COVID-19 Updates
Updated July 6, 2020

Cambridge College will continue remote learning and teaching through Fall 2020-2021 term. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community are important to us. Please see our updates regarding COVID-19.

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CAGS in Educational Leadership / Curriculum & Instruction - Non Licensure

  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    CAGS in Educational Leadership

Program Description

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Educational Leadership is a post-master’s option designed for educators to advance their knowledge and skills specific to leadership in P-12 schools and districts. The focus is to advance teaching and learning through school transformation, with a concentration in school administration or curriculum. The program is based on standards upheld by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council and follows the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (ESE) Professional Standards for Administrators. Emphasis is on the role power and politics play in schools and districts along with research skills and data analysis required to support and advance caring, competent, and qualified teachers and school leaders.

All students who enter CAGS must select a concentration and submit a signed Declaration of Intent by the end of their first term of enrollment. All students must consult the program chair and have their approval prior to submitting the Declaration of Intent.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates: (a) demonstrate the knowledge and ability to create a physically and emotionally safe school environment, (b) demonstrate a knowledge of and sensitivity to school and system organization; (c) understand that improving teaching and learning is an intricate process that requires a willingness to change, an educational vision, and persuasive communication; (d) pursue action research and data collection to inform decision making and create meaningful professional development for faculty; and (e) explore technology, inclusive strategies for reaching a diverse student body, and develop skills in teaching students with special needs and those for whom English is a second language. As a result, graduates perceive their educational setting as part of a larger system and are able to identify workable solutions for positive change supportive of teaching and learning.


Graduates enter into leadership positions in educational settings that do not require licensure.  In addition, they move into central office positions.

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


For more information, please contact Admissions at 1-800-829-4723.


