What is Alternative Licensure?

The New Mexico State Board of Education established Alternative Licensure regulations in July, 2000, with the objective of providing alternative routes to New Mexico teacher licensure for persons who hold at least a baccalaureate degree but have not completed a traditional educator preparation program.

Below is a summary of key aspects for alternative licensure requirements. For specifics, interested candidates should examine the New Mexico licensure requirements on the State of New Mexico Public Education Department’s web site at www.ped.state.nm.us.

Requirements for Alternative Licensure

To receive a level 1, three-year Alternative License, an applicant must meet the following three requirements:

  1. Degree Requirements – Academic preparation from a regionally accredited college Bachelor’s degree with minimum of 30 credits applicable to the licensure area sought, or Master’s degree with minimum of 12 graduate credits in applicable licensure area, or Doctorate degree in applicable area.
  2. Professional Teacher Education Requirements – Complete a State Board-approved alternative licensure program which includes the specified number of reading credits, courses which cover the NM teacher competencies, and a student teaching or field based component. These vary depending on type of licensure sought. In lieu of completing an approved program of study, an applicant may follow the portfolio option (see SDE web site).
  3. New Mexico Teacher Assessments – Pass all applicable sections of the NM Teacher Assessment. These include:
    • NM Assessment of Teacher Basic Skills
    • NM Assessment of Teacher Competency (Elementary or Secondary)
    • NM Content Knowledge Assessment (Elementary Education, Language Arts, Reading, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies – usually only one of these content exams is taken depending on applicant’s teaching specialization)

An alternative licensure candidate may be permitted to assume functions of a teacher while pursuing requirements 1, 2 and 3. While in progress, a candidate may be issued a three-year internship license for teaching.

For full Alternative Licensure, a candidate must complete all requirements of 1, 2 and 3. To receive a standard, Level II, license, the applicant must satisfactorily complete a one to three year mentorship program (at the school where employed) and obtain verification from the school district that applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated teaching competencies.

For more information, please call Teacher Education/Alternative Licensure at 505-566-3044. Or send an email to altlic@sanjuancollege.edu.