CAGS in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program at Boston University School of Education is designed to prepare aspiring and developing:

  • Pre-K–12 public, independent, and international school and district leaders;
  • Higher education administrators;
  • Community, state, federal, and institutional leaders and analysts; and
  • Other professionals with an interest and/or a specialization in education.

Our mission is to produce scholars, leaders, and analysts who are grounded in policy, practice, and research, and who are equipped to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative educational programs, practices, and services for local, regional, national, and international schools, institutions, and organizations. Our diverse and highly experienced faculty are committed to developing 21st-century educational leaders who are people focused, data informed, and future oriented.

The CAGS in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies is designed for the self-directed, continuous learner who has earned a master’s degree and desires to develop knowledge of educational leadership and policy. The CAGS program is ideal for working professionals and for aspiring or developing leaders of alternative, independent, and international schools as well as those interested in a career in education-related community organizations, institutes, think tanks, and state and federal service, and international education enterprises. This program is also useful for professionals in such areas as  journalism, law, education sales and marketing, and elected and appointed offices who wish to specialize in educational issues, products, or services.

Students who wish to complete a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study work in collaboration with their academic advisor to develop an individualized program of study to realize their educational objectives. The minimum number of credits students must earn is 30 (more for those seeking Administrative Leadership Licensure described below), and students are encouraged to elect courses in one of three broad focus areas: Pre-K–12 Educational Leadership; Policy, Planning, and Administration; and Higher Education. Those interested in pursuing one of these focus areas may select courses from the Recommended Electives below. Students may also, with guidance from their advisor, take electives from multiple focus areas as well as design their own program of studies.

Recommended Electives—Pre-K–12 Educational Leadership Focus (16 credits)

  • AP 720 Performance-Based Instructional Leadership (4 cr)
  • AP 750 Educator Evaluation and Supervision (4 cr)
  • AP 758 School Governance, Finance, and Operations (4 cr)
  • AP 800 Practicum and Seminar (4 cr)

Recommended Electives—Policy, Planning, and Administration Focus (16 credits)

  • AP 600 Diversity and Justice (4 cr)
  • AP 753 Educational Policy (4 cr)
  • AP 754 Educational Equity and the Law (2 cr)
  • AP 757 School Labor Relations and Personnel Management (2 cr)
  • AP 758 School Governance, Finance, and Operations (4 cr)

Recommended Electives—Higher Education Focus (16 credits)

  • AP 550 Perspectives on Higher Education (4 cr)
  • AP 551 Issues in Higher Education Administration (4 cr)
  • AP 612 Governance and Decision Making in Higher Education (4 cr)
  • AP 730 Innovation in Higher Education (4 cr)

Other Electives (14 credits)

Boston University School of Education (SED) is committed to improving public education for all students by providing schools and school districts with instructional leaders who:

  • Understand and adapt to the changing needs of their students, schools, and communities;
  • Have a vision of effective instruction grounded in research; and who
  • Utilize both qualitative and quantitative data to realize that vision.

Utilizing a wide network of affiliated school leaders from throughout greater Boston and beyond, our Educational Leadership Licensure Programs (ELLPs) provide aspiring school leaders with a unique combination of practice-embedded coursework and research-informed clinical experience leading toward both a CAGS and eligibility for a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) administrator license as a:

  • Principal/Assistant Principal (Pre-K–6, 5–8, or 9–12)
  • Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent
  • Supervisor/Director
  • Special Education Administrator

The courses listed below provide the theoretical foundation, professional skills, and knowledge base that the students will apply in their clinical experiences leading to mastery of the state licensure standards and indicators.

Core Courses for All Licenses

  • AP 720 Performance-Based Instructional Leadership (4 cr)
  • AP 758 School Governance, Finance, and Operations (4 cr)
  • AP 662 Strategic Planning and Implementation (4 cr)
  • AP 750 Educator Evaluation and Supervision (4 cr)
  • AP 757 School Labor Relations and Personnel Management (2 cr)
  • AP 754 Educational Equity and the Law (2 cr)
  • AP 526 Family and Community Engagement (2 cr)
  • TL 530 School Leadership: English Language Learners (2 cr)

Supervisor/Director License

The 24 credits above, and:

  • CT 721 Analysis and Design of Curriculum (4 cr)
  • CT 801 Leadership Practicum & Seminar (300 hours) (4 cr)

Special Education Administrator License

The 24 credits above, and:

  • SE 744 School Administration and Special Needs (4 cr)
  • SE 702 Leadership Practicum & Seminar (600 hours) (8 cr)

Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent License

The 24 credits above, and:

  • AP 761 Organizational Analysis (4 cr)
  • AP 805 Leadership Practicum & Seminar (600 hours) (8 cr)

Principal/Assistant Principal License

The 24 credits above, and:

  • AP 802, 803, or 804 Leadership Practicum & Seminar (600 hours) (8 cr)

At the core of our program is an intensive clinical relationship among the student, a highly experienced field-based practitioner, and a University-based supervisor. This clinical relationship enables the student to relate course assignments to the field, applying theories learned in the classroom to the practice of leading educational institutions. It also provides entry into a practicum experience in which DESE’s Professional Standards and Indicators for Administrative Leadership (PSIs) are practiced and mastered.

Comprehensive Examination

CAGS candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive examination as a part of the CAGS degree. Students must file a formal application for the examination with the Program Director and faculty advisor.