Term 1
Foundations of Social Science Research
ECL 800 3 credit(s)
The information in this course supports the research design and analysis of data for completion of the Action Research Project. The emphasis is on familiarizing students with methods of research and data analysis. Examples of quantitative and qualitative methods are presented. Students explore techniques used in the identification of research problems, the formulation of hypotheses, the construction and use of data-gathering instruments, the design of research studies, and utilization of statistical procedures. Students will learn commonly used statistical procedures, including introductory computer applications for data analysis. Each student designs an Action Research Project which includes: identifying a topic relevant to his or her field, conducting a literature review, and writing an introduction, a purpose statement, method and procedure. School administrators write a school improvement plan. Special educators write a program implementation plan. Professionals in curriculum and instruction develop a curriculum development plan. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Instructional Leadership: Supervision & Admin. of Ed. Personnel
ECA 725 3 credit(s)
Educational leaders in all roles must see their purpose as improving student learning. This course focuses on practices that curriculum leaders can use to create a culture where all educators see their role as improving student learning. Best practices in formative and summative evaluation of staff are investigated. Students learn methods and laws connected with the selection, hiring, support and dismissal of staff. Particular attention is given to the role of professional development and its implementation, including mentoring for new teachers. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Learning Theories and Instructional Design
ECC 708 3 credit(s)
This course for experienced educators provides a forum to examine a wide range of learning theories. Students learn instructional designs using a models that is both robust and flexible, making them appropriate for use throughout K-12. Students explore behavioral, cognitive, and constructivist theories, and balance new discoveries with older theories that are still relevant. In addition, students examine developments in collaborative and cooperative learning as they relate to the design process. Using concepts from their own curriculum, students complete an instructional design project. Students then present their projects to the class, explaining their experience with the particular design process used and share the learning theories incorporated into the design. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Term 2
Advanced Graduate Research Seminar
ECL 801 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite ECL800. Students begin implementing their research designs that were created and approved in ECL800. They systematically organize inquiries demonstrating connections between theory and professional practice in an organization or school setting. Students design and implement quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies as they apply research theory to gathering, analyzing, and summarizing data that will inform policy and leadership decision-making in the workplace. Students receive ongoing support during research and have a learning environment that helps them develop their projects successfully. This seminar serves as a learning lab, allowing students to experience peer learning and support. Students discuss their research designs, share resources, questions, ideas, and concerns, and sense one another’s progress. Students complete a culminating capstone learning project in the form of an Action Research Project or a program evaluation. Capstone projects are presented to the class for review.
Advanced Leadership
ECL 802 3 credit(s)
This advanced leadership issues course merges leadership theory with practice to examine leadership roles in educational settings. Using case studies and problem-solving techniques, students actively examine a wide variety of current leadership issues that impact the ability of educational institutions to fulfill their public trust. State and professional educational leadership standards are examined. Topics include practical considerations of collective bargaining, managing student and staff diversity, budgeting, legal issues, and implementing school reforms from the perspective of an educational leader. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Curriculum Design and Renewal for the 21st Century
ECC 705 3 credit(s)
This course explores the issues and problems that curriculum leaders face when trying to develop, implement, and evaluate curriculum for elementary, middle, and high schools. Participants examine existing curriculum models and approaches to curriculum renewal and discuss current concerns faced by curriculum developers. Special focus is placed on building a knowledge of research on effective approaches to curriculum change; identifying and understanding key issues in curriculum development; developing leadership skills for K-12 school settings; and examining challenges of leadership in curriculum development. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Term 3
Advanced Technologies in Education
ECL 803 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the impact of a worldwide information intensive society on education policy and planning. Students study practical and theoretical issues pertaining to educational technologies. The course surveys practical applications for managing organizational information systems and databases. From a theoretical perspective, it focuses on using new technologies to serve various pedagogical philosophies and the impact of new technologies on instructional design, teaching and school reform. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Effective Schools
ECA 704 3 credit(s)
This course helps students acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of the concept of effective schools and related theories and ideas. Participants develop a definition of an effective school and identify the dimensions and factors that characterize effective schools. This is accomplished by examining the research findings and personal reflections of noted educators. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of teachers, parents, and students in the school administrator’s conceptualization of an effective school. Students use a variety of stimulating and helpful case studies to examine how theory is translated into practice, as they develop and test their own convictions about the values that shape the life of an effective school. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Educational Leadership Practicum I: Curriculum & Instruction
ECC 805 3 credit(s)
150 hours. Prerequisites: ECL800 and ECL801. This is the first half of a 300-hour individually structured field experience in a school setting that emphasizes a commitment to continued learning. This practicum is completed in the third semester and provides opportunity for experienced professionals to become fully immersed in examining how theory and practice interact in the design, implementation and assessment of curriculum development. Attendance at four seminar sessions is required during the practicum. The seminars, combined with the field experience, focus on current issues in the students’ practicum sites. With a cooperating practitioner, students design learning opportunities consistent with their professional development goals for leadership in curriculum and instruction. The seminar advisor must approve the design. Students continue work on their Action Research Project, begun in ECL800 and 801, with a focus on conducting such research at the school site.
Term 4
Applied Action Research Project: Curriculum and Instruction
ECC 807 1 credit(s)
This course, taken in the student’s last term, requires the student to complete the Action Research Project, a program implementation or curriculum development plan, and present the results in a public presentation to students.
Advanced Leadership in Policy and Practice
ECL 804 3 credit(s)
This course explores the educational policy making process at the federal, state and local level. Students examine the educational leader’s role in policy design, advocacy and formulation. Simulations and scenarios from class members, practitioners and research are used to inform the creation of educational policy in complex situations involving competing constituencies. Leadership skills are challenged by the opposing perceptions of stakeholders vying for scarce resources and by the need to identify an appropriate theoretical context from which to work toward policy formation to solve problems. Students gain skills in identifying educational issues in the context of practical problems, and to strategize, implement, and assess policy outcomes that directly impact teaching and learning environments. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Assessment, Developing and Evaluating Curriculum
ECC 710 3 credit(s)
All educational leaders regardless of their position within a school system should have the ability to lead instruction. This course provides a better understanding and practices related to the real-world application of instructional leadership in regard to curriculum. The course strengthens the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of educators as instructional leaders, and provides practice in identifying and researching current and emerging curricular issues. Beginning with the premise that instructional leaders are essential in creating thoughtful learning communities of adults and students, this course focuses on the standards of leadership, models of curriculum designs that promote achievement for all students, data to inform decisions about instruction, and current issues that impact teaching and learning. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Educational Leadership Practicum II Curriculum & Instruction
ECC 806 2 credit(s)
150 hours. Prerequisite: ECC805 and completion of all concentration courses, or permission of the coordinator. This course is a continuation of ECL805 and requires attendance at four seminar meetings. During this course, students work to complete the Action Research Project.

Program Chair

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required for admission into non-licensure programs.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

Program Requirements

  • Official transcript of earned bachelor's degreee from regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  • Current Résumé  
  • Personal Statement  
  • Two Professional Recommendations 
  • MA Educator Documentation from the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) website:
    • Initial or professional license in Massachusetts. See also license-specific requirements.
    • Massachusetts Educator Personnel ID  (MEPID number).
    • MTEL Communication & Literacy Test, successfully completed.
    • Fingerprinting and Criminal Offender Record Information

FOR MORE COMPLETE INFORMATION see School Requirements link below.

Health Requirements for Massachusetts Students

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.


School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Education

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit

Graduate program applicants, please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more.

Undergraduate program applicants, once you are accepted, your official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit.



  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $3,415 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of July 2019, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more

Take the Next Step Toward Your Advanced Graduate Certificate