The Murphy Institute’s LEAP to Teacher program (LTT) at Lehman College provides a wide range of free support services to help our participants succeed academically and to accomplish their career objectives. The LEAP to Teacher program was started in conjunction with the Department of Education, the United Federation of Teachers and the City University of New York. Keep in mind, however, that you do not have to be pursuing a teaching career to participate in this program.  A career change is another option to consider as you plan to pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree; we can serve as your support system to accomplish your goals.

Academic Programs

Since many paraprofessionals who chose to pursue their education want to remain in the education field, some of our most popular programs and courses are focused in this area. Lehman College has made a strong commitment to the success of our education students as future teachers through the Lehman Urban Transformative Education (LUTE) initiative.

Lehman College offers the Adult Degree Program designed for adult learners. Paraprofessionals can take advantage of this opportunity to obtain their degree.

Selecting a field of study

Choosing a program can be overwhelming. Here is where your LTT Site Coordinator can step in to provide much-needed guidance and direction to make this difficult and critically important decision. Your academic and career journey you with your Leap To Teacher Site Coordinator will start well before the admission process begins and may continue years after you obtain your degree(s).

Undergraduate Studies

Although Lehman College does not offer an undergraduate degree in Education, you may earn your bachelor’s degree in another discipline and apply to the graduate programs in Education at Lehman College.

Graduate Studies

Lehman College has over 20 graduate and advanced graduate educator preparation programs leading to professional certification. One of the most popular Master’s programs is Dual General and Bilingual Special Education (Early Childhood or Childhood). This 48 credit course addresses the shortage of teachers in identified high-needs areas.

Keep in mind that switching to other career field is always an option for our LTT participants. For example, Nursing and Social Work are two of the most popular undergraduate and graduate level programs but there are many more to choose from.

Paraprofessional applicants with a grade-point average between 2.75-3.0 who are interested in childhood special education or early childhood special education may be eligible to apply to Lehman College via the Graduate Application for Non-Degree Admission.

Students who do not intend to be matriculated or complete a teacher preparation program must apply as non-degree students to only take education courses to seek New York State certification through specified pathways. Visit Lehman College’s Graduate Admissions page for more information.

If you would like more information regarding the LEAP to Teacher program, please feel free to RSVP to one of the upcoming open house sessions.

Academic Support

On-Campus LTT Services

The LEAP to Teacher program provides a full range of support services to undergraduate and graduate students. These services may include:

  • Assisting with the admission and registration process to Lehman College
  • Advisement to students to ensure that their college experience is positive and rewarding
  • Assisting with special opportunities including: scholarships, D.O.E Career Training Program (CTP) vouchers and financial assistance
  • Information about NYS requirements for teacher certification and free NYS teacher certification exam preparation workshops.
  • Assisting with Teacher job search
  • Making referrals to appropriate departments
  • Offering pre-admission services such as: essays/personal statement preparation
  • Assistance with GRE registration
  • Sharing professional development opportunities
  • Assisting with assignment comprehension and writing improvement
  • Mentoring
  • Exploring Financial Aid Resources and scholarships
    • LTTP students are advised on an ongoing basis of the range of available financial aid resources, including the TEACH grant for graduate education students, BOCES grant for those pursuing bilingual special education, the Peter Greeman scholarship, the CTP tuition waiver program for undergraduates, and the DoE’s scholarship and tuition reimbursement initiatives for graduate education students.
  • Academic writing support services
    • Short, in-office review of assignments and online review of writing assignments can be provided. Both the Site Coordinator and Consultant meet with students who are struggling with written projects.
    • Light editing and proofreading can be provided for writing assignments along with feedback on overall content and organization.
  • Academic Advising and problem resolution
    • Choosing which classes to take each semester can feel a bit overwhelming. Making sure that you are on the right track can be daunting for students. This is an area that the LTT Site Coordinator can help you as a LTT participant. Coupled with the supervision of your academic advisors, your Coordinator will help you stay on the right path throughout your time as a Lehman College student.

On-Campus LTT Workshops

Writing Improvement workshops

This 8 session workshop focuses on the ‘micro’ or technical aspects of the writing experience, what is commonly called writing mechanics. It does not directly address how to plan, organize and develop large-scale written compositions such as research papers, essays and reports of various kinds. Rather, it concentrates on individual words, phrases and sentences. During this workshop, we will pay very close attention to “nuts and bolts” writing elements such as grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. To apply for this course, please contact your Site Coordinator to complete an application.

Embedded Tutoring

The embedded writing support program was designed to improve the writing skills of LTT students to improve their writing skills and better prepare them to pass the teacher certification designated graduate courses recommended by the Dean and Faculty.The writing specialist works closely with the faculty member teaching the course to be familiar with the course content and assignments. The writing tutor would be in all classes and available to students during class and throughout the week. Individual tutoring sessions focus primarily on writing to the prompt and encouraging students to develop their ideas more fully. Student receive support in revision and understanding that multiple drafts were required to arrive at fully developed prose. The mechanics of grammar and style are addressed when issues came up within their own writing. At the end of each tutoring session, students design approximate plans of action for the coming weeks.

