Educational Leadership (CAGS)

Educational Leadership (CAGS)
A smiling professor next to a whiteboard

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Educational Leadership is a post-master’s degree program 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. For students interested in pursuing doctoral studies, 27 of the 33 credits can be transferred into PSU's Doctor of Education program. 

In many universities, a CAGS, or similar post master’s degree program (e.g. Certificate of Advanced Studies, CAS; Educational Specialist, EdS) is a prerequisite for doctoral studies. In many cases a number of post-master’s course credits can be transferred into the Plymouth State University EdD program. A number of other NH institutions allow students to transfer credits from their post master’s degree programs into a doctoral program as well.


Program Coordinator, Educational Leadership
Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 535-2101
Office: Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Hyde Hall Rm 225, MSC 23, Plymouth, NH 03264

Academic Operations Manager
Office: Education, Democracy & Social Change, Rounds Hall Rm 216, MSC 38, Plymouth, NH 03264

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Curriculum & Requirements

Curriculum Requirements

Course Title Credits
Educational Leadership Component
EP 7020Collaborative Leadership3
EP 7030Transforming the Educational Agenda3
EP 7040Planning in Education and Human Services3
EP 7050Advanced Mixed Research Methodology3
EP 7060Legal Issues in Policy Making3
EP 7080Ethical Leadership and Decision Making3
Specialization Component
Credits approved by advisor12-18
Capstone Experience
Complete one of the following:3-6
EP 7850
CAGS Capstone
EP 7910
Independent Study
EP 7560
Special Topics in Educational Leadership
Total Credits33-39

  • Demonstrate an ability to collaboratively facilitate the development of a shared vision of learning in order to promote continual and sustainable school improvement.
  • Use data to drive decision making, identify educational goals and assess organizational effectiveness.
  • Develop a school culture and instructional program characterized by high expectations for students.
  • Create and evaluate a comprehensive, rigorous and coherent curricular and instructional school program.
  • Develop and supervise the instructional practice and leadership potential of school staff.
  • Support teaching and learning within a school environment to promote effective and appropriate technologies.
  • Manage the school organization, operation and resources through monitoring and evaluating the appropriate systems.
  • Efficiently use human, fiscal and technological resources through monitoring and evaluating the appropriate systems.
  • Collaborating with faculty and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources on behalf of the school by collecting and analyzing information pertinent to improvement of the school’s educational environment.
  • Promote an understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultural, social and intellectual resources within the school community.
  • Build and sustain positive school relationships with families, caregivers and community partners to facilitate a dynamic, high-achieving learning environment for all students.
  • Act with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner to ensure a school system of accountability for every student’s academic and social success.
  • Model principles of self-awareness, reflective practice and transparency.
  • Uphold the values of democracy, equity and diversity within the school to ensure that individual student needs inform all aspects of schooling.
  • Evaluate the potential moral and legal consequences of decision making.
  • Advocate within the community and educational environment for students, families and caregivers.
  • Act to influence local, district, state and national decisions that affect student learning.
  • Anticipate and assess emerging trends and initiatives in order to adapt school-based leadership strategies.

Leadership Positions in Schools, Leadership Positions in Human Service Organizations, Leadership Positions in Community Service Organizations, Career Advancement for Educators

Admission Information


The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) program requires the following materials to be submitted through our online application

GPA of 3.0 or better – The admissions review team will consider academic history for bachelor’s, master’s and post-master’s coursework.

Official transcripts from all college level coursework verifying conferral of bachelor’s and other graduate degrees from an accredited institution, along with official transcripts from any/all other colleges and universities attended. Transcripts can be sent electronically to or mailed to PSU Graduate Admissions, 17 High Street-MSC 52, Plymouth NH 03264

Three professional recommendations that directly address applicant’s candidacy for admission to a post-master’s program; include a detailed explanation of applicant’s strengths and ability to do research; and address applicant’s potential to successfully participate in, and complete, a post-master’s program.

Current resume uploaded directly to your online application.

Professional writing sample – create a writing sample or use a previously created work that has been submitted academically or written for professional reasons. Writing sample must:

  • be clear and well organized with logical progression of ideas;
  • include multiple supporting details (literature) with sources cited correctly within the narrative;
  • indicate mastery of grammar, usage and mechanics; and
  • reveal evidence of appropriate use of APA format

Statement of interest/intent addressing the following:

  • indicate your reasons for applying to the CAGS program
  • describe your preparation and/or readiness for post-master’s level coursework
  • explain why the program is a good fit

NH Residency Verification form (NH residents only) – Residents of NH must complete the NH Residency Verification form as part of the application process to receive the in-state tuition rate.

$100 application fee – The application fee will be waived for US Military Veterans and/or PSU alumni who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from Plymouth State.


Students pursuing a CAGS in Educational Leadership can apply for admission to any of the upcoming semesters. Here are the deadlines for 2023-24:

  • Fall 2023 – August 1, 2023
  • Spring 2024 – December 1, 2023
  • Summer 2024 – April 15, 2024

*We suggest submitting your documentation at least two weeks prior to the posted date to ensure your application is complete and can be reviewed by the deadline. 

2023-24 Estimated Graduate Per Credit Tuition and Mandatory Fees

  New Hampshire Resident
Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s Degrees/Certificates $570 $42 $612
CAGS $610 $42 $652
EDD $665 $42 $707
  Out-of-State Resident
Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s Degrees/Certificates $789 $42 $831
CAGS $763 $42 $805
EDD $845 $42 $887

More information is available through the Student Financial Services Office

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of student loans only. You will need to complete the FAFSA at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester you wish to begin taking classes. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid – please review our international admission requirements to learn more.

More information can be found on the Financial Aid webpages.

Each year, Plymouth State offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to admitted graduate students. Selection criteria include academic and professional achievements, commitment to graduate study, and achievement or pursuit of personal or professional goals. Visit the PSU Scholarship Opportunities webpage for additional information.

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