Fast-Track Early Childhood and Teacher Education Degrees

Earn an Associate Degree in Early Childhood (Birth-3rd Grade) in 18 months or earn an Associate Degree in Teacher Education (Elementary/Special Education) in 15 months.

Application Deadline

Fall 2022: July 22, 2022

Fall 2023: TBA

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    CNM's Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning offers a Fast-Track Associate in Arts (AA) in either Early Childhood or Teacher Education in less than two years.

    Teacher Education

    The Teacher Education Fast Track Degree is a comprehensive, accelerated way for you to reach your career goals of becoming a licensed educator with additional support from CNM and the opportunity to work as an Educational Assistant during the day.

    Bilingual Teacher Education

    CNM also offers a Bilingual Teacher Education Fast-Track Degree. Students take more than half of the required coursework in the Spanish language and are prepared to become culturally competent bilingual educators. The strong focus on Spanish language proficiency prepares students to take the bilingual endorsement exam, La Prueba, as they transition to a four year institution.

    Early Childhood

    The Early Childhood Fast-Track Degree is a comprehensive and accelerated way for you to reach your career goals by moving forward in the field of early childhood education. It's a great way to teach young children and make a difference in our community.


    Classes for Education Fast Track programs are a combination of both real time online classes (students attend classes remotely through Zoom or other software), online classes with no live requirements, and at least one in person field experience.

    This accelerated approach to achieving your degree is facilitated by classes being primarily offered in 7-week blocks: two blocks per term and one 7 to 12-week summer block.

    A full listing of courses for each degree can be found in the CNM Catalog.


    The tuition cost for the Fast-Track Education Programs is $7,399.00.

    Financial Aid

    Fill out a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and contact a CNM Financial Aid advisor. We accept all forms of Federal and State financial aid, including Pell Grant and Student Loans. There are Grant Funded Incentives for those who complete the program on time. We also accept the following payment methods:

    • VA Benefits
    • Employer Tuition Reimbursement/Remission
    • Third-Party Pay
    • Self Pay
    • Payment Plans available

    Please consider applying through the CNM myScholarship application for the following scholarships:

    Admission and Application Requirements

    1. Apply to CNM
      Submit official transcripts from any previous colleges that you may have attended.
    2. Apply to the Fast-Track Program
      You must submit this separate online application along with a participant personal statement.
    3. Students with no prior college experience should Take the Accuplacer Exam or submit ACT/SAT scores if applicable. Reading and math requirement may possibly be met with prior college English and Math courses, subject to approval upon review 
      • Reading & Writing Requirement
        • Reading Score = 257 or higher OR  WritePlacer Score = 6 or higher
      • Math Requirement
        • Quantitative Reasoning score = 234 or higher OR Arithmetic Score = 264 or higher

    The personal statement is used in part to determine eligibility for acceptance to the program. You should discuss your background, your current work experience, and your goals (things that motivate you to be involved in this accelerated program) in a paragraph essay format.

    Application Dates and Deadlines

    Fall 2023


    Application Deadline


    Mandatory Orientation TBA
    First Day of Class August 28, 2023

    Information Sessions

    We strongly encourage you to attend an information session to find out more or ask questions about the program structure, application process, financial aid, or any other questions you may have.

    Day Time Registration Link
    Wednesday, September 21 Noon - 1 p.m. Register Here
    Tuesday, October 4 Noon - 1 p.m. Register Here
    Wednesday, October 19 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Register Here
    Tuesday, November 1 Noon - 1 p.m. Register Here
    Tuesday, December 6 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Register Here
    Wednesday, January 25 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Register Here

    Student Perks

    • Registration is done for you each term; classes are guaranteed to be offered.
    • You receive a Windows laptop computer.
    • Most books offered as E-books.
    • Classes offered in an accelerated format with both full-term and 7-week classes.
    • Complete your degree online.
    • Dedicated support, monthly advisement and professional development opportunities.
    • Financial aid eligible 
    • Courses are transferable to any four-year institution in New Mexico.
    • Teacher Education students will have the opportunity to gain classroom and work experience as an Educational Assistant (EA) during the day.
      • Being an EA is not required in order to be a part of the Fast-Track program.
    • Early Childhood students will earn their Child Development Certificate while working towards their associates degree.
    • Support and mentorship provided throughout the program from:
      • Former students
      • Faculty
      • Staff
      • Designated Advisor/Coach
      • CNM Office of Career and Job Placement