An instructor working with Teacher Education students

Teaching Degrees, AA

Be a part of shaping the next generations of thinkers, activists, and entrepreneurs. As a teacher, you'll inspire children to become doctors, firefighters, business analysts, and more. Begin your journey to becoming a teacher at San Juan College. In our two-year Associate of Arts (AA) degree programs, you'll learn to empower children from birth to high school. Get the knowledge and practical experience you need to become an effective and compassionate teacher at SJC.

Why Enroll in a Teacher Education Program?

As a teacher, you'll help students reach their goals by running a safe and engaging classroom. From teaching sight words to algebra formulas, you'll make an impact that lasts a lifetime.

With a teaching degree, you'll be equipped to lead in your future classrooms. Depending on what age range you want to teach, you'll get specific instruction on how to connect with your students. Learn effective teaching methods and get practical experience.

A teacher education program can connect you with local school districts to help you start your career. They can also help you transfer to a four-year university to complete your bachelor's degree and apply for full teacher licensure. Make a difference in the lives of children in your community with a teaching degree.

Why Should I Earn a Teaching Degree at San Juan College?

Three Degree Programs

At SJC, we offer three associate degrees in education, each of which can be completed in two years. With an associate degree, you'll be able to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor's degree. Our degrees are:

  • Early Childhood Education, AA: Develop skills to teach children from birth to 3rd grade.

  • Education - Elementary/Special Education, AA: Learn how to teach elementary school children and students with special needs.

  • Education - Secondary, AA: Complete courses that will prepare you to teach students from 6th to 12th grade.

No matter your teaching program, you'll learn from our expert faculty. Plus, all our programs have experiential learning to prepare you for a career in education. You’ll get training in real classrooms to practice your teaching and communication skills. Gain the confidence you need to be a teacher with SJC's degree programs.

Regional District Partnerships

Make connections with schools in our local community. Many of our expert faculty are district teachers, principals, and leaders, and they'll support you as a learner and future colleague. You'll have opportunities to get practical experience through substitute teaching or becoming an instructional assistant. These connections will help you in the future to find a full-time job as a teacher.

Path to a Bachelor's Degree With University Partnerships 

By completing one of SJC's education associate degrees, you'll be halfway to pursuing a bachelor's degree. After you complete our two-year degree, you can transfer to a four-year university and complete your bachelor's degree in two more years. 

With your bachelor's degree, you can apply for full teacher licensure. Because of our partnerships with these schools, you can easily transfer all your credits to count toward your bachelor’s degree. In addition, with some schools, you can earn your bachelor's degree without leaving Farmington.

Affordable Teacher Education Programs

Because of SJC's low tuition rates, the teaching degrees at SJC are an excellent investment for you. You'll get firsthand experience and a top-notch education that will prepare you for the classroom. 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 Your Teaching Degree

At SJC, you'll get the knowledge and skills you need to be a teacher. Study how children grow and develop, and explore the latest education research. You'll also complete practicums or real-world experiences to help you understand what it is like to work in a classroom.

All three associate degree programs meet the criteria and program outcomes as established by the New Mexico Higher Education Department for common core requirements and the New Mexico Public Education Department for teacher licensure. They are designed to transfer seamlessly to the education programs at four-year universities in New Mexico.

Early Childhood Education, AA

Become an effective teacher for children from birth to 3rd grade. With this degree, you'll be ready to transfer to a four-year university to earn your bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Start on your journey to work at various early childhood schools and daycares. In your courses, you'll learn:

  • Child growth and development
  • Curriculum creation
  • Health and safety
  • Nutrition
  • Play-based learning
  • Professionalism

You'll also learn how to work with a team to support your students. In addition, you'll gain skills to work closely with families to help children learn and grow.

