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Career resources for New Mexico school teachers and administrators

PDD Overview

Note: Effective June 30, 2010, the Public Education Department (PED) will increase the amount for License Application Processing Fee. View the memorandum and new licensure fee structure.
Note: In an effort to provide a more convenient and efficient payment process, the NMPED is now accepting online payments for services provided by the NM Online Licensure system (i.e., PDD, OPAL and Same Level Licensure Renewal submissions). At this time, our manual payment option has been discontinued and all future payments should be submitted using the provided link. If you have any difficulty using the online payment portal, please contact us.

Assessment of Teacher Competency

Advancement to higher levels of teacher licensure in the State of New Mexico is based on the regulations in Title 6, Chapter 69, of the NM Administrative Code. These regulations outline the competencies for each level and set the parameters for the assessment system. Every teacher will submit a Professional Development Dossier (PDD) at the end of three years of successful teaching at Level I in order to advance to Level II. Teachers who seek Level III licensure may submit an additional PDD after their third year of successful teaching at Level II. The Public Education Department has established guidelines to assist teachers in demonstrating essential competencies for advancement to Level II and Level III, as specified in the regulations.

Level II Licensure

A teacher must apply for Level II licensure at the end of three years of successful teaching at Level I, including successful completion of a formal mentoring program in his or her district. Teachers who have obtained a NM teacher license under interstate reciprocity must have at least two years experience teaching in New Mexico before advancing to Level II. A teacher seeking Level II Licensure must submit a PDD compiled according to the Guidelines.

Level III Licensure

A teacher is eligible to apply for Level III licensure upon completion of at least three years of successful teaching at Level II AND achievement of either an approved post-baccalaureate (master's) degree or advanced certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Teachers who have obtained a NM teacher license under interstate reciprocity must have at least two years experience in New Mexico before advancing to Level III.


A teacher applies for both Level II and Level III licensure by completing a Professional Development Dossier (PDD) and submitting it to the designated contractor of the New Mexico Public Education Department.

Submission periods and detailed instructions for submitting the PDD are available from the PDD home page.


The Professional Development Dossier (PDD) is a focused, compact collection of documentation compiled by the teacher seeking licensure advancement with support from her/his school district. The PDD documentation is a collection of classroom data (lesson descriptions, handouts, student work, video and audio recordings, photos) with explanations of that data written by the teacher, accompanied by verification and recommendation by the district superintendent. No one part of the PDD serves to fully represent a teacher's work, but the entire PDD is intended to provide evidence to determine when a teacher is qualified to advance to a higher level of licensure.

The PDD is organized into five strands. These five strands are aligned with the NM Teacher Competencies and are designed to help teachers document their teaching for reviewers from outside their school and district. The booklet, Guidelines for the Preparation of the New Mexico Professional Development Dossier, provides detailed instructions for preparing each strand and for submitting a completed PDD. The strands and the documentation required for each are outlined here:

Strand A. Instruction (Competencies I, II and V)
Strand B. Student Learning (Competencies III, IV, VI and VII)
Strand C. Professional Learning (Competencies VIII and IX)

Strands A, B, and C will be represented by data from the teacher's classroom, explained and organized by the teacher to show how he or she meets the competencies.

Strand D. Verification (Strands A, B, and C will be reviewed only when accompanied by this verification.)

For Level I to II: Superintendent verifies: (1) participation in a district's formal mentorship program; (2) three years successful teaching experience at Level I; and (3) that the dossier is accurate and is the work of the teacher.

For Level II to Level III: 1)Superintendent verifies at least three years successful teaching experience at Level II, and (2) that the dossier is accurate and is the work of the teacher.

Strand E. Evaluation (All Competencies)

Superintendent makes recommendation for advancement, based on:

  • Quality and completion of the candidate's professional development plan (PDP)
  • Verification that measurable objectives were achieved
  • Principal's annual observations of the candidate's classroom practice.

Review of Strands A, B, and C

The Instructional (A), Student Learning (B), and Professional Learning (C) Strands will be evaluated by two reviewers from outside a candidate's district. At least one of the external reviewers will have teaching experience in the same or similar subject area and at the same or similar grade level.

Each of these strands will be rated DOES NOT MEET, MEETS, or EXCEEDS the standard for the level to which the teacher has applied. Reviewers will be trained to ensure fair and reliable ratings, and the two reviewers will rate each strand independently. If both reviewers agree on a rating, that will be the final rating. When reviewers disagree, the final ratings will be determined as follows:

Licensure Advancement

Licensure advancement is awarded when the following criteria are met:

Getting Started

Read all of the Guidelines before you begin. They will help you prepare a dossier that will be easily understood by outside viewers. You may work on and complete the strands in any order, but you will need to carefully organize and order them as instructed in the Guidelines. Because each strand requires some collection of data over different periods of time, it would be helpful to establish a schedule to ensure a timely completion.

PDD Requirements and Guidelines — Guidelines for the Preparation of the New Mexico Professional Development Dossier (PDD) for Teachers


For questions concerning PDD content and preparation, email

For questions concerning technical requirements or difficulty with VisionLink system, including password or login issues:

NM Public Education Department
Professional Development Bureau
300 Don Gaspar, Room 105
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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