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Online Portfolio for Alternative Licensure Pathway (OPAL)

////Online Portfolio for Alternative Licensure Pathway (OPAL)
Online Portfolio for Alternative Licensure Pathway (OPAL) 2021-08-23T10:59:23-06:00

The Online Portfolio for Alternative Licensure (OPAL) Pathway Program allows an educator  to teach at a school district for 2 years (nonrenewable, 2-year)  while being mentored and evaluated at a New Mexico Public School District, as well as, simultaneously complete the required teaching of reading course(s) and required licensure exams.

The OPAL Pathway Program is a program that is set up for individuals who obtained a bachelor’s degree in a non-traditional education program and is interested in teaching. **Under this pathway, educator can only hold one (1) licensure**

Initial License

  • $150 (non-refundable) fee,  and
  • Alternative Application via NMPED Online Licensure Portal; and
  • Official sealed transcripts Bachelor’s Degree including 30 semester hours, Master’s Degree including 12 graduate hours, or Doctoral Degree in a teaching field; and
  • A signed letter of interest to undergo the OPAL Pathway; and
  • A signed plan/letter from district supporting request for educator to undergo the OPAL Pathway (Must be on a school district letterhead); and
  • Register for background/fingerprints for “Teacher Licensure”.

Reading Methods Course Requirement:

Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education licensure requires 6 semester credit hours

Middle Level, Secondary and PreK-12 Specialty Area licensure requires 3 semester credit hours

Alternative OPAL NMAC Code

Extension of Alternative License

  • A one-time extension may be granted if educator has not completed their alternative licensure program and/or lack exams during the tenure (2 years) of their license.
  • Please have your LEA (District/Charter) contact the Bureau Manager, Jessica Green at

Alternative OPAL NMAC Code

Upon completion of the program, the candidate must submit the following documents to obtain full level 1 licensure:

  • Submission of Online Portfolio (Passing Score of Portfolio); and
  • Official sealed transcripts reflecting completion of required teaching of reading coursework; and
  • Copy of passing teacher exams; and
  • Successful completion of mentorship program (District/Charter must provide evidence of this)
Requirements and Guidelines for Preparation of OPAL
Educator Resources for Completing the Dossier/OPAL

Note:  You will be granted the remaining number of years to your license. Your license will still remain an alternative license; however, the number of years will reflect the level 1 teaching license. The word alternative and the five years on your license indicates that you successfully completed an alternative program.

Delay of application:

  • Your application is lacking supporting documents listed in the above check list; or
  • If your license(s) has expired (and you do not have additional valid licenses on file), and your background was completed 24 months or more, you will need to complete a new background.

NMPED Correspondence with Educators:

  • Consultants correspond by email; please check your spam/junk folder.

Teacher Testing Requirements

NMPED Licensure Transcripts Information


All fees submitted are non-refundable


Page last updated August 23, 2021