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CAGS in Educational Leadership / Special Education Administration

  • Credits for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    CAGS in Educational Leadership
  • Program Approved:
    Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education

Program Description

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) program 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 in one of three concentrations: (1) school administration, (2) curriculum, or (3) special education. 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. Emphasized is 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 type/level of licensure if desired, 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 a knowledge of and sensitivity to school and system organization; (b) understand that improving teaching and learning is an intricate process that requires a willingness to change, an educational vision, and persuasive communication; (c) pursue action research and data collection to inform decision making and create meaningful professional development for faculty; and (d) 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 the full range of school leadership positions in public, private, and charter schools and in corporate and community education. Positions held include teacher-leaders, department chairs, assistant principal, and principal. In addition, graduates hold offices at the district level as coordinators, directors, assistant superintendents and superintendents.

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.
Philosophical and Psycho-Social Foundations of Education
ECS 716 3 credit(s)
Participants study the basic assumptions underlying educational goals, content, and process. They explore the relationship between knowledge, learners, and metacognition. The functioning of educational institutions in their social and cultural milieu is examined from anthropological and sociological perspectives. A school is viewed as a social system. Students examine the influences upon the educational enterprise of the stratification system, youth cultures, race, religion, language, and values. 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.
Advanced Psycho-Educational Assessment & Education Planning
ECS 712 3 credit(s)
Students learn to select, use, and interpret appropriate evaluation techniques, instruments, and technologies. A case study approach is used to administer and interpret formal and informal assessments. The results of various evaluative procedures are used to assess and improve the effectiveness of programs and personnel. Students learn to use developmentally appropriate formal and informal assessments for mild and moderate special needs children. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Term 3

SEI705 required only if needed.

Practicum Prerequisites

  • Signed acknowledgement of area/level of licensure sought
  • Successful completion of all courses with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Unless evidence is submitted that the SEI RETELL or SEI MTEL was successfully completed prior to program admission, all candidates must take the SEI 705 Sheltered English Immersion for School Administrators.
  • Pre-Practicum logs documenting hours embedded in courses appropriate to the area of licensure.
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.
Supervision of Sheltered English Immersion Instruction for Administrators
SEI 705 2 credit(s)

Participants in the Cambridge College Administrator License program will be prepared to effectively serve English language learner students (ELLs). Participating students will be knowledgeable and able to administer, supervise and promote effective classroom strategies that maximize learning for ELLs. Participants in the Cambridge College Administrator License program will evidence an understanding of major trends in the twenty-first century language teaching and recognize the domains of listening, speaking, reading, writing and form focused instruction (grammar) for ELLs.

Administration of Special Education Programs
ECS 713 3 credit(s)
This course uses various service delivery models as they relate to children and young adults with handicapping conditions in a school setting. This course emphasizes facilities and curriculum adjustments, staff roles, methods and content for in-service training, and the use of a team approach. Field trips to observe and evaluate programs may be required. Students become well versed in the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations related to special education. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Practicum/Sem I Special Education Administration (Licensure) 300 Hour
ECS 805S 3 credit(s)
150 hours. Prerequisite: Completion of all course work. Exit Performance Portfolio is required for credit. Students complete field experience in a school setting under the direction of a licensed administrator of special education. They perform a range of administrative activities under the direction of the on-site administrator. This course facilitates the application of theory to practice in a real life situation. Each student maintains a journal and generates an exit portfolio showing the implementation of requisite standards into practice. Students present their research action plans during Seminar II.
Term 4
Applied Action Research Project: Educational Leadership
ECL 807 1 credit(s)
This course, taken in the student’s last term, requires the student to complete the Action Research Project, program implementation or curriculum development plan and present the results in a public presentation to students.
Collaboration and Consultation Techniques
ECS 714 3 credit(s)
This course introduces interpersonal communication skills for working with teachers, outside agencies, and families of students from diverse backgrounds. Students are exposed to political structures and regulations for improving a school and/or community. Students review research findings on public relations programs involving educational systems, businesses, industry, and governmental agencies. This course emphasizes the role of the administrator in developing a comprehensive program of school community relations for the administrative unit. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
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.
Practicum/Sem II Special Education Administration (Licensure) 300 Hrs
ECS 806S 3 credit(s)
150 hours. Prerequisite: Completion of all course work. Exit Performance Portfolio is required for credit. Students complete field experience in a school setting under the direction of a licensed administrator of special education. They perform a range of administrative activities under the direction of the on-site administrator. This course facilitates the application of theory to practice in a real life situation. Each student maintains a journal and generates an exit portfolio showing the implementation of requisite standards into practice. Students present their research action plans during Seminar II.

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 with 3.0 GPA. Please note: 3.0 GPA required for licensure programs but not for non-licensure programs.
  • 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


Required employment outlined below must be documented by official letter(s) from supervisor or human resources director.

Special Education Administration License — Three full years of employment (official letters) and initial license in special education, speech, or language & hearing disorders or relevant experience as a school psychologist, school social worker/school adjustment counselor, and/or school principal/assistant principal in a district, school, or other educational setting.

FOR MORE COMPLETE INFORMATION see School Requirements link below.

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Education


State Health Requirements

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.

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 for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $2,938 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of September 2017, 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

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