Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)

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Interactive Certification Map Admission Requirements | Academic Catalog | Course Descriptions

This 30-credit Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study program allows you to concentrate on any combination of 10 courses that are most closely applicable to the area in which you are working or that interests you.

Program Highlights

  • 30-credit hour program
  • Complete your program in just under two years
  • 100% online – no campus visits required
  • Learn anytime from any place
  • No GRE Required
  • Dynamic faculty of practitioners, researchers and educators
  • Regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC)

Curriculum 

Of the following 700-level courses, choose any combination of 10 courses, for a total of 30 credits. An internship is not mandatory for this CAGS program.

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EDU 701: Educational Leadership (Credits:3)

This course provides the overarching context for the entire curriculum in educational leadership. Participants consider theories and practices relating to effective leadership in educational settings. Topics include team building, diagnosing the work environment, decision-making, problem solving, and strategic planning and human resource development. Students will reflect on their own leadership, observe and analyze other leaders, and explore how the theories and practices relate to the Interstate School Leaders License Consortium (ISLLC) standards for leaders. This course meets standards of the Interstate School Leaders Consortium (ISSLC) 2008. This course explores ethical decision-making and individual styles with respect to professional responsibilities. 

EDU 702: School Law (Credits:3)

In today’s complex society, educational administrators must possess a working knowledge of federal and state statutory and case law impacting education. This course will provide a foundation of the legal underpinnings of the American education system and how the “law” has had an effect on schools. Specific legal principles relating to church/state issues, tort liability, teachers’ responsibilities, students’ rights, and administrative concerns such as contracts and collective bargaining will be covered. Students will be required to apply these legal principles to analyze actual case scenarios. Assignments will be included to acquaint students with their state’s laws that will affect them as future educational leaders.

EDU 703: Educational Change/School Reform (Credits:3)

Regardless of how beneficial a desired change may seem, new initiatives are often difficult to implement. Each educational setting has its own culture, and innovations and changes that are incompatible with the prevailing climate may elicit resistance and hostility. The course examines change theory; studies case histories of successful and not so successful change efforts; and reviews change strategies to equip students with skills for introducing effective reforms.

EDU 704: Supervision and Evaluation of Instructional Personnel (Credits:3)

Supervision and evaluation strategies need to support teachers’ growth into strong, competent professionals. This course examines requirements of educational leaders engaged in supervising and evaluating educational personnel, and explores new directions and procedures currently under development. Emphasis is given to understanding the theory behind the practice, strengths and weaknesses of varying methods, and hands-on applications. Drawing on knowledge of developmental stages and multiple styles of learning and teaching, participants consider such practices as peer evaluations, self-evaluations, portfolios, and mentoring.

EDU 706: School-Community Relations & Communications (Credits:3)

An effective educational leader promotes the success of all students by communicating the learning community’s vision, policies, and successes to staff, students, parents, community, decision makers, legislators and media. This course provides 80 hours of field based work, in which aspiring leaders will develop a plan to build and maintain partnerships with multiple constituent groups within the community in a way that positively impacts the education of students.

EDU 707: Instructional Leadership (Credits:3)

School leaders must also be “lead teachers”. To effectively instill motivation and creativity in teachers, participants learn current models for curriculum design to ensure that instructional materials meet appropriate mandates for content and learning goals, and which also address students’ diverse needs, abilities, and experiences. Learning theories and styles are included, as are topics relating to curriculum theory and assessment.

EDU 709: School Finance (Credits:3)

The course traces the historical background and development of school finance acts, and examines the intent, concepts and relationship inherent in these acts. Processes by which state subsidies are computed, allocated and distributed are considered. Budget and expenditure practices in relation to these acts are illustrated. Emphasis is placed on helping students develop a clear conceptual understanding of the overall methods by which state aid is provided to local school systems. Readings, research, and other assignments are designed to acquaint students with school finance practices in their respective states.

EDU 715: Organizational Theory & Strategic Planning (Credits:3)

This course will include: an overview of organizational theories and systems; the inclusion of organizational theory in the educational change process; the functions, objectives, development, and assessment of strategic plans; and the relationship between strategic planning and budget development.

