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**
- $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
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 follow the instructions in the Alternative Licensure Extensions in order to apply for an extension request
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)
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
All fees submitted are non-refundable