Entrance to undergraduate elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs at Highlands is evaluated through advisement and assessment of the students skills and motivation to enter the teaching profession. Preparation for the profession requires an academic course of study through a major in elementary education or a minor in secondary education together with an academic minor or major in an appropriate content field. A Teacher Education Program (TEP) application is required and initiates an adviser and in-school file (database).
Both elementary and secondary teaching candidates are assessed for appropriate basic skills prior to entering teacher training. Students then plan their academic programs in careful consideration of the subjects they wish to teach. They receive support and guidance from faculty advisers throughout the period of their studies and also in seeking their first jobs.
Of special note for both elementary and secondary candidates is the university’s practicum-based program for teacher training. At three different points in their advanced studies, elementary, early childhood, special education, and secondary teaching candidates gain on-the job experience through field placements in actual school settings. The final placement is a full student teaching assignment undertaken in the student’s final semester of studies. The school makes arrangements for student teaching with school systems at some distance from campus, as well as in the nearby region. Advanced planning and a formal application are required at least one semester in advance of student teaching.
Requirements for Entrance to Teacher Preparation and Licensure Programs
The following conditions must be met for entrance into the Teacher Preparation Program (TEP). Students should contact the School of Education early in their freshman year to receive guidance in the process. Early advisement is essential to avoid delays in meeting all requirements.
1. Complete the following courses with a grade of a C or better:
GnEd 201 Intro to Teaching (3)
GnEd 251 Field-base I Teacher Prep Experience (1)
SpEd 214 Intro to Special Ed (3)
(Required in elem. and secondary programs)
2. Complete and submit a TEP application. Complete the appropriate freshman and sophomore courses in the university’s core curriculum together with additional extended core courses required for education majors and minors by the State of New Mexico Public Education Department. The choices to be made will reflect the requirements for licensing that have been set by the State of New Mexico Public Education Department (SNMPED). These courses include:
12 hours in English
12 hours in Science
12 hours in History
6 hours in Fine Arts
6 hours in Mathematics
6 hours in Social Science
Consultation with an education adviser is essential to establish this program of courses. An overall grade point average of at least 2.5 is required. In addition, C or better grades are required in Engl 111 and Engl 112.
3. Take the New Mexico Teacher Assessment (NMTA) exam in order to be eligible for student teaching. Students must have passed the Basic Skills component of the NMTA in order to be approved for student teaching. Students have no more than two opportunities to complete successfully any of the field-based experiences.
Details of this process, and the minimum required scores, are available from the School of Education. Students seeking a bilingual endorsement are required to take the Prueba de Español para la Certificion Bilingüe exam. Students must maintain close communication with Academic Support Services and the School of Education regarding these important examinations.
Secondary Education (licensure)