 

EDU 720: Special Education Law for the Classroom (Credits:3)

Laws, regulations, and judicial decisions relating to the education of students with special needs are discussed. Methods of conflict resolution, mediation, and ethical standards are examined. Students will be required to apply what they learn as they analyze real-life case scenarios.

EDU 721: Using Technology within Inclusion Education (Credits: 3)

This course introduces students to the use of technology in the education of individuals with special needs. Methods and techniques for evaluation and determination of appropriate uses of technology are included. A range of assistive technologies are covered as well as teaching strategies that support the implementation of technologies. Using technology in universally-designed educational environments is examined. Participants will be expected to have access to and use selected teaching and learning technologies with students with disabilities.

EDU 722: Special Education Assessment in Inclusion Settings (Credits: 3)

Assessment approaches for identifying students with disabilities and assessing progress toward learning goals and standards are addressed. Students examine a variety of formal and informal procedures for use in the assessment of the instructional and behavioral needs including curriculum-based assessment, observations, and continuous and periodic assessments of instruction and behavior. Participants will be expected to have access to and administer selected standardized formal and informal instruments to K-12 students with disabilities.

EDU 723: Teaching and Learning in Inclusion Settings (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on methods and strategies for teaching students with special needs. Current issues of concern, learning standards, promising practices, behavioral strategies, and methods for individualizing, differentiating, creating, and providing universally designed instruction are covered. Participants will be expected to conduct observations in schools and plan and implement instructional activities with students with disabilities. Participants can pursue an elementary or secondary strand.

EDU 724: Collaboration in Inclusion Settings (Credits: 3)

Students will complete co-teaching experiences in inclusion settings. Activities are tailored to insure field application of concepts, models, practices, and skills as students apply effective co-teaching instructional practices, participate in interdisciplinary planning meetings, and collaborate as team members. These co-teaching experiences reinforce the acquisition of ethics and standards. During the course, participants are expected to spend considerable time in K-12 inclusive classrooms, plan and implement teaching and learning activities, research and reflect on practices, and work collaboratively with educational teams. Some course requirements may be modified during summer sessions for participants without access to students during summer school breaks.

 

EDU 740 Supporting Literacy Development (Credits: 3)

This course will address the foundational knowledge that teachers of literacy need in order to understand the reading and writing process for students. In this course, teachers will be exposed to major theories, research, and best practices in the literacy field. Teachers will be asked to draw upon this theoretical and practical knowledge to think about issues of instructional practice. Through engaging inquiry experiences, teachers will become active participants in developing a strong foundational base for literacy instruction for all learners in their classrooms.

EDU 741 Literacy Assessments (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on the use of assessments in determining a student’s reading and/or writing skills. Teachers will examine, create, evaluate, and reflect on a variety of literacy assessments as they are directly connected to data-driven instruction and student literacy achievement. Each course module will engage teachers in becoming familiar with a range of assessments and how to use data from these assessments in developing lessons and activities that will allow students to learn subject content as well as develop and deepen literacy skills. Teachers will be engaged in the research around assessments as well as how to modify assessments and instruction based on assessments to meet the needs of diverse learners.

EDU 742 Study Skills & Content Literacy (Credits: 3)

This course will provide teachers with the foundational knowledge of how to meaningfully integrate content area literacy into their classrooms. Teachers will be immersed in the most current research surrounding teaching our students to be active consumers of a variety of texts in the content area classroom. Each learning module will be devoted to answering an inquiry question that is based in research and best practice. Teachers will be expected to engage with this material as well as be active learners themselves by demonstrating how this would look in their practice as they deliver effective literacy instruction.

EDU 743 Connecting Reading with Writing for Success (Credits: 3)

This course will immerse teachers in the theoretical and evidence-based reading and writing connection. Teachers will have the opportunity to explore this connection by examining and applying successful instructional strategies and activities. In addition, teachers will engage with the research that drives effective writing instruction. Each learning module will be devoted to answering an inquiry question that is based in research and best practice. Teachers, regardless of the level or content they teach, will be provided with tools that will help to maintain learners’ literacy development as they read and write to learn or learn to read and write.

