Online, stackable graduate certificates that lead to a full MA degree

To help teachers make a difference in their districts and communities, our innovative online Teacher Leadership program offers stackable graduate certificates that can lead to a master’s degree. Our coursework threads reflective practices, content mastery and skill development throughout so that students can practice leadership skills as they engage with the curriculum. We offer: 

  • Fully online, flexible courses (i.e. course work completed on your own time) paired with real-time summer intensives where instructors and studntes meet at the same time virtually.

  • A quick-enroll process and a six-month timeframe for finishing self-paced courses on your own schedule. Sign up today and start your classwork immediately!

  • Build your own master's degree by choosing three certificates from a palette of offerings. 

  • Affordable tuition with a simple pay-as-you-go model. 

  • A supportive community of working educators.

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Explore Certificate Pathways


This degree is premised on the belief that teachers can make a difference in their districts through personal, professional and community-level leadership. To help teachers achieve this goal, the graduate certificates in teacher leadership and the MA degree help educators develop reflective practices, content mastery and skill acquisition related to leadership in classrooms, schools and community contexts. Our working definition of teacher leadership reflects a simple vision: starting with the belief that teachers are agents of social change, who have powerful leadership capacity. We believe that teachers make a difference in the lives of children and families in a variety of contexts and by further developing leadership skills, teachers can impact classrooms and communities in transformational ways. These certificates as well as the MA in Teacher Leadership will help you to develop skills and tools to stay in the classroom with greater confidence, joy and content mastery.

Each certificate is organized around the following assumptions about teachers as leaders:

  • Teachers should reflect on both their personal and professional purposes.
  • Teaching is a profession in which teachers serve their students and community.
  • Teachers are concerned with their students’ well-being as well as their own well-being and the larger community’s common good. In order to serve and lead well, teachers need to examine the ways in which social, political, structural and cultural constraints get in the way of as well as facilitate student learning and teachers’ instruction.
  • Teaching and leading well is a complex endeavor premised on the value of each person and the relational ties entailed in teaching and leading.
  • Teachers can become community leaders who facilitate links between families and schools across linguistic, cultural and economic borders.
  • Teachers can become brokers between school and home and therefore should engage in deep learning about cultural practices, community strengths, linguistic tools and identities of children and communities. In this way, teachers can lead with knowledge, respect and reciprocity.

We offer a supportive community and flexible coursework designed to accommodate busy teachers’ schedules. We know that teachers lead busy, fast-paced, often overworked professional lives, and we have built these certificates with input from educators to help meet teachers’ needs. The certificate content and curriculum directly relates to teachers’ everyday practices while translating into practical tools that teachers can use in their own classrooms, schools and communities. 

Certificate Timeline

Each graduate certificate in teacher leadership requires 10 completed credits, as follows:

  • Three two-credit self-paced classes, taken in sequence
    • The two-credit self-paced course sessions must be completed within a six month period. These classes must be completed two weeks before beginning a synchronous capstone in the summer.

  • One four-credit real-time class, taken in the summer

    • The last course for all certificates is a real-time capstone course that brings together all the content and curriculum. This course runs as a 3-week intensive after academic school years end in June/July. 

MA degree

The MA in Teacher Leadership degree requires completion of any three teacher leadership certificates (a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved, graduate-level coursework) and a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00.

Each certificate blends together on-demand, self-paced online courses with a real-time capstone course held in the summer. These affordable certificates have been designed for educators looking to enhance their skills and capacities as classroom teachers and leaders and to make a difference in their schools and local communities. Students can choose to take classes and separately complete certificates without enrolling in the full MA program.

In order to enroll in a course or the certificate, we have created an easy-access, quick-enroll process.

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From the onset, students interested in taking classes in teacher leadership, earning a certificate, or enrolling in the MA program have the option to:

  1. Enroll in a single course (i.e. pay as you go). Students do not have to apply for a certificate and the certificate conferral will happen once the required courses are completed with a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

  2. Apply for the MA degree, select a certificate, and proceed with coursework requirements.

Students who intend to pursue a MA degree must:

  1. Declare their intent at any point before their third certificate; a degree will not be conferred until a student has been formally admitted. 

    • Submit a one page statement of purpose (reviewed by the School of Education for advising purposes). 

  2. Submit an official transcript which shows an awarded bachelor’s degree.

  3. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 across courses previously taken as a non-degree student in this program, if applicable.

The MA in Teacher Leadership program tuition has been designed to be affordable for working teachers. Tuition per credit hour is differentiated for courses, certificates and the degree based on Colorado resident/non-resident status.

Our program offers a simple pay-as-you-go model, and the current tuition rates are $486 per credit hour for Colorado residents and $519 per credit hour for non-resident, out-of-state students*. Each certificate consists of 10 credits, which brings the certificate tuition total to $4,860 for residents and $5,190 for non-residents.

Though this program is not currently eligible for U.S. federal financial aid, private lenders are available if you are interested in taking one course, earning a certificate, or pursuing the degree. Visit the Office of Financial Aid for information on private loans and find a private lender at the CU Boulder FastChoice website.  

Are you a rural teacher in Colorado? You might qualify for the Rural Inservice Educator Stipend through the Colorado Center for Rural Education. Find out more about the stipend at the Colorado Center for Rural Education website. Applications are due on Feb. 28 or Aug. 31.

Tuition 2020-21
Credit Hours In-State Out-of-State
1 $486 $519
10 (one certificate) $4,860 $5,190
30 (entire degree) $14,580 $15,570

*Select campus fees shall be charged for this program. Students may be charged on an at-cost basis for such items as credit card fees. Please refer to the Bursar’s Office website for student fees.

Interested in the program? Get announcements on application deadlines, new certificate information, sample course syllabi and more by signing up: 

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