tuition for special education licensure and TESOL endorsement coursework
  • Earn Level-1 APS salary with full benefits
  • Layered levels of support and mentorship for two years
  • Guaranteed employment with successful completion of the program

Are You Interested in Applying?

If you are interested in applying, please follow these preliminary steps.  You may also refer to the SETT Application Flowchart.

Step One: Apply to CNM

  • Apply to CNM 
  • Registration type: Transfer Student
  • Major: Select “Non-degree.”  It is essential that you provide your previous degree information so that the system can verify you currently hold a Bachelor’s degree.

Step Two: Set Up CNM Email Account

After you enroll, you will receive your CNM ID number and CNM email address. Check email address to make sure it is functioning properly, and contact Information Technology Services if you have questions or are experiencing any technical difficulties.

Step Three: Submit Transcripts to CNM Records

Request your official transcripts from all institutions you have attended be sent to the CNM Records Office and allow two weeks for processing.  All information from Records will be sent to your CNM email address. All students are required to have official transcripts on file at CNM for the SETT application to be reviewed.

Important notes about transcripts:

  • If your transcript is from a foreign institution, it must be evaluated (course-by-course evaluation) by a NACES accredited evaluation provider prior to submitting it to CNM. 
  • If you are having trouble obtaining an official transcript, contact the Education Program’s Office.
  • If you do not currently hold a NM license (teaching, intern, substitute, or educational assistant) you may want to order two copies of official transcripts: one for CNM and one  for the NMPED licensure application.

Step Four: National Evaluation Series (NES) Essential Academic Skills exams

Register for the NES Essential Academic Skills Subtest I: Reading, Subtest II: Writing and Subtest III: Mathematics

Visit the NES website for information on exam dates, registration fees, etc.     

*Please make sure to note Central New Mexico Community College as part of Step 5: Score Reporting Options.  This will ensure that CNM receives your results.

If English is not your first language, please contact Catron Allred at (505) 224-3597 to discuss potential testing accommodations.

Step Five: Professional References

You will need three professional references to complete the SETT application.  The Education Office will communicate with your references through email, please make sure that they are aware of your application for SETT. Your application will not be complete until we have received a minimum of two complete references.

Step Six: SETT Application

Applications for the SPRING 2020 Cohort are no longer being accepted.  Please complete our interest form to receive communication about future opportunities in 2021.  You may also apply to our traditional ATL program at 

 Applications are CLOSED for Spring 2020, click to sign up for information about 2021