EDU 744 Meeting Student Literacy Challenges (Credits: 3)

This course will address how to engage in differentiated literacy practices to meet the needs of all diverse learners in current and future classrooms. Teachers will be immersed in the foundational knowledge that will assist them creating effective instruction that will assist students who need support in their literacy development. This class will deal with how to approach literacy challenges from the classroom and school levels in a systematic way. In addition, it will address diverse learners both in terms of learning differences (such as struggling readers, English Language Learners, and gifted learners) as well as incorporating a culturally responsive approach to pedagogy.

EDU 746: Professional Learning and Literacy Leadership (Credits: 3)

This course will focus on the leadership skills that the professional will need as a Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach. Specifically, this course will explore the coaching relationship and how to work collaboratively to plan, implement, and supervise literacy programs at the individual, classroom, school, and district wide level. Focus will also be on facilitating a literate environment, working with literacy in a diverse society, and developing leadership skills. This course will also fulfill the requirements that many states have for course work in Administration and Supervision of Language Arts Programs.

EDU 747: Literacy for English Language Learners (Credits: 3)

This course goes into more depth specifically about meeting the needs of students whose native language is not English. Topics will include emergent literacy, individual student differences and similarities, first and second language acquisition and development, emergent and experienced reading and writing development, multiple test sources, text analysis, process writing, assessment techniques, portfolio assessment, classroom organization and management, whole language classrooms, language arts materials, and effective instructional strategies. This course will help to prepare future Reading Specialists to work with this growing population and support teachers who have students from different linguistic backgrounds.

EDU 748: Literacy for Inclusion Settings (Credits: 3)

This course is designed to straddle the disciplines of regular and special education. With the movement to RTI (Response to Intervention) schools are taking on a more holistic approach to differentiation of instruction and support for intervention at all levels before a special education diagnosis is made for a child. As a result regular and special education teachers have been asked to sit at the same side of the table when assessing and planning instruction for all students. This course will emphasize this bridge between working with students in an inclusive setting. Special emphasis on literacy assessments and instruction will be the focus as well as how to differentiation in Tier One, Two, and Three levels of instruction.

EDU 749: Reading Diagnosis: Clinical Practice I (Credits: 3)

This two part practicum courses will closely examine a wide range of assessment and instructional methods to support literacy development of struggling learners. They will involve working closely with both an onsite mentor and also with a learning community of students and a UNE instructor. This collaboration will support the student as he/she develops an intensive tutorial relationship with a K-12 student who is struggling in literacy. These courses are full semester long where each term the teacher will work in a one-on-one tutorial setting. During Reading Diagnosis the teacher will engage in administering a variety of reading diagnosis assessments to better understand the child’s literacy difficulty. During the Instructional Intervention course, the teacher will collaboratively create and implement literacy programming that builds on this diagnosis with the goal of moving the student forward in his/her literacy growth. This course meets most state’s requirements that a 6 credit practicum be part of an approved graduate program.

 

EDU 750 Reading Instructional Intervention: Clinical Practice II (Credits: 3)

This two part practicum courses will closely examine a wide range of assessment and instructional methods to support literacy development of struggling learners. They will involve working closely with both an onsite mentor and also with a learning community of students and a UNE instructor. This collaboration will support the student as he/she develops an intensive tutorial relationship with a K-12 student who is struggling in literacy. These courses are full semester long where each term the teacher will work in a one-on-one tutorial setting. During Reading Diagnosis the teacher will engage in administering a variety of reading diagnosis assessments to better understand the child’s literacy difficulty. During the Instructional Intervention course, the teacher will collaboratively create and implement literacy programming that builds on this diagnosis with the goal of moving the student forward in his/her literacy growth. This course meets most state’s requirements that a 6 credit practicum be part of an approved graduate program.

EDU 757: Health and Safety Implementation for CTE (Credits: 3)

Health and Safety Standards for CTE offers essential content and background for those responsible for overseeing the safety and hygiene in a CTE schools. Participants will develop an understanding of safety and industrial hygiene terminology and principles and practices by examining four key processes in an effective industrial hygiene model — anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control. Discussions on when to utilize various qualified and certified safety protocols are held throughout the course. Coursework focuses current best practices for school and workplace safety and exploration of industrial hygiene hazards and controls found in many industries.

