Alternative Licensure in Special Education

The College of Education at New Mexico State University has developed a special education alternative licensure program for persons who hold at least a baccalaureate degree, but have not completed a traditional teacher preparation program.

Eligible Participants must be:

  • Be hired by a school district in New Mexico to teach students with disabilities
  • Be admitted to the NMSU Graduate School
  • Be admitted to the College of Education’s School of Teacher Preparation, Administration and Leadership
  • Teach with a provisional/intern license throughout the program
  • Teach in a district with a state approved mentoring program
  • Provide annual verification of continued special education employment at the school district
  • Be enrolled in required coursework and plan to complete within two years
  • Participate in two semesters of observation by a University Supervisor, with a fee for each semester
  • Complete NES Licensure tests:
    1. Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, III)
    2. Assessment of Professional Knowledge (Elementary or Secondary)

ALP Conditional Application S19.doc

ALP Conditional Application S19.pdf

Program Delivery

Online (CANVAS)

SPED Licensure Course Work (3 credit hours each):

SPED 500 Introduction to SPED in a Diverse Society
SPED 506 High Incidence Populations in a Diverse Society
SPED 507 Low Incidence Populations in a Diverse Society
SPED 504 Introduction to Assessment of Diverse Exceptional Learners
SPED 509 Reading for Elementary Exceptional Learners in a Diverse Society
SPED 511 Reading for Secondary Exceptional Learners in a Diverse Society
SPED 559 Classroom Management for Diverse Learners

Field experience, technology and multicultural education are integrated into all coursework.

Additional Coursework to complete the Master’s Degree in Special Education (total 18):

SPED 510 Current Issues in Special Education
SPED 513 Current Research in Special Education
4 SPED electives (3 credits each)

  1. Students must be admitted to the Graduate School prior to taking courses.
  2. Graduate Students need to take all three of the following NMTA licensure exams: Basic Skills, Teacher Competency, and Content Knowledge Assessment in Special Education.
  3. Students who complete the Alternative Licensure plus Masters degree in the Special Education Component must take a graduate oral exit examination.
  4. After completion of 12 graduate credit hours, students must meet with their faculty advisors to discuss their program of study.


For more information contact:

Name: Dr. Cecilia Hernandez

Telephone: (575) 646-1256