Nov 30, 2020  
2015 - 2016 CNM Catalog, Volume 48.1 
2015 - 2016 CNM Catalog, Volume 48.1 [The CNM Academic Year includes Fall, Spring, Summer Terms]

Teacher Education (AA), Special Education Concentration

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School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS)


The Teacher Education associate degree program facilitates an introduction to learning the theory and skills required for working with children in the public school system (K-12). Students will also gain practical experience in the classroom. Students interested in teaching in the early grades (PreK-3rd grade) should also consider the Early Childhood Multicultural Education (AA), Birth-3rd Grade Teacher Concentration.

This program leads to an Associate of Arts degree in one of five concentrations:

  • Career and Technical Education: This concentration is designed for students who have already earned a certificate and/or AAS degree in selected vocational/technical areas. Examples of approved certificate/AAS include: automotive technology, culinary arts, electronics technology, manufacturing, and welding.
  • Elementary Education
  • Bilingual Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education 

Special Requirements

Students may be required to undergo a TB test and a criminal background check prior to beginning their field / practicum experience. All courses required for transfer must be taken for a traditional grade of A, B, C, etc. For courses offered only for credit / no credit, a grade of credit (CR) must be earned.

Teacher licensure regulations determine eligible vocational/technical areas for the Career and Technical concentration. Students seeking this degree and/or intending to transfer to ENMU’s online program in Professional Technical Education must be advised by the program director.

Native Spanish speakers or speakers of Native American languages should contact program director for options to SPAN requirements for the Bilingual Elementary Concentration.

Approximate Costs of this Educational Option

Financial Aid Considerations

Career and Educational Opportunities

The associate of arts degree enables graduates to serve as educational assistants or substitute teachers within New Mexico public schools. Graduates from the program may transfer to four-year institutions that grant bachelor’s degrees in education. The Career and Technical Education concentration is specifically articulated for transfer to Eastern New Mexico University’s online bachelor’s degree in Professional Technical Education.

Teaching remains a high demand field in New Mexico, especially in the areas of Bilingual Elementary, Secondary (Math or Science), and Special Education. The national and state trend in Career and Technical education in high schools has also increased the demand for skilled Career and Technical educators. The starting salary for teachers in New Mexico public schools is $34,000. Within 7 years of teaching, teachers can move to a salary of $50,000.

The Education Department also offers courses for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and want to transition to teaching through the Alternative Teacher Licensure in the following areas:

  • Elementary (K-8)
  • Secondary (7-12)
  • Special Education (PreK-12)

Students should refer to the Alternative Teacher Licensure for application and program information.

For the graduation policy refer to the Graduating From CNM section, or the Students tab in myCNM.

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Program Proficiencies and/or Prerequisites

Students must demonstrate proficiency in these areas either by placement exam scores  or specific course work.

Associate of Arts in Teacher Education, Special Education Concentration 62 credit hours

 * Recommended for transfer.

Program Approved Electives

Social/Behavioral Science Electives

Select from at least two different subject areas.

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