Professional Learning

Be the leader they need

Graduate Certificate in School Leadership

The Graduate Certificate in School Leadership (GCSL) provides you with opportunities to enhance your skills as a school leader or aspiring school leader.  

The GCSL is a  flexible, part-time, varied-delivery program that facilitates studying without taking a leave from your career. You will be engaged in authentic tasks and experiences directly linked to school leadership, including a job-embedded learning component in which you will visit, observe, and collaborate with a school leader or leadership team in a school setting of your choice.

The GCSL is a four-course experience designed to develop your leadership capacity in areas such as:

  • Leading a learning community in times of change
  • Providing instructional leadership for increased student engagement
  • Managing school operations and resources
  • Moving policy to practice
  • Modelling continuous professional learning for teachers
  • Supporting the application of foundational knowledge about Indigenous Peoples
  • Understanding the social context of schooling

Courses are provided in face-to-face, online, and blended formats.

The Graduate Certificate meets the academic requirements for principal and superintendent certification in Alberta.

In addition, the Graduate Certificate will laddered into M.Ed. programs such as the Master of Education in Educational Administration and Leadership.

The Graduate Certificate in School Leadership consists of four graduate-level ★3 courses: 2 are required courses, and 2 are chosen from a list of approved electives. 

Courses are provided in a variety of face-to-face, online or blended formats.

Required Courses

EDU 520 Foundations of School Leadership ★3

Explore the foundational dimensions of school leadership including instructional leadership, fostering effective relationships, supporting the application of foundational knowledge about Indigenous Peoples, visionary leadership, leading learning communities, modelling continuous professional learning, developing leadership capacity, understanding the social context influencing schooling, and managing school operations and resources.

EDU 521 School Leadership: Theory into Practice ★3
(prerequisite EDU 520)

Hone leadership practices grounded in research to demonstrate mastery of Alberta’s Leadership Quality Standard (LQS). Includes a job-embedded learning component in which participants visit, observe, and collaborate with a school leader or leadership team in a school setting of their choice, in which the Alberta Program of Studies is offered.

Completion of the required courses fulfills the academic requirements for principal certification in Alberta.

Approved Electives

EDU 523 System Leadership: Theory and Practice ★3 (prerequisite EDU 521)

This course explores the challenges and opportunities afforded by professional practice that is aligned with the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard.  Completion of this course fulfills the academic requirements for superintendent certification in Alberta.

EDU 530 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Issues in School Leadership ★3

Designed for existing or aspiring school leaders, the course explores the history of policy and legislation in relation to First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples in Canada, the current state of First Nation, Metis and Inuit education, and opportunities to conceptualize informed future practice.  

EDU 596 Gender and Educational Leadership ★3

Explore the ways in which concepts of gender, leadership and organizations intersect in the practices of administrators in educational settings. Consider how gender acts as a powerful but often invisible influence on how schools organizae learning experiences, how decisions are made about who does what, how children and young people socialize, and how opportunities are shaped by gender.

EDU 596 Strategic Foresight in School Leadership ★3

This course is designed to examine prevailing leadership theories and practices. Students will engage with emerging approaches to strategic planning and futures thinking that offer alternatives to current models of educational leadership, policy-making and governance. Students will be invited to rethink their role as leaders.

EDU 596 Leading School Operations ★3

This course provides a foundation for school management. Leading school operations requires the ability to effectively manage the school’s financial, material and, most importantly, human resources. The course considers practical tools and best practices to address the opportunities and challenges of leading and managing schools.

Other electives are in development.

Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for the GCSL program, you must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • A four-year baccalaureate degree from a recognized university
    • A minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Two years of teaching experience

International students may apply, but due to the part-time nature and blended delivery format of this program, students are not eligible for Canadian residency if accepted into the program. International students must demonstrate English language proficiency through one of the following:

  • A TOEFL score of 580 (paper-based), (237 computer-based) or a total score of 93 with a score of at least 24 on speaking and writing and 21 on reading and listening (Internet-based)
  • An Academic IELTS overall score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.5 on each band
  • A PTE Academic score of 63

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