New Mexico Teaching Certification

new mexico

Learn how to become a teacher in New Mexico (or administrator). Choose the description of certification you are most interested in or situation that best describes you:

New Mexico Educ. Statistics

Avg. Elem. Teacher Salary $51,660
Avg. Sec. Teacher Salary $54,700
Teacher Retention (?) 94%
Average Admin. Salary $79,890
Vacation Wks/Yr 15

Getting Involved...

Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country's overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how New Mexico measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).

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Learn about your Governor's views and voting record with regard to education. (see New Mexico Governor's website).
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Hold your public servants accountable. It is our duty as residents of New Mexico.
Help Make Education A Priority 

 

Initial New Mexico Teaching Certification

In the American Legislative Exchange Council’s recently released Report Card on American Education, New Mexico’s education system showed dramatic improvement from the year before. The improvement, which was determined based on student scores on National Assessment of Educational Progress Exams, is attributed to a concerted effort put forth by teachers, students, and parents alike. This inspiring trend shows the impact that teachers can have when working with parents to help students achieve success. Prospective teachers in New Mexico can look forward to helping students achieve even greater progress in the near future. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in New Mexico.

education

Education Requirements

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Under the rules of the Professional Licensure Bureau of the New Mexico Public Education Department (505-827-5821), as an applicant for teacher licensing, you are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university offering an approved educator preparation program. A list of educational requirements for all licensure areas may be found here.

If you completed a teacher preparation program in a college/university outside of New Mexico, your credits will usually be accepted as long as the program and institution are regionally accredited and approved by that state’s Department of Education. A list of regional accreditation agencies may be found on Page 39 of this document.

If you attended college in a foreign country, your transcript must be evaluated by a member agency of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. This evaluation must be submitted to the Bureau once completed, and then a decision will be made as to your eligibility for licensure. If you have any deficiencies, the Bureau will let you know what requirements will need to be met in order to become a licensed New Mexico teacher.

Licensure Options
Teaching licenses are available, with endorsements, in the following areas: Early Childhood Education, Birth-Age 3; Elementary Education, Grades K-8; Middle Level Education, Grades 5-9; Secondary Education, Grades 7-12; Special Education, Grades PreK-12. Levels of teaching licenses available include:
  • Internship license: valid for three years and issued only upon proof that you have been accepted into a teacher preparation program
  • Level 1 license: valid for five years, provisional (standard) teaching license
  • Level 2 license: valid for nine years, professional teaching license
  • Level 3A license: valid for nine years, instructional leader teaching license

A complete list of all license types and endorsement options is available here.

exam

Examinations

A summary of New Mexico examination requirements for teachers may be found here.

Basic skills testing:

As a candidate for initial teacher licensure, you must pass the New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Basic Skills. You must also pass the New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Competency for your area of licensure (i.e., early childhood, elementary, secondary).

Content area assessment testing:
You must pass the New Mexico Content Knowledge Assessment for the area in which you wish to become licensed to teach and for each endorsement under that license (unless you have 24 semester hours of coursework in that content area, in which case you may be exempt from the content knowledge assessment):
  • Early Childhood (Birth-Age 3)
  • Elementary Education (K-8)
  • Grades Pre K-12 Teaching:
    • Family and Consumer Sciences
    • French
    • German
    • Health Education
    • History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Government
    • Language Arts
    • Library/Media
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Reading
    • Science
    • Spanish
    • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
    • Visual Arts
  • Middle Level Education (Grades 5-9):
    • Family and Consumer Sciences
    • French
    • German
    • Health Education
    • Library/Media
    • Middle Level History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Government
    • Middle Level Language Arts
    • Middle Level Mathematics
    • Middle Level Science
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Reading
    • Spanish
    • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
    • Visual Arts
  • Secondary Education (Grades 7-12):
    • Family and Consumer Sciences
    • French
    • German
    • Health Education
    • History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Government
    • Language Arts
    • Library/Media
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Reading
    • Science
    • Spanish
    • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
    • Visual Arts
experience

Experience Requirements

Regardless of the area in which you wish to become licensed to teach, you will be required by your teacher preparation program to complete a practicum and a student teaching assignment. During the practicum, you will mainly observe teachers in a classroom setting, learning teaching methodology, classroom management strategies, and leadership styles. You may also be asked to lead the class from time to time.

Student teaching is the portion of your college experience in which you will become fully immersed in the fieldwork process. You will be placed into a classroom consistent with the age and content area for which you are pursing licensure. Your teacher preparation program will collaborate with nearby school districts to determine the most appropriate placement for you. A Master Teacher will observe and evaluate your progress as you take over the classroom, lead the class in instruction, and handle the day-to-day duties of a classroom teacher.

document application requirements

Document and Application Requirements

Have you completed all educational, experience and examination requirements necessary for your licensure/endorsement area? If so, you are ready to apply for your New Mexico teaching license. Use the Application for Initial New Mexico Licensure. Be sure to include:

  • Correct processing fee, in the form of check or money order, payable to the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED)
  • Official transcripts with degree received
  • Completed fingerprint background check packet and fees (see below)
  • Copies of any other teaching licenses
  • Verification of any teaching experience

Send all of the above to New Mexico Public Education Department, Professional Licensure Bureau, 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786.

history

Criminal History Background Check

All applicants for initial teaching licensure in New Mexico must undergo a criminal history background check, including fingerprinting. You may obtain a fingerprint card by calling the Educator Ethics Bureau at 505-827-6649.

Take the fingerprint card to your local law enforcement agency such as the New Mexico Department of Public Safety; county sheriff; state, municipal, campus, military, or tribal police. Your completed fingerprint card must be submitted with your application for initial licensure. It will take two weeks for the background check to be cleared. Licenses will not be issued until checks are completed.

contact

Contact Information

Contact New Mexico colleges and universities with approved educator preparation programs for information on their programs.

Contact the Professional Licensure Bureau of the New Mexico Public Education Department at 505-827-5821 for information on the initial teacher licensure process.

**Teacher Retention Sources - U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999–2000 (“Public School Teacher Questionnaire,” “Private School Teacher Questionnaire,” and “Public Charter School Teacher Questionnaire”), and 2000–01 Teacher Follow-up Survey (“Questionnaire for Current Teachers” and “Questionnaire for Former Teachers,” Table 1.01). Washington, DC.

State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.