Commonwealth awarded grant to accelerate special ed teacher certification



Commonwealth University's special education program was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to accelerate programming for PK-12 Special Education Teacher Certification. Commonwealth University was one of 15 universities awarded a portion of the $1.5 million grant.

“These grants will expedite the process of becoming a certified special educator and enable more teachers to enter the field faster,” said acting Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin.

The grant addresses the need for certified special educators across the state and the dramatically increasing number of emergency-certified teachers in the field of special education. The accelerated program includes courses and fieldwork beginning this summer and extending through next summer. The grant will provide graduate-level students working on emergency certifications tuition and fee incentives at the program's beginning, mid-point, and end. 

“This grant funding gives an opportunity for Commonwealth University to be a leader in presenting an accelerated, sustainable model for certification within the context of a Master's level program,” said Dr. Brooke Lylo, associate professor in the Department of Exceptionality Programs.

“We're very excited about the Pennsylvania Department of Education award. Preparing and certifying special education teachers is a high-need area in the education employment sector,” said Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, president of Commonwealth University. “We're grateful for this funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and thank Dr. Mumin and the department for their confidence in special education teacher preparation at our university."

To learn more about the program, contact Dr. Robin Drogan at