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School of Education - George Mason University

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Designed for educators who already hold both a valid teaching license and a master's degree from a regionally accredited university, the graduate certificate is designed to fulfill Virginia requirements for licensure in administration and supervision PK–12.

Learning opportunities are presented in large- and small-group discussions, on-the-job training, case studies, lectures, simulations, problem-based activities, and internship experiences. Graduates are well-positioned for senior leadership roles in public or private PK–12 school and district administrations.

More About the Program

The 24-credit graduate certificate in education leadership is designed to prepare candidates for leadership and management positions in a variety of educational settings. The program emphasizes an understanding of the complexities of change in schools, communities, and organizations. Participants develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to create and maintain learning environments that value diversity, continual knowledge acquisition, innovative and ethical decision-making, reflective practice, and success for all learners.

Who Should Apply?

Ideal candidates are interested in pursuing school- or district-level administrative leadership positions and are:

  • invested in improving instruction and student achievement;
  • self-directed and focused on connecting theory to practice;
  • prepared to engage in scholarly and professional dialogue through collaboration;
  • committed to life-long learning;
  • willing to embrace a disposition for advocacy, integrity, intellectual curiosity, and responsibility for one’s own learning.

Why Mason?

  • Mason’s Education Leadership Program is supported by a large faculty comprised of professors with impressive backgrounds as researchers and current and former district-level leaders. Each has a genuine interest in developing your potential to positively impact PK–12 student learning.
  • A selective admissions process means you’ll learn alongside colleagues who are experienced, high-performing educators. Your fellow students will become part of a professional network that lasts a lifetime.
  • The program is nationally recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation, and all coursework is aligned with the National Educational Leadership Preparation Program Recognition Standards.
  • The program includes all course work required for Virginia licensure in administration and supervision PK–12.
  • Mason is a great value, with in-state graduate tuition among the lowest of comparable institutions.

Program Format and Requirements

  • Classes are offered face-to-face, entirely online, or with hybrid regional cohorts.
  • Most students complete the program in two years.
  • Applicants must have at least two years of documented successful, full-time teaching in an accredited public or independent school and hold a valid teaching license (school counselors, psychologists, and other student services personnel are also eligible).
  • One recommendation should be from a current supervisor and the other from a professional colleague.

Careers in Education Leadership

  • principal
  • assistant principal
  • dean
  • athletic director
  • activities director
  • district-level positions (e.g., curriculum specialist, professional development coordinator, special education director)