Ever since she was a little girl, Lauren Christman '13 has wanted to be a schoolteacher. So when she found out about Lehigh's five-year education program, she knew she found the right school.
"Once I learned about Lehigh's education program, I knew that's what I wanted to do," Christman says. "The ability to graduate in five years with my master's in education as well as a bachelor's degree in any academic area was something that appealed to me very much. It's a great opportunity that will put me one step ahead for my career."
The Five-Year Bachelor's plus Master of Education and Teacher Certification Program allows students to major in a discipline of their choice in any of Lehigh's three undergraduate colleges and, with a few extra courses in the School of Education, graduate in five years with a bachelor's degree, master's degree and certification to teach in a Pennsylvania public school.
Christman is pursuing a bachelor's degree in theatre in addition to a master's degree in elementary education. The two disciplines are complementary. "A classroom, in many respects, is like a theater or a stage," she explains. "As a teacher, you are presenting your material to students to get your point across, much like what a director or actor does with a show. With teaching, presenting material in a fun and exciting way helps students learn and become engaged in the material and theater classes can definitely help with that."
"Lehigh's undergraduate teacher education program is a great opportunity that will put me one step ahead for my career."
Christman says she chose Lehigh because she wanted the "entire college experience." She adds, "I decided to come to Lehigh because of its excellent reputation as well as the sense of community on campus. Lehigh is like one large family that will do anything in its power to help its students succeed."
Outside the classroom, she is active in Leadership Lehigh, a four-year program that gives students the knowledge and skills to be successful leaders on campus, in the community and in their future professions. They attend lectures and conferences, complete community service projects and go on retreats and outdoor adventures. In the program, Christman has challenged herself and learned more about her own strengths and weaknesses.
"Through Lehigh, I have been able to experience a great balance of academics and activities," she says. "Because of this, I know that I am prepared for the real world and real life experiences."
On the Record
What is your favorite residence hall and why? Lower Centennial because of its small size: everyone gets really close and forms great friendships.
What is your favorite class and why? Intro to Acting because you are on your feet, not only exercising your body but using your mind in a way that is different from a typical classroom.
What word best describes Lehigh? Community