Jul 22, 2024  
2024-2025 CNM Catalog, Volume 56 
2024-2025 CNM Catalog, Volume 56

Teacher Education (AA), Elementary/Special Education Concentration

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School of Education (ED)

The Teacher Education Elementary and Special Education associate degree program focuses on the knowledge, dispositions and skills required for working with children in the public school system (PreK-12). Students will gain practical experience through field experience in a PreK-12 public school setting. 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 associate degree is also available in a cohorted fast track program. Contact Education Programs at [email protected] for more information.
The Teacher Education degree with a concentration in Elementary and Special Education is designed to transfer to 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 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 (6-12)
  • Special Education (K-12)
  • Early Childhood (PreK-3)

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 four-year college of education for a bachelor’s degree in education will need passing scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) upon program completion.  For more information on the Praxis Core, please go to: https://www.ets.org/praxis/nm

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. Starting salary for teachers in New Mexico public schools is $55,000. Within 7 years, teachers can move to a salary of $78,000 or more.

Ten Year Rule for CTE Courses

Career and technical education courses in this program will qualify for credit for a period of ten academic years. Due to changing technologies, trends, and professional demands, courses completed ten or more years in the past will satisfy program requirements only if they are approved by the instructional school in which they were offered. Cohorted programs may have additional restrictions.

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 required teacher assessments for elementary and special 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.

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