Educational Leadership for Independent Schools


This graduate certificate program serves the needs of directors, heads of schools, principals, and other professionals responsible for the management of independent schools. The certificate program comprises 15 graduate credits with the option of applying them to the 33-39 credit Master of Science in Education degree with a concentration in Educational Studies.

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Gain a deep understanding of school budgets, general principles of budget development, and strategies for communicating budgetary issues to their constituencies.
  • Develop budgets for their schools that support faculty and staff in meeting their instructional goals.
  • Communicate effectively to various stakeholders including boards of directors, families and staff.
  • Become more proficient supervisors and professional developers with teachers and staff.
  • Become more competent consumers and producers of research that is relevant to their jobs.
  • Function more effectively and sensitively with faculty, students, staff, parents, and communities of diverse cultures and socioeconomic status.
  • Enhance and refine their management skills, including supervision of personnel, strategic planning, conflict management, and fund raising.
  • Improve their application of policy and laws to problems or issues that emerge.
  • Become competent instructional leaders through the analysis and use of data about their schools and their communities.
  • Build proficiency in the use of technology for instruction and administration.
  • Become effective mentors and supervisors for their faculty and staff.
  • Work effectively as part of a team and develop teams of teachers who provide participatory and democratic leadership to the school.

Note: Applicants to this certificate program must be educational professionals employed in a K-12 independent school.



851.642 Leadership in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Independent Schools

Students examine curriculum theory, design, and content and their relation to instruction and assessment as applied to independent schools. Topics include: curriculum and the independent school mission statement; K-12 curriculum scope and sequence; leadership of curriculum change; curriculum mapping and its implications; methods of assessment; interdisciplinary curriculum development; culturally responsive curriculum, instruction, and assessment;  and differentiation of curriculum and instruction. Participants apply course content by developing a plan for curriculum implementation in their own schools.

851.643 Supervision and Professional Development for Personnel in Independent Schools

Students examine models of instructional supervision, including clinical supervision and various approaches to personalizing supervisory strategies appropriate for independent schools. Emphasis is on development of an annual, school-based professional development plan; alignment of instructional goals with the supervision and evaluation of teachers; delegation of supervisory roles; recruitment, retention, and support of faculty and staff in independent schools; designing teacher incentives, recognition, and award programs; and using the principles of high-quality professional development to enhance teachers’ knowledge and skills. Students apply concepts to practical situations in laboratory sessions.

851.644 Public Relations, Marketing, and Fundraising for Independent Schools

Students explore the importance of public relations, marketing principles, and fund raising to independent school success.  Topics include:  maintaining positive community relations;  management of admission policies and procedures;  operation of public relations and publicity functions;  coordination of relations with other independent schools;  facilitating relations with educational, governmental, and social service agencies;  and fund-raising strategies.  Students analyze and critique various strategies through case studies and discussion.

851.646 Business Management and Finance for Independent Schools

“Students learn to apply business principles and financial processes that are the foundation for successful independent school management.  Content includes:  oversight of independent school budgets;  understanding of tuition and other revenue sources;  knowledge and effective use of endowments, financial aid, and loans;  understanding of major expenses; annual budget planning;  grasping the legal and ethical implications of financial management;  developing salary scales and policies;  using principles of strategic, long-range planning;  and facilities planning, maintenance, and management.  Applications include case studies for identifying and resolving common problems and challenges.

851.645 Governance of Independent Schools

Students learn to facilitate positive working relationships within the board of trustees and build effective partnerships between the board and the school’s faculty and staff.  Topics include setting, communicating, and evaluating progress toward annual goals;  strategic planning with faculty, staff, and board members;  establishing structures for boards to accomplish their work;  reporting effectively to boards on important issues and concerns;  models for evaluating the head of school;  models for evaluating board performance and contributions of individual board members;  developing trustees as effective school advocates;  and managing crises.  Students gain an understanding of the pressures exerted from multiple constituencies, finding ways to base decisions on what is good for students, what is good for the institution, and what is consistent with their own values.


In accordance with US Department of Education regulations, the JHU School of Education is required to disclose select information for all Title IV eligible gainful employment (GE) programs. To see the most recent data available for this GE program, please view the attached disclosure.

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Faculty Contact
Annette Anderson

Academic Program Coordinator
Liesl McNeal