100% Online Educational Leadership Programs

Are you ready to spark change, elevate equity, and transform communities?

Online Educational Leadership Programs

Merrimack offers two pathways for students to pursue leadership roles either in the classroom or at the administrative level. You’ll explore current issues facing educators in Massachusetts and nationwide, and acquire practical tools to improve student performance, teacher effectiveness, and school- or district-level outcomes. Both programs are aligned with the Massachusetts PAL tasks for students seeking administrative licensure.

Teacher Leadership Certificate
CAGS in Educational Leadership

Leaders Start Here

Educational Leadership Programs

Which Program is Right for You?

Leadership Curriculum

Core Courses

Required for both programs. These four courses align with the Massachusetts PAL tasks for administrative endorsement.

This course considers the roles of schools in communities and explores methods and models to engage families and communities to maximize student learning and development.  Included in this course are issues such as community centers, parent involvement, and interagency collaboration. (4 credits)

In this course, students will examine and apply the components of strategy development. Students will consider collaborative leadership through the study of high functioning teams and by analyzing their current team structure.  Attention will be given to implementing effective strategies for conflict management. Students will learn to foster a professional learning community culture by using structured learning activities to improve teachers’ knowledge and skills.  Students will utilize the structure of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) to investigate effective technology leadership and communication. (4 credits)

This course is designed to assist students in developing those skills essential for leading a school through a comprehensive improvement process. Students will be supported to analyze data, develop action plans, and monitor progress of two pillars of effective schools-the instructional program (curriculum, instruction, and assessment) and school culture (student culture, professional culture, and community involvement). (4 credits)

Students in this course will explore the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes central to instructional leadership and supervision.  They will become familiar with observing and analyzing teaching and administrator performance using the Massachusetts Model System for Educator Evaluation.  Students will complete fieldwork including planning for an observation, conducting an observation, analyzing the observation and student performance data, providing feedback, and planning support for an individual teacher. (4 credits)

Advanced Courses

Required for CAGS in Educational Leadership.

In this course students will examine the principles, values and beliefs that inform contemporary educational leadership and look critically at the contextual factors that influence how leaders function in schools and school districts. Students will consider the social, economical, historical and political forces that shape school conditions and review the changing impact of federal policy and national strategies on local educational settings.

In this course students will look at the legal aspects of schools and education in student, teacher, and administrator terms. Laws governing religious freedom, free speech, due process, students and parents’ rights, as well as privacy laws will be examined. Attention will be given to the American Disabilities Act, Special Education Laws, harassment, and equity regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sex orientation. Laws concerning general school operations, the dissemination of information, permissions, and safety of the preschool, elementary, middle, and secondary levels will be examined.

Educational leaders in the United States serve students from diverse backgrounds. Leaders influence the extent to which these diverse groups of students have access to a challenging and rigorous curriculum, appropriate educational services, and achieve academic success and preparation for their future. This course will examine critical issues related to providing leadership for diverse student populations. Educational leaders will develop an understanding of what it means to be culturally responsive and learn strategies to rectify inequities that exist in schools. Special attention will be given to the supporting an effective learning environment for English Language Learners.

This course is designed to provide participants with an overview of school finance and operations. Topics include roles and responsibilities of management vs. the school committee, financial management (budgeting, funds types and properties, financial reporting, internal controls, procurement law and requirements), infrastructure and support services, and human resources (payroll and benefit considerations).

Research Capstone

For students interested in Administrative Licensure.

Students in a non-licensure track will complete a comprehensive research project that deals with an essential question of substance as it relates to his/her current practice. Students in the licensure track will work on artifacts, documents, and commentary for the four Tasks required for submission for state licensure. Students will report the findings and recommendations to the class. This project will be completed under the direction of a faculty member of the Graduate Education Department.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) Programs

Our 36-credit Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) M.Ed. program covers an array of education related topics and situations, including diversity and social justice, special education, and English language learning, all culminating in a self-designed capstone project. The Curriculum & Instruction program does not lead to a Professional License.

