To earn the master's degree, students will complete three graduate certificates. 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 master's program.

Currently, we are offering four graduate certificates in teacher leadership: 

Other graduate certificates in development and aiming to launch between Fall 2021-2022 include:

  • Designing for Learning: Inquiry-Based Pedagogy for K-12 Educators

  • Reaching ALL Learners: Best Practices for Differentiation 

  • Teachers Leading Change


Social and Emotional Learning

Teacher and Social and Emotional Learning

The Teacher and Social and Emotional Learning certificate provides practicing teachers with requisite background knowledge, understanding and preparation so as to engage students in social and emotional learning. In order for teachers to enable students to become more aware and understanding of their own and others’ emotions, teachers need to understand their own emotions as well. The arena of social and emotional learning is a fairly new, growing and much needed public school curricular domain. During the last three decades, public schools have focused almost exclusively on cognitive academic outcomes. While some progress has been achieved, the consensus seems to be that a renewed emphasis on the whole student needs to be restored. At the same time, teachers’ professional work conditions have deteriorated. Teachers new to the field are leaving the profession at greater rates than in the past. Teacher “burnout” is a recognized and acknowledged public education phenomenon. This certificate will provide educators with resources and tools needed to center social emotional learning to support their teaching and student learning. Faculty include Dan Liston and Emily Gleason.

Courses required: 

  • EDUA 5004 - The Teacher in SEL: The Personal and the Professional (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5005 - SEL for Students: A Path to Social Emotional Well-Being (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5006 - Expanding SEL: Community and Youth-Empowerment (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5007 - SEL Summer Capstone (real-time, 4 cr.)


Teaching Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students

Teaching Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students

The certificate in Teaching Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students will offer teachers an introduction to the history and current policy/laws that relate to emerging bilingual learners in Colorado public schools. Teachers will learn about the process of language acquisition, develop skills and strategies to teach English and adapt their curriculum/instruction to the developing needs of emerging bilingual learners and learn key strategies for engaging diverse families in their school and classroom communities. This certificate will meet the new universal state requirements for all teachers to demonstrate 45 hours of professional preparation to work with emergent bilingual students. Faculty include Deborah Palmer and Sandra Butvilofsky.

Courses required: 

  • EDUA 5000 - Intro to History, Policy and Advocacy for CLD
 (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5001 - Intro to Designing Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy
 (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5002 - Intro to Teaching CLD Learners
 (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5003 - CLD Capstone (real-time, 4 cr.)


science header

Leading for Change in Science Assessment Practice

In this certificate, teachers learn how to adapt, develop and pilot assessments that elicit students’ integrated understanding of disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts. In addition, they learn strategies for eliciting students' interests and discovering how students’ own identities can be leveraged in instruction. Although course materials draw on iHub secondary biology materials, the certificate is open to teachers of all age ranges. At the conclusion of the Capstone experience, the cohort of teachers will have a suite of piloted assessments and scoring guides that they can use in their classrooms and share with others. Faculty: Bill Penuel.

Courses required:

  • EDUA 5015 - Envisioning Equitable Teaching and Learning in Science: the role of phenomena and problems in science teaching and assessment (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5016 - Designing Meaningful and Equitable Science Assessments: designing assessments of science understanding that connect to students’ interests and identities (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5017 - Leadership in Creating Equitable Assessment Systems in Science: leading for equitable change in assessment in teams, schools, and districts (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5018 - Leading in Schools and Systems for Transformation in Science Assessment: Capstone (real-time, 4 cr.)


Cultivating Compassion and Dignity in Ourselves and Our Schools

The four-course certificate explores the ways in which practices of compassion and a focus on the essential dignity of educators and students can contribute to the wellness of educators and schools. The certificate will prepare educators to lead efforts to promote compassion and dignity in schools. The certificate provides educators with supports and resources for caring for themselves and for cultivating and sustaining compassion for students, families, their school community, and colleagues. The courses prioritize ways in which educators can see and feel their own daily teaching practices, struggles, constraints, and joys reflected in the curriculum as well as the ways in which educators might become more compassionate teacher leaders. The compassion practices and skills embedded in the courses support district-level equity goals of creating safe and inclusive schools that challenge racism and promote justice. The certificate draws upon rigorous research, contemplative wisdom, and deeply embedded lived experience of educators. The certificate was co-designed by the Crown Institute and the Compassion Institute working in collaboration with teachers, counselors, and administrators. Faculty: Sona Dimidjian, director of the Renee Crown Wellness Institute, and Bill Penuel.

Courses required:

  • EDUA 5019 - Awareness & Intention (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5020 - Self-Compassion and Dignity (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5021 - Compassion in its Fullness (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5022 - Compassion in Action: Capstone (real-time, 4 cr.)