Early Childhood Education, AA Curriculum

Education - Elementary/Special Education, AA

Get the fundamental knowledge and skills you need to become an elementary school teacher or a teacher of students with special needs. With this degree, you can transfer to a four-year university to earn your bachelor's degree in elementary or special education. In your courses, you will study:

  • Art or music for elementary school students
  • Educational psychology
  • Math concepts for teachers
  • New Mexico history
  • Reading and literacy methods for students
  • Teaching bilingual students
  • Teaching students with exceptionalities
  • Using technology in the classroom

Education - Elementary/Special Education, AA Curriculum

Education - Secondary Education, AA

Begin your journey to becoming a middle or high school teacher at SJC. You'll take courses that will prepare you to transfer to a four-year university to earn your bachelor's degree in secondary education. You'll learn:

  • Educational psychology
  • How to teach bilingual students
  • How to use technology in the classroom
  • Teaching concepts and methods

As part of the degree program, you'll also select a Program Content area so you can get more specialized knowledge about the subject you want to teach. You can choose from:

  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish

Education - Secondary Education, AA Curriculum

AA in Teaching Transfer Options

As an SJC student, you will benefit from the many agreements we have with four-year institutions. SJC has recently partnered with Western New Mexico University (WNMU) for the TeachUp Program. You'll be able to earn your associate degree at SJC and a bachelor's degree at WNMU—all for free! The program covers the cost of tuition, fees, and books. In addition, this program allows you to stay in Farmington while completing both degrees.

Learn About the TeachUp Program

Other SJC university partners where you can earn a bachelor's or graduate degree in education without leaving New Mexico include:

  • New Mexico Highlands University 
  • The University of New Mexico
A CFDC teacher tending to a toddler

Get Teaching Experience at the Child & Family Development Center (CFDC)

Get experience teaching young children right on campus. As a student pursuing an AA in Early Childhood Education, you will get real-world experience at SJC's CFDC. You'll work under the supervision of licensed teachers to provide child care and early education services. Apply your knowledge to plan and teach activities for young children. Practice the skills you need to lead your own classroom through working at the CFDC.

Teaching Associate Degree Career Outcomes

With the strong foundation of SJC's teaching degrees, you'll be ready for a career as a child educator or teacher. Teachers are currently in great demand in New Mexico and across the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for special education, kindergarten and elementary school, middle school, and high school teachers is projected to grow 4-5% from 2021-2031.

There is an even greater need for preschool teachers, as the BLS predicts their demand to grow 15% from 2021-2031.

Our Early Childhood Education graduates often go on to work in:

  • Early childcare centers
  • Pre-kindergarten classrooms
  • Other childcare sites

Employers of our Early Childhood Education students include:

  • Aztec Municipal Schools
  • Bloomfield School District
  • Farmington Municipal Schools
  • Central Consolidated School District
  • Just Us Kids Child Care Center
  • A Gold Star Academy and Child Development Center
  • Love the Children Learning Center
  • Fundamentals Child Development Center
  • Reservation schools
  • Private schools

Our Elementary Education, Special Education, and Secondary Education teachers have careers as:

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

Employers of our Elementary Education, Special Education, and Secondary Education program graduates include:

  • Aztec Municipal Schools
  • Bloomfield School District
  • Central Consolidated School District
  • Farmington Municipal Schools
  • Private schools
  • Tutors

Graduate Spotlight

"I chose to go to San Juan College because it was close to home and affordable. I needed classes that would work with my work schedule and busy life. SJC offered online classes and gave me the support I needed to pass my classes and earn my AA in Early Childhood Education."

Leanna Lara, ΚΌ21
Early Childhood Education

Read Leanna's story

Pictured is an Instructor who got their degree in Teacher Education is instructing two students.

Scholarship Opportunities

Don't let cost be a barrier to earning a teaching degree. We offer various scholarships that will help pay for your education.

Next Steps

You must first apply to San Juan College to enroll in the Associate of Arts in Education degree programs. It's easy, and you can apply online at any time!

Apply Now

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.