UNMGallup offers new certificates in Alternative Teacher Licensure

UNMGallup Visiting Lecturer II Vanessa Ferguson teaches an education class at UNMGallup on Nov. 8, 2023.

UNMGallup offers new certificates in Alternative Teacher Licensure


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Branch campus adds program to help local educators earn Level 1 teaching credentials

By Richard Reyes, Friday, April 5, 2024

GALLUP, N.M. — UNMGallup is introducing a new program that will help people with non-traditional teaching degrees become certificated educators in New Mexico.

Starting in the Fall 2024 semester, UNMGallup will offer two post-baccalaureate certificates in Alternative Teacher Licensure — one for Elementary Education and one for Secondary Education.

“Because schools are already using instructors who have a bachelor’s degree but not a teaching degree, this fills that niche of providing people who are already teaching with the opportunity to obtain their teaching certificate in four semesters,” UNMGallup Director of Education Laura Moore said. “This way, we have qualified, certified teachers in the classroom.”

The new certificate programs are designed for individuals who have already earned a bachelor’s degree or higher in a non-teaching field and want a quick path toward becoming an educator.

In order to enter the UNMGallup Alternative Teacher Licensure certificate programs, individuals are required to be employed as teachers. The program is meant for those who have already been hired to teach and need their teaching license within their first two years on the job.

The certificate for Elementary Education is recommended for individuals who enjoy instructing and spending time with elementary aged children (grades K-8). It is a 21-credit program.

Alternative Teacher Licensure

UNMGallup student Kevin Capitan gives a presentation during an education class at UNMGallup on Nov. 8, 2023.

The certificate for Secondary Education (grades 9-12) is recommended for individuals with a special interest or educational background in science, social studies, math or language arts. It is an 18-credit program.

Both programs can be completed in four semesters, beginning each fall and including the summer semester.

Upon completion of either certificate program, individuals can apply for a New Mexico Level 1 teaching license. New Mexico teaching salaries start at $50,000 for those with a Level 1 license.

In both the Elementary and Secondary programs, students will take courses such as Foundations of Education, Curriculum and Assessment, Effective Teaching and more. Plus, they will take one semester of Field Experience and earn credits by teaching in their own classroom.

Classes are created for those with a busy schedule. Course delivery is a combination of online and in-person formats to accommodate a person’s work/teaching schedule.

To get started at UNMGallup and learn how to apply, please visit goto.unm.edu/unmg.

To schedule an appointment with an advisor, visit goto.unm.edu/gallup-advisors.

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