EDU 759: Preparing Students for College, Careers, & Citizenship (Credits: 3)

The initiation, building and continuation of educational, business and community partnerships and collaborations are critical to the success of CTE schools. Vital and active partnerships provide ground for unique collaborations that serve students by fostering business apprenticeships, post-secondary articulations and dual enrollments, parental and community support, grants/scholarships/donations, curricula content expertise and the overall understanding of macro trends and opportunities Course participants will develop a Comprehensive CTE Outreach Plan for their school.

EDU 791/792: Internship I & II (Credits:3)

Internship is a self-designed experience that consists of 150 hours (10 hours/week for 15 weeks) at a site other than the school the student works. The design of the internship must focus on the intern’s leadership skills as described in the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders as well as the collection of artifacts and data that demonstrate the intern’s use of those skills. This course is a requirement of State of Maine Building Administrator Certification.

 


Transfer credits for more flexibility

This CAGS program allows students to transfer in up to two classes – for a total of six credits.  This allows you even more flexibility in customizing your educational experience. Courses that involve field-based work may be included in this program.

The option to design your own program

This CAGS program allows you, as a school leader, to design a post-master’s program of study based on your district’s needs and your state’s requirements.  This CAGS program does not align with any particular state certification requirements.

As a student, you are encouraged to work with your Department of Education if certification is your goal. If certification is your goal, you may wish to consider the CAGS – Advanced Educational Leadership program, or contact an enrollment counselor for questions. 

The CAGS focuses on developing leaders through advanced instruction in:

  • Team building
  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Strategic planning
  • Analyzing leadership through observation

Learn to effectively motivate and lead teachers

This program requires completion of 10 post-master’s courses for a total of 30 credits. Additional focus is placed on instructional leadership and tools to use to effectively motivate and lead teachers. The CAGS is tailored to the daily life of a working teacher and includes an immersive education experience within the student’s own classroom.

Discussion topics include:

  • The changing state of education across the United States
  • School reform
  • School culture
  • Educational initiatives
  • Supervision and evaluation strategies
  • School and community relations
  • Communication
  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Strategic planning

Accreditation

NEASC accredited

The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC CIHE). NEASC is the nation’s oldest regional accrediting association whose mission is the establishment and maintenance of high levels of education, from pre-kindergarten through the higher education doctoral level. Accreditation is the review of the quality of educational institutions and programs. In the United States, accreditation is a major way that the public knows that an institution or program provides a high quality education.
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US News and World Report Ranking

Best Online Programs 2016US News and World Report 2016 Best Colleges Regional Universities North

The University of New England claimed a spot in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 rankings for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. UNE placed 66th out of 250 public and private colleges and universities listed in the report. UNE is one of only 25 private universities appearing in the top 100, and is one of just two Maine institutions included in the ranking. 

Click here for more information on UNE's Rankings.

After completing their CAGS, students should be able to:

  • Apply research results to leadership decisions.
  • Describe the requirements of the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (formerly ISLLC).
  • Demonstrate a high degree of specialized knowledge and skills about school administration.
  • Exhibit leadership skills in an actual school administrative setting.

Learn to effectively motivate and lead teachers

This CAGS program is tailored to the experiences of an educational professional who aspires to a leadership role. It provides a thorough foundation in educational leadership theory, principles, and practices, placing emphasis on instructional leadership and tools to use to effectively motivate and lead teachers. 

Apply your skills immediately

The online Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study is designed to help you become an effective leader in your educational environment. The courses covers a range of educational and leadership topics and are comprised of high quality and innovative curricula that will teach skills immediately applicable in your learning community.

Graduates of the CAGS program will receive a diploma stating “Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study.” If you need additional documentation or verification of your focus area, please contact an enrollment counselor.

Gainful Employment Links

Gainful Employment Disclosure – Year 1
Gainful Employment Disclosure – Year 2


Suggested next steps:

  1. Admissions Requirements – CAGS: General
  2. Explore the CAGS AEL program
  3. Commonly asked questions for the online CAGS program
  4. Certification requirements by state
  5. Fun interactive U.S. map of certification requirements

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