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Master's (M.Ed.) Elementary Education & PA State PreK-4 Certification

Master's Degree Program Elementary Education
Master's Degree Program Elementary Education

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Meet our faculty

  • Application requirements: Two letters of recommendation, undergrad and graduate (if applicable) transcripts, personal statement, undergraduate coursework audit by content area specialist in the certification area, and résumé
  • Deadline(s): April 15 for summer semester summer, July 15 for fall semester start, December 15 for spring semester start
  • Course Requirements: 14 courses (42 credits) including the PreK-4 Level 1 PA Teacher Certification
  • Typical Course Load: Fall (2-3 courses), Spring (2-3 courses), Summer (3-4 courses)
  • Time to Completion: Typically 2 years 
  • Practical Experience Component: Student teaching in the last semester (only for those looking for additional certification)
  • Alumni Current Positions: Kindergarten and elementary school teachers

Overview

Lehigh University’s Master’s degree in Elementary Education with Pennsylvania certification in Pre-Kindergarten through 4thgrade is designed for the college graduate who pursued a field other than education and now seeks to become a certified elementary school teacher. 

Working with talented, dedicated faculty, Master’s candidates learn the best practices for teaching all children, including English language learners and pupils with special needs. Candidates must take a minimum of 14 courses (42 credits) for the Master of Education and PreK-4 Level 1 Teacher Certification in Pennsylvania. A dual certification option in Special Education (PreK-8) or English as a Second Language (ESL) is available for additional course work of 12 credits.

Prospective educators can start the program in any semester, with admissions deadlines of July 15 for the fall semester, Dec. 15 for a spring semester start and April 15 for summer semester. 

Application requirements include completing an online application and providing undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate transcripts. Applicants must have achieved at least a 3.0 grade point average as an undergraduate. They should supply two letters of recommendation (academic or professional), a personal statement and an acknowledgement of the College of Education policy on background clearances. 

Full-time students can complete the program in two years. A typical course load for such students is three courses in the fall, three in spring and three or four in the summer. There is an option for a part-time course load. 

Candidates learn elementary curricula and the most effective methods for working with students of different abilities and backgrounds. Additionally, they are trained in the basic principles of research and testing and techniques for gathering and analyzing educational data. 

The prospective educators are required to do fieldwork for their classes and complete a full semester – spring or fall – of student teaching in a classroom as the culmination of the program. Lehigh’s College of Education certification office makes the placement. 

Opportunities

Once teachers are certified in Pennsylvania, that certification has reciprocity in most states. Educators who have completed Lehigh’s program teach in almost every state in the United States as well as overseas. 

Rising school enrollments and teacher retirements have contributed to a teacher shortage in Pennsylvania and around the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting that the number of teaching positions for kindergarten and elementary school teachers will rise by 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, adding about 116,300 jobs. 

Curriculum

COURSE NUMBER COURSE NAME CREDITS
Core Course Work (21 credits)  
SPED 332 Education and Inclusion of Individuals with Special Needs 3
TLT 380 Child Development and Cognition  3
TLT 404 Diversity, Families, and School Collaborations in K-12 3
TLT 405 Principles and Applications of K-12 Assessment 3
TLT 407 Instructional Design for K-12 Classrooms 3
TLT 409 K-12 Classroom Environment and Management 3
TLT 411 Early Childhood Education 3
Development of Professional Skills (18 credits)  
TLT 412  Social Studies in PreK through 4th Grade 3
TLT 420 Reading and Literacy in PreK through 4th Grade 3
TLT 422 Language Arts in PreK through 4th Grade 3
TLT 426 Science in PreK through 4th Grade  3
TLT 428 Mathematics and Numeracy in PreK through 4th Grade 3
SPED 465 Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-12 3
Extended Field Experience (3 credits)
TLT 444 General Education Student Teaching and Seminar  3
Additional coursework to add dual certification in Special Education PreK-8 (12 credits)  
SPED 418  Alternative Curricular Approaches  3
SPED 419 Academic Interventions: PreK-8 3
SPED 432 Positive Behavior Support 3
SPED 452 Assessment in Special Education 3
Extended Field Experience (3 credits)  
Dual certification in PreK-4 and Special Education PreK-8 will require the following to replace TLT 444 above:
TLT 442 General Education and Special Education Student Teaching and Seminar 3

Pennsylvania Department of Education Requirements for Teacher Certification

It is important for individuals considering teaching as a career to be aware of the fairly rigorous academic, health, and personal character requirements for teacher certification that are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for teacher candidates statewide: 

Course descriptions can be found in the course catalog.

Application Requirements & Deadlines