CAGS in Educational Leadership

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) program in Educational Leadership is designed for professionals in education, or a related field, who have completed a master’s degree and are interested in pursuing advanced-level graduate studies. Choose from one of these options based on your individual interests and goals:

Or design your own CAGS program in Educational Leadership – collaborate with your advisor to design a program of study that includes coursework specific to your educational goals.

Each program requires core CAGS courses, a specialization component, and a capstone course for a minimum of 33 credits. If you are interested in pursuing doctoral studies, 27 of the 33 credits can be transferred into PSU’s doctoral programs.

For more information, visit the Educational Leadership, Learning and Curriculum Department website.

Use the Course Planning Matrix to see when Educational Leadership courses will be offered.

Curriculum Requirements

  • Educational Leadership Component – 18 credits
  • 3
    In this course, students will explore major concepts related to developing partnerships and communities of learners. Course topics include the change process, forms of school and community governance, school culture, the concept of collaboration, and agencies and organizations involved in community programs and initiatives. Special attention is focused on planning and implementing system-wide and building-level networks. Students will develop and evaluate a framework for collaboration and demonstrate systems thinking. Typically the first course completed in the CAGS program.
  • 3
    This course focuses on the development of a self-renewing capability inherent in professionals and organizations. Students will discuss the notion of transformation in the context of knowledge base, self-reflection, and the socio-professional processes in educational change. Students will explore the integration of ecological perspectives within a changing society and the demand for greater tolerance of human behavior in the context of learning. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the need to keep student learning and development as the central core of educational change. Prerequisites: EP 7020 and EP 7040.
  • 3
    The purpose of this course is to develop effective collaborative planners. This course presents the major stages in the process of developing a strategic plan, including forming a mission statement, crafting and implementing the plan, and evaluating plan performance. It provides a theoretical and practical overview of the skills, strategies, and resources required through each stage of the systemic planning process. (Prerequisite: EP 7020).
  • 3
    This course addresses mixed research design methodologies with a particular emphasis on constructing a proposal for a mixed methods study. The course includes theory and practice related to initiating an inquiry; gathering, recording, and analyzing data; and evaluating a study. (Prerequisites: Eligibility for CAGS level coursework, and a graduate level course in research design.)
  • 3
    This course presents a discussion of ways institutions and their communities must deal with the legal and political environment in which they exist. Topics include current legal issues and how the stakeholders in society can use the law as a tool for social change. Institutions must advocate for positive change through the development of thoughtful legal policies and practices. Prerequisite: AD 5700 or SE 5300.
  • 3
    Contemporary social, economical, political, and educational issues are the core of the course. They are identified in a forum that provides opportunities for the students to research current methodology together to address problems that relate to the specific roles of the course participants in their work inside or outside of the educational field. Working collaboratively, course candidates explore short-range and long range problem-solving strategies directed toward increasing their awareness of community perception and expectations, techniques for facilitating institutional change, and responding to the nature and culture of internal and external political systems and environments as they apply to their work sites. Prerequsite: EP 7020.
  • Specialization Component – 12-18 credits

Concentration area different from master’s degree. To fulfill this specialization component, you’ll meet with your advisor to identify courses that are appropriate for your program of study.

      • Capstone Experience – 3-6 credits
      • 3-6
        The Capstone is the culminating course in the CAGS in Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction concentration (non-certification). The purpose of this course is for students to apply the knowledge, skills, and understanding they have gained in program coursework to their professional setting. Students will plan approximately 40 hours of work for each credit to be earned in their capstone. Students must submit a Graduate Capstone Project Proposal form with their registration, and the Capstone project must be approved by the advisor and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. Once completed, students must present their capstone product(s) to their advisor, capstone supervisor, and/or other PSU faculty members, as determined in the capstone proposal. Prerequisite: Consent of advisor, and all other program requirements satisfied.
      • – OR –
      • 1-4
        Enrichment of the background of students in a particular field of study through the pursuit of a special topic pertinent to their interests and abilities through research. Consent of the faculty supervisor, department chair, and the associate vice president for the College of Graduate Studies is required.
      • – OR –
      • 1-4
        An in-depth study of a particular topic, contemporary issue, or concern. The course will be taught by a specialist in the field or guest speakers who will meaningfully address the topic. Since topics vary, the course may be repeated with the permission of the instructor.
    • Total for CAGS in Educational Leadership 33-39 credits

With rolling admission, you may start your program during any term and can take up to three CAGS credits before being admitted to Plymouth State.

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Gainful Employment Disclosures

The information below is provided to maintain compliance with the US Department of Education Gainful Employment Programs Disclosure regulations.

This data will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. For any questions regarding the information on this site, please contact Dr. Marcel Lebrun, ELLC Department Chair, at 603-535-2288 or

Disclosure for Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership

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