Students enrolled in the College of Education have the ability to pursue several programs on both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Undergraduate Five-year program
Although the College of Education is often seen as a graduate college, it also has five-year program students can begin as undergraduates. Students in the program work toward any type of undergraduate degree while also working toward their master’s degree and teacher certification. The certification allows students to become elementary or secondary teachers.
Josh Leight, ’12, switched his major several times before landing on sociology and applying for the five-year program. Leight’s field experiences during his time in the program prepared him for his future. He was able to work with elementary students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School nearby as well as students at Whitehall High School.
“They really gave me a taste and an interest in working with underprivileged kids and students that I felt like I could make a bigger difference in the lives in,” Leight said.
After teaching elementary school for four years, Leight went on to pursue a more administrative path and is now the principal of Pennell Elementary School in Aston, Pennsylvania.
Gaby Montes, ’20, is enrolled in the program for elementary education, as well as an English as a Second Language certification program.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher, so I was looking for schools that offered that five-year option because I discovered it during my college search, and I loved it because you could save a whole year,” Montes said.
This master’s program is tailored for those who have been in the educational workforce already and want to pursue an administrative path. One such person may be a teacher looking to become a principal or a principal who strives to become a superintendent. However, those who graduate with a master’s in educational leadership can also pursue careers as department chairs and deans. The Educational Leadership program enrolls the most students out of all the programs in the College of Education.
A candidate for the School Psychology program might have an undergraduate degree in psychology and would like to enroll in the program to become a school psychologist. Though it could be confused with the Counseling Psychology Program, School Psychology teaches how to conduct tests on students who might need special accommodations.
A student can become certified for school counseling practice through the counseling psychology program. The program’s goal is to prepare students to work one-on-one with students in a therapeutic setting. The program also allows students to practice social and emotional wellness if they plan to go into mental health services. This program is tailored toward those who want to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or achieve a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Certification.
Tom Hammond, the associate dean of the College of Education, said oftentimes, students who enroll in the special education program will become certified for elementary or secondary education first, and then pick up special education. This program requires more specialized training and aims to teach students how to create effective learning environments for those with disabilities.
Renée Reiner, ’19, is enrolled in both the undergraduate program and the special education graduate program. She said she’s always known that she’s wanted to go into teaching, and found Lehigh’s program to be a great fit for her.
“If I went to another school i would have most likely had to just do my undergrad and then apply to another grad school,” Reiner said. “This is just more time efficient.”
Teaching, Learning and Technology
This program combines the training necessary for teacher certification with instructional technology. The instructional technology side of the program is aimed at students who are interested in finding ways to incorporate different uses of technology into an educational setting. Hammond says many students enrolled in Teaching, Learning and Technology work at the LTS center because of the similar skills required. Those who pursue this degree may become technology specialists or teachers with online classrooms.