Lehigh Valley Colleges & Universities

Education opportunities in the region

Lehigh Valley has been a center for education since the mid-1700s. The region boasts exceptional pre-K, primary, secondary, technical, and post-secondary schools that prepare students for future success. More than 40 early learning programs have earned the highest rating for quality from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ voluntary evaluation program, Keystone STARS.

Public education in Pennsylvania is community-based: Lehigh Valley has 17 school districts that provide education for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Lehigh Valley also has private, parochial, and charter schools, giving parents a variety of educational choices for their children. One local school, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2018. Many high schools offer options for qualifying students to earn college credits by attending courses at the region’s colleges and universities. Three career and technical education schools are aligned with the region’s high schools and provide students with quality skills-based training for a wide range of in-demand jobs.

Lehigh Valley is home to 11 colleges and universities that award more than 10,000 degrees annually from prestigious private colleges like Lehigh University and Lafayette College, state universities such as Kutztown University, and two community colleges, including Northampton Community College. Looking for a college that pre-dates the American Revolution (Moravian University) or a premier private research university, Lehigh Valley is the place to learn.

Whatever your educational interests and needs, Lehigh Valley is a great place to learn. Whether you’re looking to explore performance, visual, or digital art, you’ll find the resources in Lehigh Valley. Performing arts thrive with nationally-recognized organizations including the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University and Muhlenberg College’s theatre and dance programs. Catch a show at one of the region’s outstanding venues or sign up for a workshop with a visiting artist. Younger performers will find a wide array of education opportunities including the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre and the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley.

On a high school level, the FREDDY Awards recognize outstanding achievement in musical theater performances by Lehigh Valley area students. Hosted at the State Theatre Center for the Arts in Easton, this annual celebration offers scholarship programs for those looking to continue their education in the performing arts.

The Baum School of Art in Allentown and Banana Factory in Bethlehem offer hundreds of classes, workshops, and programs in art and design for children and adults. Try your hand at specialties including pottery, digital design, hot glass work, photography, and more. Classes range from short workshops to longer, continuing opportunities.

High school athletics have a large following with schools gaining success in both regional and state-wide competition. At the collegiate level, Lehigh Valley institutions participate in various levels of NCAA competition. Regional athletics carry traditions across generations as well; the annual meeting of Lehigh University and Lafayette College is recognized as the most-played college football rivalry.