Overview of Online Educational Leadership Certificate Programs
Online certificate programs in educational leadership are fairly common and are typically available at the graduate level as post-master's certificates. Therefore, applicants to these certificate programs generally need to hold a master's degree; some schools require this degree to be in an area of education. Educational leadership certificates are designed to help further develop the leadership and management skills needed to work as an educational administrator for schools from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. These certificate programs usually help prepare students for state licensure or certification as an educational administrator.
Coursework for educational leadership certificate programs can usually be completed fully online, but some in-person experience is usually included as well. These certificate programs may range from 15 to 24 credits and can typically be completed in 9 to 12 months, although some programs allow students to have up to 2 years for completion.
Requirements for Educational Leadership Certificates
Online educational leadership certificate programs are usually designed for full-time or working professionals, and some offer completely asynchronous instruction. In general, these certificates discuss leadership for learning, management issues in education, teaching excellence, instructional innovation, and more.
Information and Requirements
The curricula for online educational leadership certificate programs usually consist of 4 to 6 core courses. Some certificates also require additional elective credits and practicum or internship credits. These experiences typically take place in a student's place of work and/or a local school and do not require on-campus visits.
These courses provide students with an overview of school laws and legal factors and further examine policies concerning health, safety, discipline, human resources, and more. Courses in school law may also cover topics in policy and ethics and aim to help school leaders make ethical decisions that keep students' best interests at the forefront.
In school finance courses students examine financial issues in an educational setting, as well as the theories and practices for managing school finances. These courses may include topics in resource management, building operations, and financial accountability.
Courses in educational leadership are designed to help further develop students' leadership skills and knowledge of organizational development. Students may examine different leadership techniques, concepts, and theories, as well as discuss topics in areas like time management and effective leadership.
Instructional leadership courses generally focus on school improvement and ways to improve teaching and learning. These courses can explore the role of a school administrator in school improvement and current trends in instructional leadership.
Career Outcomes with a Certificate in Educational Leadership
Although some of the skills acquired in an educational leadership certificate program can be applied to other areas, such as non-profit or military organizations, these programs are usually designed specifically for aspiring educational administrators. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups these administrators as elementary, middle, and high school principals. These professionals usually need a master's degree, some teaching experience, and a state license or certification to work in a public school.
According to the BLS, as of 2019, elementary, middle, and high school principals made a median annual salary of $96,400. These principals were also expected to see a job growth of 4% from 2018 to 2028, which is as fast as the national average. School principals are typically required to perform a range of administrative duties in their schools, such as manage the budget and create class schedules, as well as managerial duties, like observe teachers and discipline students.
Online educational leadership certificate programs are available at the graduate level and can help prepare students for licensure or certification as educational administrators. These certificates generally include some in-person experiences conducted at local schools.