School of Education & Counseling

Educational Leadership - CAGS  Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Educational Leadership is a post-Master’s degree option designed for educators to advance their knowledge and skills specific to leadership in PreK-12 schools and districts.

36 - 38 Credits
Starts September 3, 2024


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Program Overview for Educational Leadership Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies

The Cambridge College Educational Leadership CAGS advances teaching and learning through school transformation, with a concentration on leadership in school administration or curriculum.

The program is based on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Professional Standards for Administrators.

All students who enter the CAGS program select a concentration — school administration or curriculum — and the type/level of licensure in Massachusetts, if desired. Students submit a signed Declaration of Intent by the end of their first term of enrollment indicating their choice. Students must consult the program chair and have their approval prior to submitting the Declaration of Intent.

Courses in this certificate program are taught in a hybrid format through a mix of on-campus (in Boston), scheduled remote (Zoom) and online (asynchronous) classes.

Program Highlights for Educational Leadership Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies

The post-Master's in Educational Leadership certificate program emphasizes the role power and politics play in schools and districts with a focus on social justice, along with research skills and data analysis required to support and advance caring, competent and qualified teachers and school leaders who create rigorous and culturally responsive teaching and learning environments. In this program, students will learn how to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of and sensitivity to school and system organization
  • Understand that improving teaching and learning is an intricate process that requires a willingness to change, an educational vision and persuasive communication
  • Pursue action research and data collection to inform decision making and create meaningful professional development for faculty
  • Explore technology and inclusive strategies for reaching a diverse student body
  • Develop skills in teaching students with special needs and those for whom English is a second language

As a result of evidence-based instruction and culturally responsive teaching and learning, graduates perceive their educational setting as part of a larger system and are able to identify and end historic patterns of racial inequity within that system. They effectively implement plans, procedures, routines, budgets, and operating systems, including technology, that are equitable and honor all students' backgrounds, eliminate bias, and address the full range of safety, health and social-emotional needs of students.

Licensure Requirements

The licensure program satisfies Massachusetts licensure requirements, based on current regulations. If you have any questions about the requirements, please speak to the program chair.

Outside of Massachusetts, this program is currently available as non-licensure only.

CAGS in Educational Leadership Tuition Information

Cost Per Credit
Total Program Tuition
Cost Per Credit$806
Credits* 36 - 38 credits
Total Program Tuition $29,016 - $30,628

*See curriculum sheet for a breakdown of credits and credit ranges.

Prospective graduate degree students for programs in the School of Education & Counseling must satisfy the following requirements plus any program-specific requirements your program may have.

  1. Complete and sign the online application.
  2. Pay the application fee. Pay your $50 ($100 for international students) application fee by the term start date.
  3. Send official transcripts. Maildirectly to Cambridge College in a sealed, unopened envelope. Learn How to Send Transcripts. Required degrees must be from accredited colleges or universities.
    • Master's and most graduate certificate programs require an earned bachelor's degree.
    • Post-master's certificates and CAGS require an earned master's degree.
    • International transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an approved agency. See all international student requirements
  4. Send your résumé and work experience. Send your resume that details your education and work experience, including how they pertain to your career goals. If your SEC program has a work experience requirement, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  5. Submit your personal statement. Write a 500-word, typed, double-spaced essay describing your professional experience, goals and objectives for graduate study. How do you expect your graduate studies to enhance your future career?
  6. Include two professional recommendations (not required for fully online programs). These should address your professional character and ability to perform graduate work. Download Applicant Recommendation Form
  7. Interview (required for some programs). If your program requires an interview, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  8. Satisfy Health Insurance & Immunization requirements. (Massachusetts only). These are required only for graduate students taking six or more credits per term in Massachusetts through on-campus or hybrid classes. Health insurance may be waived.

Teacher Licensure Program Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above, our Teacher Licensure Programs have these additional requirements:

  1. Earned bachelor's degree with 3.0 or higher GPA.
  2. MA Educator Documentation from the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website. Keep copies of all documents submitted and, upon admission, post in your electronic portfolio:
    1. Massachusetts Educator Personnel ID (MEPID number)
    2. MTEL Communication & Literacy Test, successfully completed.

Required if completed:

  • Massachusetts preliminary license, if held
  • Sheltered English Instruction requirement
  • Fingerprinting and Criminal Offender Record Information

Applicants who do not initially meet all requirements (e.g. GPA of 3.0 or MTEL) for admission into their chosen licensure program must enroll in the corresponding non-licensure degree option. Students who achieve a 3.0 GPA upon completion of the first three SEC courses, pass the MTELs, and now meet all requirements, may request a change of program.

Disclosures: For all Licensure Programs

  • Licensure requirements are subject to change per Massachusetts regulations. All Cambridge College licensure programs are based on current regulations.
  • All candidates admitted for licensure programs must successfully complete the program in its entirety.
  • All requirements at the time of program completion must be finalized prior to seeking Massachusetts endorsement for licensure purposes.
  • If you have any licensure questions, please speak to your program chair.

Program-Specific Admission Requirements

Principal/Assistant Principal License: Three full years of employment in an executive management/leadership role or in a supervisor, teaching or administrative role in a public school, private school, higher education or other educational setting accepted by ESE. The required employment must be documented by official letter(s) from a supervisor or human resources director.

“The faculty held your hand at the right moments and let you go at the right moments. As soon as I got my degree, I was ready to go. Principals of different districts actually reached out to me because my professors had recommended me.”

Matthew Aronian, Asst. Principal, Adjunct Professor
Graduate, CAGS, School Administration / Educational Leadership

Careers in Educational Leadership

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, the average salary for education administrators in the U.S. was $99,870.* However, Boston is one of the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest level of employment for this occupation. Elementary, middle school and high school principals working in Boston, Massachusetts, earn an average of $117,980 per year.**


Average annual salary for education administrators in the U.S.*


Average annual salary for education administrators in Massachusetts**

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, 11-9039 Education Administrators, All Other, (visited December 28, 2023).

**Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 11-9032 Education Administrators, Kindergarten through Secondary, on the Internet at (visited December 28, 2023).

Jobs in Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership program graduates enter into the full range of school leadership positions in public, private and charter schools, as well as in corporate and community education. Positions held include:

  • Teacher-leaders
  • Coaches
  • Department chairs
  • Assistant principals
  • Principals

In addition, graduates may hold positions at the district level as coordinators and directors.

An administrator license is required for employment half-time or more as director, department head or curriculum specialist.

Faculty Spotlight

David L. Flynn

David L. Flynn

PhD, MA, MEd, BS

Program Coordinator, Educational Leadership and Senior Instructor

David L. Flynn Ph.D. is a Massachusetts educator who has served in both the public and private sectors of the profession. He began his career as an English teacher at both the high school and middle school levels and moved on to administrative positions, working as a high school principal in two communities. He also served as a school superintendent in Marlborough, MA for thirteen years. He was subsequently employed by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as the Director of the...