New Mexico Special Education Teacher Certification

Becoming a special education teacher in New Mexico is quite similar to becoming a traditional teacher. Here, we'll look at the important steps to become a special education teacher.

In New Mexico, those who hold a special education license are also eligible for licensure to teach pre-K-12. We'll look at the endorsement requirements to become a special education teacher in New Mexico.

Requirements for Special Education Teachers in New Mexico

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in New Mexico* $59,830 (Preschool), $62,780 (Elementary School), $52,280 (Middle School), $57,110 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field special Education, Elementary Education, or Education
Testing Requirements Essential Academic Skills (001, 002, 003), Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary or Secondary (051 or 052), Special Education (601)

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017)

Step 1: Complete Schooling Requirements

The New Mexico Public Education Department requires special education teachers to earn 30 credits in special education with a teaching internship, six credits in teaching reading, and 24 credits in a teaching field. Aspiring special education teachers can find a variety of degree programs in special education to prepare for licensure. In special education programs, you'll look at topics such as diversity in students, mild disabilities, human growth and development, curriculum for learners with disabilities, and teaching methods in the special education classroom. You will also have plenty of time in a real classroom, working with students and teachers.

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Step 2: Take Required Exams

Special education teachers must take three exams to become licensed. The first exam is one that every prospective teacher must take, the Essential Academic Skills exam. This exam is broken down into three subtests: math, writing, and reading. To complete all three subtests, you'll have three hours and 15 minutes. The reading subtest includes 45 multiple-choice questions, writing includes 36 questions and an essay, and math includes 45 multiple-choice questions. In order to pass the exam and have it count toward licensing, you must earn a score of 220 or higher.

The next exam to sit for will test you on the grade level you wish to teach. You'll take the Assessment of Professional Knowledge exam. There are two to choose from: Elementary (051) or Secondary (052). Both tests are computer-based and cost $95 to take. You'll need to answer 100 multiple-choice questions, a case study written assignments, and a work product assignment within three hours. For the elementary exam, you must earn a score of no less than 222, while 220 is the score for the secondary exam.

The final exam is a content knowledge exam, in this case, the Special Education (601) exam. This exam costs $95 as well, and you'll be given three hours to complete 150 multiple-choice questions. AS of 2017, you must earn a score of 224 or higher to pass the exam.

Step 3: Pass a Background Check

All initial applicants are required to get a background check to show there is no criminal record in your past. The fee is $44, and once you have registered, you will need to go to a live scan location to be fingerprinted. This background check is good for 24 months.

Certification Resources in New Mexico for Special Education Teachers

With three exams required to earn special education licensure, you'll want to be prepared. The following are some links to study guides and courses that can help you prepare for each exam.


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