CAGS in Educational Leadership / Special Education Administration - Non Licensure

  • Credits: 36
  • Degree:
    CAGS in Educational Leadership

Program Description

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) program in Educational Leadership provides opportunities for students to advance their knowledge and skills focused on the leadership issues for improving teaching and learning through school transformation. Students may concentrate on administration, curriculum, or special needs. The program is based on the standards of the Educational Leadership Constituent Council and follows the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Guidelines for the Preparation of Administrative Leaders. Issues regarding the role that power and politics play in the school organization are emphasized, as are research skills and data analysis in order to create competent, caring and qualified school leaders, based on the principles of the Teacher Education Accrediting Council.  This program prepares students for educational settings that do not require licensure.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates demonstrate a knowledge and sensitivity to school and system organization. They understand that improving teaching and learning is an intricate process involving the adoption of change which comes from an educational vision, which administrators must persuasively communicate. CAGS students learn from their action research requirement the power of data to inform decision making, which includes the formulation of meaningful professional development programs for the faculty. These programs include technology training, strategies for reaching a diverse student body, developing skills in teaching special needs students and students who speak English as a second language. Graduates perceive their educational setting as part of a larger system and are able to identify what is needed to create positive change in their own educational setting.


Graduates enter into leadership positions in educational settings that do not require licensure.  In addition, they move into central office positions.


For more information, please contact Admissions at 1-800-829-4723.


Research and Leadership Core Courses
Foundations of Social Science Research
ECL 800 3 credit(s)
The information in this course supports the research design and analysis of data for completion of the Action Research Project. The emphasis is on familiarizing students with methods of research and data analysis. Examples of quantitative and qualitative methods are presented. Students explore techniques used in the identification of research problems, the formulation of hypotheses, the construction and use of data-gathering instruments, the design of research studies, and utilization of statistical procedures. Students will learn commonly used statistical procedures, including introductory computer applications for data analysis. Each student designs an Action Research Project which includes: identifying a topic relevant to his or her field, conducting a literature review, and writing an introduction, a purpose statement, method and procedure. School administrators write a school improvement plan. Special educators write a program implementation plan. Professionals in curriculum and instruction develop a curriculum development plan. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Advanced Graduate Research Seminar
ECL 801 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite ECL800. Students begin implementing their research designs that were created and approved in ECL800. They systematically organize inquiries demonstrating connections between theory and professional practice in an organization or school setting. Students design and implement quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies as they apply research theory to gathering, analyzing, and summarizing data that will inform policy and leadership decision-making in the workplace. Students receive ongoing support during research and have a learning environment that helps them develop their projects successfully. This seminar serves as a learning lab, allowing students to experience peer learning and support. Students discuss their research designs, share resources, questions, ideas, and concerns, and sense one another’s progress. Students complete a culminating capstone learning project in the form of an Action Research Project or a program evaluation. Capstone projects are presented to the class for review.
Instructional Leadership: Supervision & Admin. of Ed. Personnel
ECA 725 3 credit(s)
Educational leaders in all roles must see their purpose as improving student learning. This course focuses on practices that curriculum leaders can use to create a culture where all educators see their role as improving student learning. Best practices in formative and summative evaluation of staff are investigated. Students learn methods and laws connected with the selection, hiring, support and dismissal of staff. Particular attention is given to the role of professional development and its implementation, including mentoring for new teachers. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Advanced Leadership
ECL 802 3 credit(s)
This advanced leadership issues course merges leadership theory with practice to examine leadership roles in educational settings. Using case studies and problem-solving techniques, students actively examine a wide variety of current leadership issues that impact the ability of educational institutions to fulfill their public trust. State and professional educational leadership standards are examined. Topics include practical considerations of collective bargaining, managing student and staff diversity, budgeting, legal issues, and implementing school reforms from the perspective of an educational leader. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Advanced Technologies in Education
ECL 803 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the impact of a worldwide information intensive society on education policy and planning. Students study practical and theoretical issues pertaining to educational technologies. The course surveys practical applications for managing organizational information systems and databases. From a theoretical perspective, it focuses on using new technologies to serve various pedagogical philosophies and the impact of new technologies on instructional design, teaching and school reform. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Advanced Leadership in Policy and Practice
ECL 804 3 credit(s)
This course explores the educational policy making process at the federal, state and local level. Students examine the educational leader’s role in policy design, advocacy and formulation. Simulations and scenarios from class members, practitioners and research are used to inform the creation of educational policy in complex situations involving competing constituencies. Leadership skills are challenged by the opposing perceptions of stakeholders vying for scarce resources and by the need to identify an appropriate theoretical context from which to work toward policy formation to solve problems. Students gain skills in identifying educational issues in the context of practical problems, and to strategize, implement, and assess policy outcomes that directly impact teaching and learning environments. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Concentration Courses: Special Education Administration
Advanced Psycho-Educational Assessment & Education Planning
ECS 712 3 credit(s)
Students learn to select, use, and interpret appropriate evaluation techniques, instruments, and technologies. A case study approach is used to administer and interpret formal and informal assessments. The results of various evaluative procedures are used to assess and improve the effectiveness of programs and personnel. Students learn to use developmentally appropriate formal and informal assessments for mild and moderate special needs children. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Administration of Special Education Programs
ECS 713 3 credit(s)
This course uses various service delivery models as they relate to children and young adults with handicapping conditions in a school setting. This course emphasizes facilities and curriculum adjustments, staff roles, methods and content for in-service training, and the use of a team approach. Field trips to observe and evaluate programs may be required. Students become well versed in the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations related to special education. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Collaboration and Consultation Techniques
ECS 714 3 credit(s)
This course introduces interpersonal communication skills for working with teachers, outside agencies, and families of students from diverse backgrounds. Students are exposed to political structures and regulations for improving a school and/or community. Students review research findings on public relations programs involving educational systems, businesses, industry, and governmental agencies. This course emphasizes the role of the administrator in developing a comprehensive program of school community relations for the administrative unit. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Philosophical and Psycho-Social Foundations of Education
ECS 716 3 credit(s)
Participants study the basic assumptions underlying educational goals, content, and process. They explore the relationship between knowledge, learners, and metacognition. The functioning of educational institutions in their social and cultural milieu is examined from anthropological and sociological perspectives. A school is viewed as a social system. Students examine the influences upon the educational enterprise of the stratification system, youth cultures, race, religion, language, and values. Practicum hours of directed field-based training required.

