Sep 25, 2020  
2019 - 2020 CNM Catalog, Volume 51 
2019 - 2020 CNM Catalog, Volume 51 [The CNM Academic Year includes Fall, Spring, Summer Terms]

Teacher Education (AA), Elementary/Special Education Concentration

School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS)

The Teacher Education associate degree program focuses the knowledge, dispositions and skills required for working with children in the public school system (K-12). Students will gain practical experience in the classroom through a field of experience practicum. Students interested in teaching in the early grades (PreK-3rd grade) should also consider the Birth-3rd Grade Teacher concentration in the Early Childhood Multicultural Education Degree. 

The Teacher Education degree with a concentration in Elementary and Special Education is designed to transfer to most New Mexico Colleges of Education in Elementary, Special Education or dual Elementary/Special Education licensure pathways. 

See Recommended Sequence of Courses

Special Requirements

  • Students must pass 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.

Approximate Costs of this Educational Option

Financial Aid Considerations

Educational Opportunities

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

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

Students should refer to the Alternative Teacher Licensure, Elementary  / Special Ed  for the recommended course sequence for each Alternative Teacher Licensure area.

Students transferring to a New Mexico College of Education are required to take the NES Essential Academic Skills exam as part of the program admission process.  It is recommended that students take the NES Essential Academic Skills test in their final semester of the program after the majority of their coursework has been completed.

Career 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.

Teaching remains a high demand field in New Mexico, especially in the areas of Bilingual Elementary, Secondary (Math or Science), and Special Education. 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.

Program Requirements


Term 4

Minimum Credit Hours Required to Complete Degree: 60

Additional Notes

It is strongly recommended that students fulfill the Laboratory Science Requirements with the following courses: NTSC 1110 - Physical Science for Teachers , NTSC 1120 - Life Science for Teachers , and/or NTSC 2110 - Environmental Science for Teachers . These courses are aligned to the NES Test Framework for the Elementary Education Subtest II that is required for elementary education licensure.

We encourage students to meet with an advisor to review the transfer requirements of the college where they intend to complete their degree to determine if there are additional general education course requirements that can be completed at CNM.