CNM program aims to get more teachers in the classroom

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — CNM’s Alternative Teacher Licensure Certificate program has been around since 2006, but Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Scott Elder says it’s needed more now than ever before.

“If somebody’s interested in doing a second career, they want to come back and teach – talk to CNM,” Elder said. “It’s a great program. They get you in the classroom early, you get a lot of experience and a lot of support. It helps us prepare highly-qualified teachers.”

Elder said he’s pumping up the program because the need for teachers is so great.

Anyone with a bachelor’s degree can apply for the program.

“They would need to be a CNM student first, become an active student there and then they would need to apply to our program,” said Merissa Lowe, director of the program.

Officials said all backgrounds are welcome.

“Our stance, again, is to get a firm foundation within that program, get the curriculum, curriculum course under your belt, foundations course under your belt, and then at that point, really assess if you are ready to be in the classroom at that point,” Lowe said.

She said engineers and professional dancers are coming through the program – switching careers completely. Lowe also said principals and seasoned teachers are also coming back for an additional license.

“You don’t have to go back and get this full on degree,” Lowe said.

CNM said most people complete the program in four or five semesters. CNM is currently taking applications for 60 new students in January.

“In the spring, it’ll be 30 in general ed, and then 30 in special education,” Lowe said.

APS alone has 59 open teaching positions in elementary, middle and high schools – and 112 openings in special education.

For those interested in the program who don’t live in Albuquerque, the alternative licensure program feeds into school districts all over the state.

“We do serve all communities,” Lowe said. “Our ideal candidate really has a sense of community. They have a growth mindset, they’re really yearning for the authentic engagement – because that is what our program is.”

For more information on the program, click here.