Non-licensure program requirements: All program components are required except the teacher tests. The faculty may provide an alternative assignment to the practicum. Practicum/Seminar is adapted to individual professional needs with approval of faculty advisor, who also provides practicum assignments. No on-site supervision required.

Practicum I: Special Education Administration (300hrs)
ECS 805 3 credit(s)
Students who are not seeking administrative licensure but who wish to complete a special education administration CAGS are required to complete a two-term, non-supervised practicum. This is the first course in sequence. The student and the research advisor will design an individualized plan for completing this practicum requirement, but the College will not assign an on-site supervisor. Students who complete this course wil not be eligible for licensure endorsement by Cambridge College.
Practicum II: Special Education Administration
ECS 806 2 credit(s)
Students who are not seeking administrative licensure but who wish to complete a special education administration CAGS are required to complete a two-term, non-supervised practicum. This is the second course in the sequence and should be completed in conjuction with the Action Research Project. The student and the research advisor will design an individualized plan for completing this practicum requirement, but the College will not assign an on-site supervisor. Students who complete this course wil not be eligible for licensure endorsement by Cambridge College.
Action Research Project
Applied Action Research Project: Educational Leadership
ECL 807 1 credit(s)
This course, taken in the student’s last term, requires the student to complete the Action Research Project, program implementation or curriculum development plan and present the results in a public presentation to students.


  • Admission Test:

    Passing grade on TOEFL (English language proficiency test) is required for international students.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

General Requirements

Official Transcript
Two Completed Recommendation Forms
Current Résumé

Personal Statement

Learn more about General Requirements 

State Requirements

College students are required to comply with state laws regarding individual health insurance and immunization. Compliance requirements currently exist for students in Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee. Learn more

International Students – Additional Requirements

International Students will need to complete supplemental documentation when applying. International transcripts must also be translated prior to submission in order to be evaluated for applicability. Learn more about international student requirements.

Transfer Credit Request Form

Only needed if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer credit. Learn more about transferring credits.



  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Graduation Fee:
    $110 (charged in last term)

Note: Rates are as of September 2013, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

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