Off-Campus LTT Services

The LEAP to Teacher program offers a variety of free non-credit courses and workshops designed to enhance students’ math and writing skills, and to prepare them for the New York State Teachers Certification Exams.

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) is an approved DASA Training Workshop Provider and through the Murphy Institute’ s LEAP to Teacher Program offers DASA training. The 6-hour training will address the training for harassment, bullying, and discrimination prevention and intervention in schools. After satisfying the requirements, students will receive their DASA certification on their TEACH account. Please visit the DASA training schedule to apply. For more information please contact

New York State Teaching Assistant Certification Exam Preparation Workshop

Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS)

The  Murphy’s LEAP to Teacher Program offers a free 6- week exam preparation workshop for CUNY students who have over 40 credits interested in obtaining the NY State Teaching Assistant Certification and becoming a Teacher Assistant/ Teaching Paraprofessional to provide direct instructional services to students under the general supervision of a certified teacher. The workshop prepares students for taking the New York State Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills test (NYS-ATAS), which is the required test for getting the teaching assistant certification. Please visit the test preparation workshops schedule to RSVP. For more information please contact

Educating All Students (EAS)

The EAS exam preparation workshop focuses on the skills needed to effectively teach diverse populations. Please visit the test preparation workshops schedule to RSVP.

The workshop covers the following topics:

  • Techniques to approach various multiple choice questions
  • Constructing an effective constructed written response
  • Test-taking strategies

Combined Early Childhood and Childhood Multi-Subject (CST)

The CST exam preparation workshop focuses on the strategies required to be successful in the multi subject specialty test for grades K- 6th. Please visit the test preparation workshops schedule to RSVP.

The workshop covers the following topics:

  • Literacy and English Language Arts (Multiple choice and constructed written response)
  • Mathematics (multiple choice and Constructed written response)
  • Arts and Sciences (multiple choice)
  • Test-taking strategies


The edTPA is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system that aspiring teachers must complete in order to become a NYC DOE teacher. It is designed to emphasize, measure, and support the skills and knowledge needed by all teachers in the classroom.

The edTPA assessments, ranging from Pre-K – 12th grade, feature a common set of tasks focusing on Planning, Instruction, and Assessment. This workshop will cover the different tasks that must be completed in order to be successful with your edTPA portfolio. Finally, it will help students understand and use the edTPA handbook and other support materials toward preparing their portfolios.

Please visit the test preparation workshops schedule to RSVP.

The workshop will review:

  • Task 1: Planning for Literacy Instruction and Assessment
  • Task 2: Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning
  • Task 3: Assessing Student Learning
  • Task 4: Assessing Student learning in Mathematics
  • Tips and tricks to use in order to help with a successful edTPA
  • The Do’s and Do-Not’s of your edTPA

Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W) 

The  Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W)  workshop provides an opportunity to master exam strategies in replacement of the edTPA. This workshop will cover the exam format for pre k -6th grade.  As it stands, this exam is being offered during the Spring and Summer semesters in place of the edTPA.​ Please visit the test preparation workshops schedule to RSVP.

The workshop’s format will include:

  • Overview of exam format, scoring etc.
  • Techniques and strategies for answering different kinds of multiple choice questions
  • Written response content, development and organization; successful examples analyzed and discussed
  • Extensive and intensive practice with realistic questions and written response prompts

The Mathematics for Future Teachers Course certificate program is a free course that focuses on how to efficiently teach pre-k and elementary mathematics. Running consecutively on saturdays, students learn the importance of becoming an effective problem solver, how to identify common math misconceptions, as well as getting prepared for the CST exam. Embedded tutoring is also provided. To apply for this course, please contact your LTT Site Coordinator to complete an application.

As a collaborative effort, the LEAP to Teacher Program and the School of Education at CSI organize the annual Mathematics Connection Conference every May. The conference offers: a wide variety of interactive presentations, panel discussions, activities for children, specially designed for teachers and educational students. In collaboration with the UFT, it also offers CTLE hours for most of the presentations. Please contact your LTT coordinator to get more information or email

Notes from Students & Alumni

The benefit that LTT provides to their students is incomparable to any other institution. LTT provides great academic support to all students, in order to help them achieve their goals.

– Mayra Castillo, Lehman College

When I learned about the Leap to Teacher program, I said to myself “OMG. This is exactly what I need.” This program guided me through my education process. On many occasions, as students, we struggle because of the lack of information or skills. The LTT program provided me with the information and support I need to succeed in my career. I feel so fortunate for the encouragement and support, not only from the Leap to Teacher program at Lehman College, but also the writing courses and workshops offered at the Murphy Institute. Without their support, I don’t think I would have got this far. Right now, I’m pursuing my Masters in Special Education with a Bilingual Extension and I feel confident that I will reach my goal, thanks to the support of LTT program.

– Belkis Rodriguez