CAGS in Educational Leadership / School Administration - Non Licensure

  • Credits: 36 (39 - Supt/Ass't Supt)
  • Degree:
    CAGS in Educational Leadership

Program Description

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) program in Educational Leadership provides opportunities for students to advance their knowledge and skills focused on the leadership issues for improving teaching and learning through school transformation. Students may concentrate on administration, curriculum, or special needs. The program is based on the standards of the Educational Leadership Constituent Council and follows the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Guidelines for the Preparation of Administrative Leaders. Issues regarding the role that power and politics play in the school organization are emphasized, as are research skills and data analysis in order to create competent, caring and qualified school leaders, based on the principles of the Teacher Education Accrediting Council.  This program prepares students for educational settings that do not require licensure.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates demonstrate a knowledge and sensitivity to school and system organization. They understand that improving teaching and learning is an intricate process involving the adoption of change which comes from an educational vision, which administrators must persuasively communicate. CAGS students learn from their action research requirement the power of data to inform decision making, which includes the formulation of meaningful professional development programs for the faculty. These programs include technology training, strategies for reaching a diverse student body, developing skills in teaching special needs students and students who speak English as a second language. Graduates perceive their educational setting as part of a larger system and are able to identify what is needed to create positive change in their own educational setting


Graduates enter into leadership positions in educational settings that do not require licensure. These positions include teacher-leader, department chairman, assistant principal and principal. In addition, they may also move into the central office positions of coordinator, director, assistant superintendent and superintendent.


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


Research and Leadership Core Courses
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Concentration Courses: School Administration
School Management and the Law
ECA 701 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the understanding of the local, state and federal laws which guide the successful administration and management of a comprehensive school system including fiscal responsibilities and collaborative structures. Attention is also paid to federal and state laws and issues associated with collective bargaining. Particular emphasis is given to Massachusetts laws relevant to education including the Education Reform Act of 1993, NCLB, its revisions and other such laws. Students will examine legal issues to develop understandings and skills needed to be an effective school administrator during these times of challenging change. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Managing Financial Resources
ECA 703 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on fiscal management issues in schools and school systems. Specific topics include financial accounting, preparation and interpretation of financial statements, financial analysis and accounting, budgeting, cost containment, and strategic planning. Proposition 2 1/2 of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts foundation budget process and such financial support structures and funding formulas will also be examined. The financing of charter, choice and voucher programs will be studied as well as importance of and the methods for addressing issues of plant and equipment maintenance. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Meeting the Challenge of School Restructuring
ECC 707 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the practice of continual school renewal. Emphasis is placed on building the collaborative relationships necessary to bring about significant school change that leads to school improvement. Participants focus on building strong teams within the school community and on techniques for problem solving and negotiation leading to positive outcomes for all parties. Participants also explore methods for effectively communicating with various stakeholders who impact student learning. 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.
Additional Course for Supt/Asst Supt

Program will total 39 credits.

Advanced Systems Theory
ECA 720 3 credit(s)
It is essential that educational administrators in the central office understand systems theory and the dynamics of complex social entities such as schools and school systems. With knowledge of the system and subsystems that make up the total school organization, a school leader will be able to understand better the impact that decisions have on the entire school organization and therefore manage change more effectively. This course is required for all candidates for the Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent license. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Practicum/Seminar without Licensure

Non-licensure program requirements: All program components are required except the teacher tests. The faculty may provide an alternative assignment to the practicum. Practicum/Seminar is adapted to individual professional needs with approval of faculty advisor, who also provides practicum assignments. No on-site supervision required. Non-licensure students take ECA 805-806 (no letter).

Educational Leadership Practicum II Educational Administration
ECA 806 2 credit(s)
Students who are not seeking administrative licensure but who wish to complete a school administration CAGS are required to complete a two term, non-supervised practicum. This is the second course in the sequence and should be completed in conjunction with the Action Research Project. The student and the research advisor will design an individualized plan, but the College will not assign an on-site supervisor. Students who complete this course will not be eligible for licensure endorsement by Cambridge College.
Action Research Project1
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.


  • Admission Test:

    Passing grade on TOEFL (English language proficiency test) is required for international students.

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

General Requirements

Official Transcript
Two Completed Recommendation Forms
Current Résumé

Personal Statement

Learn more about General Requirements 

State Requirements

College students are required to comply with state laws regarding individual health insurance and immunization. Compliance requirements currently exist for students in Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee. Learn more

International Students – Additional Requirements

International Students will need to complete supplemental documentation when applying. International transcripts must also be translated prior to submission in order to be evaluated for applicability. Learn more about international student requirements.

Transfer Credit Request Form

Only needed if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer credit. Learn more about transferring credits.



  • Credits:
    36 (39 - Supt/Ass't Supt)
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Graduation Fee:
    $110 (charged in last term)

Note: Rates are as of September 2013, 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

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