Graduate Certificate – STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6)

Fall 2022 – Admission to this program has been suspended. Please contact the Office of Admissions for information.

The STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6) certificate program prepares STEM teacher leaders to support pre-K to sixth-grade teachers and their students. Candidates learn how to lead educational contexts to develop powerful STEM-infused learning environments and to support the professional development of elementary STEM teachers of all experience levels.

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Stephen Pape

Faculty Lead
Stephen Pape, PhD

Liesl McNeal

Sr. Academic Program Coordinator
Liesl McNeal

Graduate Certificate – STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6)

At A Glance

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Start Term 


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Completion Time

1-3 Years

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Application Deadline


Application requirements and deadlines
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Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change for ensuing academic years, and will be updated on the School of Education website accordingly.

Master's Degree and Certificate Programs
Part-Time (Face-to-face/Lecture courses, with the exception of the Counseling and Education Policy programs)$875 per credit
Part-Time (Face-to-face/Lecture courses - Counseling)$891 per credit
Part-Time (Face-to-face/Lecture courses - Education Policy)$1,300 per credit
Online Courses (with the exception of Counseling and DALET programs)

*In addition, a $20 per credit technology fee will be assessed.
$926 per credit*
Online courses (Counseling and DALET)

*In addition, a $20 per credit technology fee will be assessed.
$944 per credit*
M.Ed. Education in the Health Professions & Post-Master's Certificate in Evidence-Based Teaching in the Health Professions programs

**Classes in the Master of Education in the Health Professions (MEHP) or Post-Master's Certificate in Evidence-Based Teaching in the Health Professions programs are $1,382 per credit, with the exception of Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System employees, who pay $850 per credit.
$1,382 per credit**
MS in Education (International Teaching and Global Learning)

***In addition, a $1,500 per academic year technology fee will be assessed.
$48,000 per academic year***
Amber Bogaczyk

This program has given me hands-on training in how to effectively implement STEM learning in my classroom. Class sizes are small, and I feel as though I’ve gained a community of colleagues that will be available to me as I continue my career.


Amber Bogaczyk
Current student

Graduate Certificate – STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6)

Program Description

Students in pre-K to sixth-grade levels are learning critical knowledge and skills necessary for STEM-related college majors and careers. The STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6) certificate program is an online, 18-hour certificate for current teachers to develop motivational learning experiences and to lead change as instructional leaders, coaches, and mentors.

Candidates for the STEM Instructional Leader certificate learn to incorporate research-based practices that promote equity, access, and excellence in pre-K–6 STEM students, including underrepresented individuals, those with learning differences, and English learners.

Candidates participate in active learning experiences that bolster their own content knowledge in the fundamental areas of physical science, life science, Earth and space science, and mathematics. Coursework includes culturally relevant pedagogy in asset-based instruction; problem- and project-based learning; technology-enhanced instruction; STEM explorations, inquiry-oriented strategies, problem solving, and critical thinking; engineering design; and interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches.

Candidates can combine this certificate with other areas (see related programs) as they pursue a master’s degree. Under the MS in Education with a concentration in Educational Studies, students can pursue two pathways in the Individualized Interdisciplinary Program of Study to obtain a master’s degree. The first pathway allows a student to combine deep study of one area of education with exposure to the breadth of educational theory and practice. The second pathway enables students to combine two graduate certificate programs with the Seminar in Teacher Leadership that completes the Educational Studies concentration.

A STEM Instructional Leader candidate, for example, may combine this with the Mind, Brain, and Teaching certificate to understand how teachers create learning environments based on the learning sciences as they deepen knowledge of pedagogical approaches within STEM education. Alternatively, a student may pursue the Gifted Education or Urban Education certificate (face-to-face only) to become a STEM–Gifted or STEM–Urban Education Instructional Leader. Combining programs prepares candidates for long-term success and STEM leadership within their schools and districts.

Graduate Certificate – STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6)

Core Faculty

Stephen Pape

Stephen Pape

Graduate Certificate – STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6)


Program requirements

This 18-credit, fully online certificate program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for those seeking the STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6) endorsement. Prerequisites to being admitted to the program are completion of a bachelor’s degree in education or a closely related field from a regionally or nationally accredited institution and mathematics or science teaching experience in elementary, middle, or secondary schools.


