Special Education Teacher Training (SETT)

The Special Education Teacher Training (SETT) program is a collaboration between Albuquerque Public Schools (APS), Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF) to provide a supported alternative licensure pathway to attract and retain high quality special education teachers in APS.

Application for 2023-24 Term is Open

Class Begins: Fall 2023
Best consideration: January 17, 2023
Early Acceptance: February 15, 2023
Application closing date: April 15, 2023

Apply Now

Information Sessions

Please participate in one of our information sessions.

Roles of the Collaboration

The Special Education Teacher Training supported pathway is possible through the collaborative relationship between APS, CNM, and ATF.

Image of Albuquerque Public Schools logo. APS oversees the implementation of the program in alignment with the partner agreements.

Image of CNM’s Special Education Teacher training logo. CNM facilitates the placement and education of Teacher Candidates.

Image of Albuquerque Teachers Federation logo. ATF sustains the partnership work in conjunction with the APS Board of Education. 

All three entities work closely to support each other and the Teacher Candidate to ensure recruitment and placement of high-quality educators who will bring skill, caring, and passion to complex, special education classrooms.

CNM black Special Education Teacher Training.jpg

The SETT alternative teacher licensure program provides Teacher Residents (TRs) with the opportunity to co-teach with a master teacher in a K-12 special education setting for a full year, learning the art of lesson planning, effective and appropriate pedagogy, managing a variety of situations in the classroom, and special education case management.

Being a special education teacher is a highly rewarding and meaningful profession in high need in our community. Our program is looking for diverse community members who want to give back and make a difference in the lives of student who are too often left behind.

Our program has five core values:

  • Critically Reflective Practice
  • Professionalism
  • Diversity
  • Multicultural Perspective
  • Collaboration

Program Information

Teacher residents will apply for placement in the program by completing:

  • A CNM application,
  • A SETT program application
  • Transcript analysis, and
  • An interview.

Classes begin in the Fall semester. Teacher residents will apprentice Monday-Wednesday and Fridays with their Cooperating Teachers. Thursday will be a release day from APS that allow students to take their CNM teacher preparation classes during the school day.

This is a cohort program and the students will move through the classes and training together creating strong teaching relationships with the graduates of the program. The course work is a rigorous study of the foundations of special education, curriculum and assessment, classroom and individual behavior management, and literacy instruction.

After co- teaching for a full year Teacher residents will also complete course work in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) endorsement over the following summer. The next fall successful candidates will run their own classrooms will receiving ongoing supervision from CNM faculty and APS mentor teachers.

More details about the program can be found on the Program Information and Timeline page.


  • Earn Level-1 APS salary with full benefits
  • Assistance in applying for grants/scholarships to pay for special education licensure and TESOL endorsement coursework
  • Layered levels of support and mentorship for two years
  • Guaranteed employment with successful completion of the program


To qualify for the SETT program, teacher candidates must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university
  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Successfully complete APS and NMPED background checks 
  • Agree to work as a special education teacher in APS for three years

Information Sessions

Information sessions about the Alternative Teacher License for Special Education. Learn about how to sign up, the advantages of our program and how to get financial aid. The meeting will be about an hour.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 6 p.m.

  • Meeting ID: 926 7502 4501
  • Passcode: 865628

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