A group of SJC students enrolled in the Alternative Licensure Program

Alternative Teacher Licensure Program

Turn your college and work experience into a rewarding job as a teacher. San Juan College's Alternative Teacher Licensure Program (ALP) teaches you how to manage a fun and engaging classroom in two years. We offer three teaching certificate programs designed to prepare you to teach in an elementary, secondary, or special education classroom. Get the skills and training you need to inspire students and make a difference in your community at SJC. 

Why Earn a Teaching Certificate?

Leap into the world of education by earning an Alternative Licensure Certificate. Your previous education and experience will be invaluable as you teach the next generation of students. Your expertise will make your curriculum more engaging and relevant to the real world. 

Through the ALP, you'll be able to start your teaching career immediately and earn the New Mexico Level 1 teaching license. Take courses that will give you the knowledge you need to lead a classroom, such as teaching methods and child development. You'll even work under a working teacher's supervision and get your instructors' feedback.

Why Should I Enroll in SJC's Alternative Teacher Licensure Certificate Program?

The Alternative Teacher Licensure Certificate program is a state-accredited program through the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED). If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher, you can become a teacher in just two years.

Three Certificate Programs

The ALP provides fundamental and meaningful preparation for new teachers. You'll learn through your courses and fieldwork experiences, in which you will teach students in real classrooms.

SJC offers three certificate tracks in teaching. You can complete each of them in two years. They are:

  • Alternative Licensure Certificate - Elementary: Discover how to instruct children in elementary school.
  • Alternative Licensure Certificate - Secondary: Learn how to connect with middle and high school students.
  • Alternative Licensure Certificate - Special Education: Study how to teach and advocate for students with special needs.

SJC and the ALP accept applications throughout the year, so you can apply and begin at any time. Please note that some courses are only offered during the fall and spring semesters. 

Fast Track to Teaching

Put your education and work expertise to use right away. As part of the ALP, the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) will issue you a provisional teaching license. That means you can start your teaching career as soon as you enter the program. 

While in the ALP, you will be paired with a well-qualified teacher mentor who will guide and support you through your first years in the classroom. You are able to be employed as teacher of record in a local school district, while you receive instruction and coaching from mentors and SJC faculty.

Regional District Partnerships in New Mexico

SJC has many connections with schools in our local community. For example, many of our instructors are district teachers, principals, and leaders. Their expertise will ensure you are ready for your new career. Because of our close relationships with area schools, our ALP is tailored to prepare you to be successful in New Mexico’s diverse classrooms.

Affordable Teacher Licensure Program

Because of SJC's low tuition rates, the teaching certificates at SJC are an excellent investment. Learn in SJC classrooms and get the firsthand experience you need to start this worthwhile career. We also offer a variety of teaching scholarships that will help you pay for your classes. You may also qualify to get your degree tuition-free through the NM Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships.

What You'll Learn in the Teaching Certificate Programs

Translate your current degree and work experience into a successful teaching career. Your ALP courses will teach you how to connect with your students so they can learn and be inspired. You'll study:

  • Theories of teaching and learning
  • How to plan and implement curriculums
  • Classroom management
  • Effective use of assessments
  • How to appreciate diversity in the classroom
  • Connecting with families and the community
  • Legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities of teachers


Alternative Licensure Certificate - Elementary

Become an elementary school teacher with this Elementary Curriculum certificate program. You'll learn specific skills to help you teach students from kindergarten to 5th grade. Courses include:

  • Elementary Curriculum and Teaching
  • Teaching Reading for the Elementary Classroom
  • Fundamentals of Reading Instruction

Curriculum for the Alternative Licensure Certificate - Elementary

Alternative Licensure Certificate - Secondary

Learn how to engage with middle school and high school students. Learn the theories and methods to teach at a secondary level. Take courses such as:

  • Effective Teaching
  • Reading in the Content Area
  • Secondary Teaching Methods

Curriculum for Alternative Licensure Certificate - Secondary

Alternative Licensure Certificate - Special Education

Study how to assess and assist students with special needs. As a special education teacher, you'll help students and their families navigate the school system. Make sure every child has access to quality education with courses such as:

  • Exceptionalities and Placement
  • Evaluation and IEP
  • Reading for Special Learners

Curriculum for Alternative Licensure Certificate - Special Education

Curriculum for Alternative Licensure Certificate - Elementary Special Education

Curriculum for Alternative Licensure Certificate - Secondary Special Education

Careers and Outcomes

There is a great demand for teachers in New Mexico, with hundreds of jobs that need to be filled. By earning a teaching certificate, you will be well on your way to earning your teacher's license and making a difference in your community. 

Our graduates have careers as: 

  • Elementary school teachers
  • Middle school teachers
  • High school teachers
  • Special education teachers

Employers of our ALP graduates include:

  • Farmington Municipal Schools
  • Bloomfield Public Schools
  • Aztec Municipal Schools
  • Central Consolidated Schools

ALP Admission Requirements

To apply for the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program, you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher. You must also have:

  • 30 semester hours of credit in a particular field that pertains to the licensure area sought OR 
  • A master's degree, including 12 semester hours of graduate credit in a particular field that pertains to the licensure area sought OR
  • A doctorate in a particular field that pertains to the licensure area sought. 

Learn More About Admission Requirements

Accreditation for the Alternative Teacher Licensure Program

The Alternative Teacher Licensure Program is accredited by the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED).

New Mexico Teacher Licensure

The NMPED Professional Licensure Bureau is responsible for determining the qualifications for and issuing licenses to teachers, administrators, and other instructional personnel in the State of New Mexico.

Learn About NMPED Licensing for ALP

Required Licensure Assessments

As part of the ALP, San Juan College will track your progress. Licensure assessments, however, are the responsibility of the teacher candidate. To earn a full Level 1 teaching license, you must complete all licensure assessments with passing scores and report them to NMPED.

Next Steps

You must first apply to San Juan College to enroll in the Alternative Licensure Teaching Program. It's easy, and you can apply online at any time!

Apply Now!

Be sure to also apply to the ALP. Once you have submitted both applications, you can contact the ALP team to schedule an interview to be admitted to the program. 

Access the ALP Application

If you are already a student at San Juan College, talk to your advisor about our teacher education programs and how to transfer your credits to earn a bachelor's degree. 

Find Your Advisor


Phone: (505) 566-3320

West Classroom Complex,
Room 1911

M-F 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

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