M.Ed. Special Education and Special Education PreK-12 PA Teacher Certification, PACE program

Quick Facts

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Meet our faculty!

  • Eligibility: Must possess a Bachelor's degree in any field, work within a PK-12 setting in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and teach students with disabilities.
  • Application requirements: Online application, transcripts, minimum GPA of 3.0 (undergraduate)*, two letters of recommendation, essay, proof of English language proficiency. *If you do not meet the miniumum GPA requirement, please contact coe-admissions@lehigh.edu. 
  • Deadline:  July 15 for fall start, December 15 for spring start and April 15 for summer start. The application and all supporting materials are due by the listed deadlines. 
  • Course Requirements: 11 courses (33 credits)
  • Typical Course Load: 1st Summer 1 (3 courses), Fall (3 courses)**, Winter (1 course), Spring (3 courses)**, 2nd Summer (2 courses) **Fall and spring semesters include 2 content courses and 1 student teaching course.
  • Time to Completion: 15 months, but varies depending on starting semester. Please see the PACE course schedule here
  • Application fee waiver code for PACE applicants: For questions about applications or to receive an application fee waiver code, please contact coe-admissions@lehigh.edu prior to submission.


Lehigh PACE (Pennsylvania Accelerated Certification for Educators) is a unique opportunity for individuals within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to earn their PK-12 special education certification and a Master's degree in special education in only 15 months. The program is fully online with synchronous class sessions via Zoom so students throughout Pennsylvania can enroll.

Within the program, students will participate in summer field experiences, district mentoring, and ongoing university support throughout student teaching. The program is designed for teachers and paraprofessionals to complete while working full-time within a PK-12 setting. The program uses a cohort model so students can gain support from other educators within the program.

The PACE program is 11 courses, 33 credits total, and results in PK-12 special education certification and a Master's degree in special education upon completion. To be eligible to apply, teachers must (a) hold bachelor's degree in any field, (b) work in a PK-12 setting within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and (c) teach students with disabilities.

Admitted students who do not receive full tuition support from their district will receive six credits of tuition scholarship from Lehigh University, meaning they will only be financially responsible for 27 out of 33 credits. Many districts also offer tuition credits to teachers who are enrolled in a certification program, further reducing costs. Further, all enrolled students will receive the state rate of $516 per credit, which is a substantial tuition discount.

Those wishing to apply should complete the online application and upload a copy of their undegraduate transcripts. Unofficial transcripts may be used for initial application review, but official transcripts are required if an offer of admission is accepted. Personal statements and letters of recommendation are waived for the 2023 cohort.


Course Number Semester Course Name Credits
SPED 332 1st Summer Introduction to Inclusion and Exceptional Education 3
SPED 432 1st Summer Positive Behavior Support 3
SPED 418 1st Summer Alternative Curricular Approaches 3
SPED 452 Fall Assessment in Special Education 3
SPED 419 Fall Intensive Intervention in Reading 3
SPED 420 Fall Student Teaching Field Experience 2
SPED 404 Winter Cultural and Linguistic Diversity 3
SPED 421 Spring Intensive Intervention in Mathematics & Content Area Literacy 3
SPED 465 Spring Advanced Inclusionary Practices K-12 3
SPED 420 Spring Student Teaching Field Experience 1
SPED 411 2nd Summer     Early Childhood Education 3
SPED 423 2nd Summer Supporting Transition for Individuals with Disabilities 3
Total credits   Click here to view the course catalog which provides descriptions of the courses.   33

Questions and Contact Information:

For questions about the program, please contact the Program Director:

Kristi Morin, PhD, BCBA-D
Assistant Professor of Special Education
610-758-3248, pace@lehigh.edu
Lehigh University, College of Education
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015