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School of Education Graduate Programs

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School of Education 

Photo of Virginia PadiaDr. Virginia Padilla-Vigil, Interim Dean
Victoria D. de Sanchez Teacher Education Center, Room 114B
FAX: 505-454-3384






To be a premier school of education that prepares educators, leaders, and counselors as agents of social change who transform the lives of individuals and communities they serve.


We immerse our students in authentic academic and professional settings, providing them with opportunities to bridge theory and practice and to engage in critical reflection that informs action.

Core Values:

Authentic learning

We believe that learning is authentic when the learner is immersed in real-world, meaningful experiences that elicit reflection to inform action and that provide rich opportunities to bridge theory and practice.

Reflective Practice

We embrace critical reflection on self and practice as a way to develop a deep sense of identity and beliefs that ground and continually improve our practices.


We embrace diversity in order to enrich our teaching, research, and advocacy, utilizing a culturally responsive, inclusive, and strengths-based approach that recognizes and builds upon the myriad characteristics of students, faculty, and community.

Social Justice:

We commit to critical reflection on systemic inequities and to action leading to shifts in policies, practices, and structures that create opportunities for all.


We commit to a culture of continuous improvement of quality and excellence in teaching, research, and service through reflective inquiry and innovation.


We embrace our roles as leaders, advocates, and change agents working to transform systems to be more equitable and responsive to the diverse needs of individuals and communities.


The Teacher Education Center (TEC) building serves as a home for the Northeast Regional Education Cooperative, Advanced Placement-New Mexico, the Counselor Training Center, MESA-Northern New Mexico, and the Center for the Education & Study of Diverse Populations.

Established by the School of Education, the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations studies diverse populations whose needs are unmet and who encounter barriers to services and opportunities, and develops strategies for removing those barriers.

In addition, the School of Education houses a regional Instructional Materials Evaluation Center that contains publisher-supplied samples of state-approved texts and materials for review by school district administrators, teachers, parents, and education faculty and students. The center also functions as an institutional curriculum library, providing selected samples of resources for short-term loan. The Literacy Council of Northeastern New Mexico staffs an adult literacy center and provides services within the Instructional Materials Evaluation Center.

The School of Education offers selected undergraduate and graduate programs at the centers in Santa Fe, Rio Rancho and Farmington with the cooperation of the Educational Outreach Services Program.

Conceptual Framework

The NMHU School of Education believes in democratic access to an education, both theoretical and authentic that allows the reflective learner to continue to develop cultural schemas and diverse cognitive processing skills to construct a knowledge base, practice the skills and develop professional dispositions in authentic settings needed to excel in education, leadership, counseling or other self-determined endeavors.


There are eight themes that guide the School of Education’s practices and decision-making processes:

  • Diversity
  • Reflective Practitioner
  • Culturally Inclusive
  • Authentic Settings
  • Practice
  • Knowledge
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership

The Purpose of the School of Education

The purpose of the School of Education is to provide highly qualified, entry-level early childhood, elementary, secondary, and/or special education teachers and other professional personnel such as, educational leaders and counselors, to serve New Mexico and/or national P-12 school districts, institutions of higher education and counseling agencies. The program is embraced by the following themes: diversity, leadership, culturally inclusive, authentic setting(s), practice, reflective practitioner, and knowledge and steeped in a conceptual framework that fosters democratic access to an education, allowing the reflective practitioner to continue to develop cultural schemas, diverse cognitive processing skills to construct a knowledge base that is entwined in our school’s themes.

Graduate Programs in Education and Counseling

The master’s program in education accepts students with personal commitment to the discipline who also meet the standards of scholarship. With the exception of a degree in counseling, master’s candidates complete 12 credits of coursework in educational content and 12 credits in a selected emphasis field, as well as 12 credits in appropriate research methodologies. Educational leadership requires 15 credits in the content areas and nine credits in a selected emphasis field.

Master of Arts in Counseling
School counseling and rehabilitation counseling require a 48 semester-hour curriculum. The clinical mental health counseling and clinical rehabilitation counseling concentrations require a 60 semester-hour curriculum. All four concentrations require successful completion of coursework, internship experience, an exit exam, and a case presentation or professional paper. A vocational evaluation specialization is also available to rehabilitation students.

Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction
The curriculum and instruction option offers graduate work in a variety of academic content fields with both elementary and secondary emphases. The emphasis fields available to curriculum and instruction students include the educational subjects of Reading, Technology Education, Early Childhood Education, TESOL, Bilingual Education, and Gifted Education; and Arts and Sciences subjects including music, art, English, Spanish, history, political science, chemistry, life science, mathematics, computer science, business, and human performance and sport.

Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
The master’s degree in education offers a variety of concentrations and emphases. The master of arts option in educational leadership prepares individuals for licensure in administration or to serve in leadership roles in higher education.

Master of Arts in Special Education
The master of arts option in special education provides the opportunity to specialize in the areas of general special education, cognitive impairments, learning disabilities and emotional and behavioral disorders.