Our 36-credit Master of Education in Early Childhood Education prepares you for your Initial License to work in grades Pre-K through grade 2. Through coursework and field based experiences, you will develop an understanding of subject matter knowledge, curriculum design, instructional strategies, observation and assessment, communication, and collaboration with families and the community.

Our 36-credit M.Ed. in Elementary Education prepares you for your Initial License to work in grades 1-6. Through coursework and field-based experiences, you develop an understanding of subject matter knowledge, curriculum design, instructional strategies, observation and assessment, communication, and collaboration with families and the community.

Our 36-credit Master M.Ed. in Middle School (5-8) and High School (8-12) Education prepares you for your Initial License to work in secondary education. Through coursework and field-based experiences, you develop an understanding of subject matter knowledge, curriculum design, instructional strategies, observation and assessment, communication, and collaboration with families and the community.

Merrimack College is authorized to endorse teacher candidates in the following content areas: Biology (8-12), Chemistry (8-12), Earth and Space Science (8-12), English (5-12), General Science (5-8), History (5-12), Humanities (5-8), Math (5-8), Math (8-12), Math/Science (5- 8), and Physics (8-12).

Our 36-credit English as a Second Language M.Ed. program prepares you for your Initial License to serve linguistically and culturally diverse students in PreK-6 classrooms. Through coursework and field-based experiences, you develop an understanding of subject matter knowledge, curriculum design, instructional strategies, observation and assessment, communication, and collaboration with families and the community.

Our 36-credit M.Ed. in Moderate Disabilities prepares you for your Initial License to work with children in grades PreK-8 with moderate disabilities who participate in integrated or self-contained classrooms. Through coursework and field-based experiences, you develop an understanding of subject matter knowledge, curriculum design, instructional strategies, observation and assessment, communication, and collaboration with families and the community.

Add-On Licensure, Endorsements, and Certificates

This 12-credit Add-On License in Moderate Disabilities is designed for teachers who have already obtained an Initial License or a Professional License and seek to expand or “addon” to their current credential. Our Add-On License in Moderate Disabilities prepares you to work with children in grades PreK-8 with moderate disabilities who participate in integrated or self-contained classrooms.

Our 16-credit Add-On License in English as a Second Language (ESL) is designed for teachers who have already obtained an Initial License or a professional License and seek to expand or “add-on” to their current credential. Our Add-On License in ESL prepares you to serve linguistically and culturally diverse students in PreK-6 classrooms.

Our 20-credit Add-On License in Early Childhood Education is designed for teachers who have already obtained an Initial License or a Professional License and seek to expand or “add-on” to their current credential. Our Add-On License in Early Childhood Education prepares you to work in grades Pre-K through grade 2.

SEI for endorsement only is offered through our teacher education graduate program as a 0-credit, pass/fail course.

Merrimack’s CAGS in Educational Leadership offers targeted professional training for teachers, principals, district-level administrators, and other educators who already hold a master’s degree. You’ll explore current issues facing educators in Massachusetts and nationwide, and acquire practical tools to improve student performance, teacher effectiveness and school- or district-level outcomes.

Merrimack’s 100% online Educational Technology Certificate helps teachers, administrators, and support staff design interactive, technology-rich learning experiences that inspire tomorrow’s digital-age thinkers and problem solvers. Earn credits toward your next salary step while setting yourself apart with cutting-edge skills.

Merrimack College Accolades

At Merrimack College, we’re proud of our long history of providing quality degrees to students entering the job market. Our faculty are more than just teachers. We are committed to helping you grow — academically, personally and spiritually — so that you may graduate as a confident, well-prepared citizen of the world.

  • U.S. News & World Report 2022 #34 Best Regional Universities North
  • U.S. News & World Report 2022 #41 Best Value Schools
  • U.S. News & World Report 2022 #3 Most Innovative Schools
  • Money Magazine’s Best Colleges 2020
  • The Princeton Review 2021 Best Northeastern Regional College
  • Apple Inc., Apple Distinguished School

Leaders Start Here
Educational Leadership Certificate