Online Alternative Licensure Certificate in Special Education

Our special education alternative licensure program is exclusively online. This 21-credit hour program, approved by the New Mexico Public Education Department, can lead to attaining P-12 licensure in New Mexico.

If you have a degree in education and have completed student teaching, the state does not require you to do so again; your previous student teaching experience counts as your internship.

Alternative Licensure Program Handbook

How to Apply

Program Highlights

  • Eligible for employment as special education teacher as soon as you are accepted into the program
  • All credit hours for this program can apply to a 36-credit hour master's degree in special education
  • 100% online program
  • Coursework taught by experienced special education and reading educators
  • Internship completed in your own classroom
  • Classes apply to a master's degree in education
  • Affordable tuition

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Learning Format for Alternative Special Education Certificate Coursework

Our certificate in special education is designed to be completed exclusively online. You'll complete assignments, readings, papers, tests and projects throughout each semester.

In all classes, your participation using Canvas and recorded lectures will connect you with professors and other students on your own time, and can be completed at your convenience, rather than during a specific time.

Alternative Licensure in Special Education Resources and Academic Support

We want to make sure you get the support you need. We offer flexible tutoring services, including the ENMU Writing Center which is available to help you improve your writing and help you clearly communicate for written, school-related projects and assignments.

We also have online databases, journal articles and eBooks accessible through the Golden Library. ENMU librarians are available virtually, via phone and email to provide assistance, so you'll always have the help you need to take advantage of library resources.

See our distance learning library services

Advising for Alternative Licensure Students

If you are taking the time to complete an advanced study program, we know you want not only the benefits from our classes, but also our faculty's professional experience. To support you, we offer advising via phone or email for online students and in-person appointments if you are on campus. We look forward to working with you!

Affordable Alternative Licensure Certificate

Our affordable tuition makes it easy for you to pick ENMU, a school with a strong reputation for producing capable teachers and administrators that are prepared to lead schools and school districts.

Eastern New Mexico University has the second lowest bachelor's and master's-level tuition in the state of New Mexico, and has one of the most affordable graduate tuition rates in the U.S. If you are an out-of-state student enrolling in 6 or fewer hours per semester, you'll pay tuition and fees at the low in-state rate. Depending on your career goals, you may be eligible for a TEACH Grant or the New Mexico T.E.A.C.H program.

View graduate tuition and fees >

Career Opportunities with an Alternative Licensure in Special Education

  • Eligibility to apply to the NMPED for Level 1 Teaching License
  • Work in a variety of settings in PreK-12 including, but not limited to:
    • Full inclusion classrooms with general content teachers
    • Pull-out resource and tutoring classrooms and, in some instances, self-contained classrooms as defined by individual districts
  • Work with New Mexico students ranging from those with the most severe disabilities, to those been diagnosed as gifted and talented

Career Services for Students

Career Services offers free job placement assistance to all ENMU students, so if you are looking for a job, we can help you find it.

We offer many resources including various workshops throughout the year covering topics like resume writing, interviewing for jobs, and more! As an ENMU student, if you’re interested in individual help for things like networking, social media for success, resume writing, and mock interviews, our staff is available to help.

Explore employment opportunities in this field by visiting the O*NET webpage. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database. The site aggregates data for occupations across the United States.

Read more about career services for students

Required Coursework (21 Hours)

Note: Coursework information on this page is based on the 2022–24 Graduate Catalog.

RED 510 Literacy Assessment and Evaluation 3
RED 518 Content Area Literacy 3
SPED 501 Introduction to Exceptional Students 3
SPED 505 Low Incidence Disabilities: Theory to Practice OR
SPED 548 Emotional Disturbance: Theory to Practice
SPED 539 Classroom/Behavior Management 3
SPED 540 High Incidence Disabilities: Theory to Practice 3
SPED 571 Internship I: Classroom Management 1
SPED 572 Internship II: Instruction and Assessment 1

SPED 573 Internship III: Professional Evaluation

SPED 573 can only be taken upon successful completion of all courses on the special education alternative licensure plan and successful completion of all licensure exams as set forth by the NMPED, including:

  • 5355: Special Education: Foundational Knowledge

The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) may change requirements at any time and in order to gain licensure in New Mexico, candidates must adhere and complete all requirements as identified by the NMPED.

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