This program requires the successful completion of 18 credits.

840.670 Advanced Methods in the Elementary STEM Classroom

840.600 Instructional STEM Leadership & Professional Development in the Elementary School Setting

840.601 Mathematical Foundations in the PreK-6 Classroom

840.650 Physical Science in an Integrated PreK-6 Classroom

Students take either of the following two courses in consultation with their adviser:

840.651 Earth and Space Science in an Integrated PreK-6 Classroom

840.652 Life Science in an Integrated PreK-6 Classroom

To complete the clinical experience as required by MSDE, students employed in the state of Maryland and seeking the endorsement will also enroll in a specially designated practicum section (3 credits hours).

ED.840.673 Practicum in STEM and Mathematical Instructional Leadership

Students not residing in Maryland and not pursuing the licensure endorsement will take, in consultation with their faculty adviser, a content course from the Mathematics Instructional Leader (Pre-K) certificate or one of the following two courses:

851.705 Effective Leadership

893.634 Technology Leadership for School Improvement

FUTURE STUDENTS ONLY: Students beginning their program in Summer 2021 and beyond must take the Practicum in STEM and Mathematical Instructional Leadership. Courses 851.705 and 893.634 will not be available in this program.

Course Information

Course descriptions, locations, and availability

Graduate Certificate – STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6)


Critical characteristics of certificate courses
  • Alignment with multiple professional organization recommendations for the preparation of teachers of STEM
  • Emphasis on updated research-to-practice approaches
  • Focus on equity, access, and excellence for each and every learner of STEM, including such learners as students with disabilities and English learners
  • Exploration of culturally relevant pedagogical approaches including asset-based instructional practices
  • Inclusion of problem-based, project-based approaches that meld STEM content with pedagogy
  • Exploration of technology-enhanced instructional contexts
  • STEM exploration, inquiry, problem solving, engineering design, and critical thinking
  • Instruction infused with mathematics content, pedagogy, principles, and perspectives
  • Exploration of rich cross-disciplinary experiences that support a deeper conceptual understanding of STEM disciplines and integration
  • Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary foci that support instructional leaders who can support the development of learners who are capable of thinking across disciplinary boundaries.
Student outcomes

Students enrolled in this program will learn to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of STEM and mathematical content.
  • Create inclusive, equitable learning contexts to engage diverse learners in STEM and/or mathematics content to develop foundational skills necessary for STEM and/or mathematics at the elementary school level.
  • Develop age-appropriate, student-centered learning experiences that engage students in interwoven and interdisciplinary classroom activities (NSTA, 2003) and/or promote the principles of equity, curriculum, teaching, learning, assessment, and technology (NCTM 2000).
  • Create technology-enhanced and/or problem-based learning experiences in STEM or mathematics content.
  • Evaluate and adapt local curricular materials to incorporate authentic problems related to STEM and or mathematics concepts and skills.
  • Serve as an instructional resource for STEM and/or mathematics educators and professionals.

This program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for those seeking STEM Instructional Leader (preK-6) endorsement.

Graduate Certificate – STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6)


What is the course delivery method?

Courses are delivered fully online in an asynchronous format that features small interactive groups, whole-class participation, engagement with young learners in educational settings, and individual preparation. The expected time frame for completion is between 12 and 24 months. This program incorporates active project-based learning, where you will develop and use skills in pedagogy, analysis, problem solving, and critical thinking.

Graduate Certificate – Autism and Other Pervasive Disorders


In accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations, the 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.

Gainful Employment Disclosure – 2019

Gainful Employment Disclosure – 2019

Program Name: Post Baccalaureate Certificate in STEM Instructional Leader (PreK-6)

This program is designed to be completed in 12 months.

This program will cost $17,250 if completed within normal time. There may be additional
costs for living expenses. These costs were accurate at the time of posting, but may have

Of the students who completed this program within normal time, the typical graduate leaves
with $ [XX,XXX] of debt.

Too few graduates to report median debt.

Program does not meet licensure requirements in the following States: Maryland

For more information about graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and post-enrollment
earnings about this institution and other postsecondary institutions please click here:

Graduate Certificate – STEM Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6)


Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.