M.Ed. Educational Urban Leadership + K-12 Principals Certification - U*PAL

The Urban Principals Academy at Lehigh (U*PAL) Master's degree in Educational Leadership is designed for individuals who work within the educational environments in small to midsize urban public schools (traditional or charter). It serves as the foundation for individuals pursuing a principal's position in an urban environment. The program places an emphasis on the broad topics of leadership, management, curriculum, and student learning. Special emphasis is given to developing visionary, creative public school leaders in urban settings.

U*PAL is a 37 credit Educational Leadership Master’s degree program. Students participate over the course of 14 months with attendance at Lehigh occurring over two 5-week summer sessions. U*PAL believes in rigorous research but not in research papers. Instead, working in teams, our aspiring school leaders develop creative and engaging approaches to demonstrating what skills and knowledge they have acquired. The remainder of the program takes place on-line during the regular school year. At that time, our students take an online course in the fall and another in the spring while doing their usual jobs as well as an 360 hour Administrative Internship. 

This program’s focus on differentiated instruction, uses fully integrated coursework, and emphasizes the principal as the instructional leader. This emphasis emerges through instruction that prioritizes self-reflection, balance, trust, defining a critical leadership edge, social and emotional development, creativity, and imagination.

The Master’s degree program and Principal Certification K-12 requires a minimum of 37 credit hours allocated across specific areas of concentration:

  • Organizational Leadership

  • Leadership and Management Functions

  • Curriculum and Supervision

  • Research

  • Addressing the Needs of Diverse Learners

The Master’s program also serves as the foundation to Lehigh’s various Educational Leadership certification programs and the Ed.D. program. Read more here

Sir Ken Robinson Met with UPAL Lead, Jon Drescher and Education students
What’s important, he said, is the relationship between teachers and their students. He cautioned against becoming fixated on raising standards in literacy and math. Instead, he said, “understand the conditions under which these things improve…When you get fixed on the problem and ignore the context of it, it’s very hard to solve it.”