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Teacher Certification in New Mexico, NM

 

Becoming a New Teacher in New Mexico

There is a consistent need for teachers in New Mexico, particularly in certain school districts, geographic locations and subject areas. Students applying for their first teacher license in New Mexico must complete the First Time Application.

  

On This Page:

Levels of Licensing

Internship

Upon receiving provisional acceptance into an approved Alternative Teacher Licensure Program, applicants may request and apply for an internship license, a pre-Level I license, which:

  • Is a 3-year non-renewable license.
  • Allows students to apply for and accept open teaching positions.
  • Allows candidates to teach while completing a Teacher Preparation Program.
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Pass all required licensure tests.
  • Earn full state licensure.
  • Achieve “Highly Qualified Teacher” status.

School districts typically only hire teachers on an internship license in high-need areas.

Level I License

A Level I license is a Provisional five-year non-renewable entry-level license issued to most new teachers entering the profession in New Mexico.

Applicants who want to teach in core academic area must:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Pass all required licensure tests.
  • Earn full state licensure.
  • Achieve “Highly Qualified Teacher” status.

Non-core area teacher applicants must:

  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Pass all required licensure tests.

Provisional teachers are evaluated annually based in part on a demonstration of their skills and knowledge in New Mexico’s Nine Teacher Competencies.

Level I Alternative Teaching License

To receive a Level I, five-year alternative teaching license, an applicant must earn a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university including completion of coursework in the field that corresponds to the subject area and grade level of instruction. Students who have a current internship license are required to submit transcripts, which show completion of a certificate program, before they can apply for a Level I license.

Level II License

To remain in the teaching profession, Level I teachers must advance to Level II, after the third year of experience, but must advance to Level II by the end of the fifth year. Teachers must:

  • Complete an approved mentoring program.
  • Complete three complete academic years of teaching at Level I.
  • Demonstrate increased proficiency in New Mexico’s nine teacher competencies.

Teachers who continue to demonstrate Level II competencies may remain at Level II for the remainder of their teaching careers by renewing the license every nine years.

Level III License

A teacher is eligible to apply for Level III licensure after:

  • Completing at least three years of successful teaching at Level II.
  • Achieving an approved Master’s degree.
  • Receiving advanced certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

 

Teachers who have obtained a New Mexico teacher license under interstate reciprocity must complete at least two years of teaching experience in New Mexico before advancing to Level III.

General Requirements for Licensure

General requirements for all applicants seeking a teaching license include:

  • Academic degree programs at regionally accredited colleges or universities.
  •  Teacher Preparation Programs approved by New Mexico’s Public Education Department.
  • Passage of New Mexico Teacher Assessment Tests,including Basic Skills and Teacher Competency for Early Childhood, Elementary or Secondary Levels.
  • Coursework in teaching reading.
  • Mandatory fingerprinting.
  • Mandatory State and Federal (FBI) criminal history background checks.

 

Grade-Level Specific Requirements for Licensure

Early Childhood (Birth – 3rd Grade)

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Coursework in an Early Childhood Education program with student teaching.
  •    Supervised field experience at a developmental stage other than the one selected for student teaching.
  • or
  •    Verified teaching experience from an accredited center for at  least two early childhood age ranges.

 

Alternative Early Childhood (Birth – 3rd Grade)

  • Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree, including early childhood- related courses.
  • Completion of required coursework in an approved alternative program with student teaching.

Elementary (K-8)

  • Bachelor's Degree with coursework in a combination of academic fields.
  • Specified hours in an Elementary Education program that includes student teaching.

ALTERNATIVE ELEMENTARY (K-8)

  • Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s degree with coursework in a combination of academic fields.
  • Completed coursework in an approved alternative teaching program that includes student teaching.

Middle Level (5-9)

  • Bachelor's Degree or Master’s degree
  • Specified number of credit hours in a Middle Level Education program that includes student teaching.
  • Semester hours in at least one academic teaching field.
  • Passage of New Mexico’s Content Knowledge Assessment in the Teaching Field.
  • or
  • Possession of a NM elementary or secondary license.
  • Five years of successful middle school teaching.
  • Passage of the New Mexico Content Knowledge Assessment in each subject the teacher teaches.
  • or
  • Completion of credit hours, some upper division, in each subject the teacher has taught.

Post-Secondary Experienced Alternative Middle Level (5-9)

  • Master’s degree or Doctoral degree, including graduate hours in a teaching field.
  • Five or more full school years of teaching experience at the post-secondary level.
  • Teaching for one full school year as the main teacher.
  • Passage of the New Mexico Content Knowledge Assessment in each subject the teacher teaches.
  • Satisfactory demonstration of New Mexico’s required teaching competencies.

Secondary (7-12)

  • Bachelor's Degree.
  • Semester hours in a Secondary Education program that includes student teaching.
  • Upper division courses in at least one academic teaching field.
  • Passage of the Content Knowledge Assessment in each subject the teacher teaches and the Content Knowledge Assessment in the teaching field.

ALTERNATIVE SECONDARY, 7-12

  • Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral degree including credit hours in one teaching field.
  • Required semester hours in an approved Alternative Teacher Program that includes student teaching.
  • Content Knowledge Assessment in the teaching field.

Non-Traditional Routes

  • Native American Language and Culture

Individuals may qualify to teach Pre-K through 12th grade Native American Language and Culture if they meet acceptable standards of competence and language proficiency to teach language and culture, as established by each Native American Tribe and Pueblo.

  • Post-Baccalaureate Alternative Licensure

New Mexico provides alternative pathways to licensure for people with degrees who want to teach but are not credentialed or licensed. Most Individuals on these paths teach under an Internship license while fulfilling credential qualifications.

  • Teacher Preparation Alternatives


Post-baccalaureate alternative teacher preparation licensure programs are offered in classrooms or online by public and private colleges, universities and teaching institutions.

  • Online Portfolio for Alternative Licensure (OPAL)

The Online Portfolio for Alternative Licensure (OPAL) is for who are currently, or about to be, employed as teachers. Candidates provide descriptions of their teaching experiences in professional portfolios to be reviewed by independent educators and the Public Education Department.

  • Transition To Teaching

New Mexico’s Public Education Department has identified High Need schools. To be eligible for New Mexico’s Transition to Teaching Program, participants must obtain, an Internship license, secure employment as a teacher in a high need district and commit to teaching for at least three years in a New Mexico High Needs School.

References

  • http://www.ped.state.nm.us/Licensure/index.html
  • http://teachnm.org/new-teachers/pathways-to-teaching.html
  • http://www.ped.state.nm.us/licensure/faq.html#ThreeTiered