Online Post-Graduate Certificates in Higher Education Leadership

Dec 04, 2019

Research online higher education leadership certificates. Find out what you can learn in these programs and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Online post-graduate certificate programs in higher education leadership are designed to educate college administrators, staff and faculty in the efficient operation of their institution. These programs are often found completely online, although many programs do require an internship that must be completed in person, or may require live online participation in classes at set times.

A post-graduate certificate program may be enough for some college administration jobs, but many of higher level positions call for a doctorate. Often, credits from a certificate program can be applied to a higher degree. College administrators do not need licensing or certification from the state.

Post-Graduate Certificate - College Leadership

Certificate programs in higher education leadership are open to graduates of bachelor's or master's degree programs (preferably those with a focus on education). Some programs also require candidates to prove several years' experience in teaching or school administration. Programs offer a mix of education and management courses to prepare candidates for a variety of college leadership roles, including setting and enforcing policy, supervising faculty and administrative staff, establishing budgets and helping maintain community relations.

Program Information

There are several distance-learning post-graduate certificate programs for higher education leadership. Most require 15-18 semester credits, and can be completed in 1-2 years. In some cases, coursework can be completed concurrently with other graduate degree work or applied toward coursework requirements for a higher degree.

Students need a computer with multimedia capabilities and high-speed access to the Internet. Courses may be live, requiring students to participate electronically at set times, or pre-recorded for viewing that suits the students' schedules. Assignments, exams and communications with instructors and peers are handled online using commercial applications, such as Blackboard.

Common Courses

All didactic coursework can be completed online. Some programs include an internship, which can be arranged at a college near a student's home. However, experienced college teachers and administrators may be able to waive this requirement or substitute another course. At the post-graduate level, certificate program classes can include:

Educational Leadership

This course presents an overview of theories and models for effective organizational leadership, specifically as they relate to institutes of higher learning. Concepts studied include moral leadership, motivation, shared decision-making and the ability to adapt to changes.

School Law

Students review legal matters relating to administrators, faculty and students. Topics include special needs legislation, negligence, litigation, contracts and collective bargaining.

Technology for School Administrators

A range of technological aids are available for college administrators to gather and process information, conduct research and aid the decision-making process. This course describes several areas of recent technological advancements and how they might be used in the higher education arena.

Conflict Management

Maintenance of a positive school environment is the best way to minimize friction between separate interest groups--but differences of opinion are bound to arise. This course presents several conflict scenarios and discusses the possible outcomes of various management and resolution strategies.

Career Information for Higher Learning Leadership

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for postsecondary education administrators are projected to grow by 7% from 2018-2028, which is faster than average. The median annual wage for postsecondary education administrators was $94,340 as of 2018 (

Continuing Education

It is common for upper-level college administrators to have a Ph.D. or Ed.D. in administration, both of which are available as online programs. In some cases, credits earned in a certificate program may be applied toward a higher degree program. To practice, college administrators are generally not required to obtain certificates, state licensing or federal licensing.

College administrators, staff and faculty may choose to pursue an online post-graduate certificate in higher education leadership, which usually includes courses in educational leadership, school law, technology and conflict management. These programs may require live participation in online, pre-scheduled classes or completion of an internship.

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