NMJC Announces Alternative Licensure Program for Education
9/11/2011 2:32:52 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. Thanks to recent changes in state regulations, New Mexico Junior College will soon be offering a program that provides new options for people with bachelor degrees.
On October 17, NMJC will launch the new state-approved Alternative Licensure Program in Elementary Education, which is specifically designed to allow persons who currently hold bachelor degrees—in any field—to begin teaching. There are only four online courses required.
Dr. Mickey Best, Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Career Technology, along with Lynda Newman and Ruth Wong, Professors of Education and Reading, shepherd the program at NMJC, and they are understandably excited. When accepted into the program, students can receive their internship license, which will allow them to begin teaching right away while they are still completing the program at NMJC. Accordingly, this puts students on the fast track to a career as a professional educator.
For Newman, the benefits for students are both practical and personal. “I’ve talked to so many people who’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, worked a while in their field, and then wished they’d gone into teaching instead, especially after they’ve had their own children,” she said. “They want the same schedule as their kids. They find out they love to work with children, and now they can. They only have to take four courses at NMJC to complete our program, which is all online, and they can be eligible to teach any grade between kindergarten and 8th grade in New Mexico.
“Many people have the natural skills and the desire, but the wrong degree,” Newman continued. “That doesn’t have to hold them back any longer. Recent changes in the state licensing regulations have made it easier than ever.”
Wong agrees. “No matter what bachelor’s degree a person has,” she said, “the four courses we’re offering will provide them with direct access to the teaching profession. The courses include Teaching Elementary Reading, Elementary Curriculum and Teaching Methods, Early Literacy and Young Children, and Elementary Field Experience. The State of New Mexico has specific requirements for the Alternative Licensure Programs in the state,” she said, “and NMJC has met them all in this 12-credit-hour program.”
Teaching Elementary Reading, the first course in the program, begins October 17 and ends December 9. It will be taught by Wong.