Obtaining a New Mexico teaching license isn’t as simple as getting a college degree. A teacher preparation program must be completed, field experience must be undertaken, and the New Mexico Teacher Assessment tests must be passed. But before any of these events occur, it would be prudent to research the teaching schools in New Mexico and determine which offer the appropriate programs and endorsements at the most reasonable tuition.
Below are the four largest public schools in New Mexico – The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico State University at Las Cruces, Eastern New Mexico University at Portales, and New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas. Of course, bigger doesn’t always mean better, so vet these and other schools to select the best New Mexico teacher education school for you.
With more than 22,000 enrolled students, the University of New Mexico is the largest university in the Land of Enchantment. It has a 66% acceptance rate, so admission is comparatively rigorous. Education and teacher preparation is its second most popular field of study, with 11% of its student body seeking their New Mexico teacher license. The Department of Teacher Education offers three programs: Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and a Ph.D. in Multicultural Teacher and Childhood Education.
Founded in 1888, New Mexico State University has five campuses in the state with its main campus in Las Cruces. The third most popular field of study is elementary education and teaching. To enter the Teacher Education Program, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA with a minimum of 55 hours of study already completed, pass the New Mexico Teacher Assessment tests, and submit both a letter of intent and an education portfolio. During students’ senior year, they must apply for and complete a student teaching field experience.
With just more than 4,000 enrolled students, Eastern New Mexico is a small institution, suitable for students who desire a cozier, more personable college experience. The College of Education and Technology houses their Teacher Education Program, which has the authority to award students a New Mexico teacher certification. Before applying, students must have at least a 2.8 GPA and must have already taken and passed 40 semester hours, including EDF 222. They must also have passed the New Mexico Teacher Assessment with at least a 240. Students need to apply for student teaching positions before their senior year.
A rural school, New Mexico Highlands University has more than 2,000 enrolled students. Education is its number one area of study, with 23% of students seeking their teaching license. Future elementary teachers graduate with a major in elementary education, whereas secondary teachers graduate with a major in their area of instruction – English, for instance – and a minor in secondary education. Students should plan early to enter the Teacher Education Program by contacting the School of Education during their freshman year. Three courses must be passed with a “C” or higher: Introduction to Teaching, Field-base I Teacher Preparation Experience, and Introduction to Special Education. As long as they have at least a 2.5 GPA, students can then submit an application to the TEP.