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Professional Education

Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership FAQs

Planning Questions

What is the format and work involved in this certificate program?
Each module takes place over 12 weeks, moving through a cycle of learning, application, performance, and demonstration. Throughout the program, you will engage in a range of activities online, plus exercises carried out in your professional context.

Online activities include:

  • Reading
  • Watching videos
  • Taking short assessments
  • Participating in small-group virtual discussion, virtual discussion sections, and/or smaller self-organized breakout groups
  • Submitting a final project which demonstrates applied learning

The experience is designed to be both rigorous and flexible. The activities are asynchronous, meaning you can choose when within a given week you do them. Each week will require five to seven hours of work, with more guided work during the “learning” weeks (2, 3, 4, and 8) and more job-embedded practice and application during the other weeks of the module. Each participant will have a designated online learning facilitator whom he or she can contact directly for support. 

Do I need to take the five modules in a specific sequence? Which module should I start with?
CAEL is designed to support flexibility; you can begin with any module and complete them in any sequence. Participants pursuing the full certificate must complete four of the five CAEL modules, including Leading Learning, within 24 months of beginning the program. Leading Learning, the required module, is the core for certification and can be taken at any point within the certificate timeline. 

I see that multiple modules are scheduled during the same or overlapping dates. Can I take more than one module at a time?
With consideration for the estimated weekly commitment of 5-7 hours and that most CAEL participants are simultaneously working as new or aspiring district/system leaders, we strongly discourage participation in more than one module at the same time.  

Are there on-campus or in-residence opportunities for participants enrolled in CAEL?
CAEL is offered as an exclusively online program and currently does not involve any on-campus participation.

If I am already enrolled in one of the CAEL modules, do I need to apply again in order to enroll in the next module?
Participants will not be required to apply again for subsequent modules and instead will be sent, about a month in advance of the next module, an invitation to be automatically enrolled. The invitation email will include instructions to confirm participation.

Is it possible to participate in these modules from a different country? And from a different system and context?
Participants are not required to be working in U.S. contexts; however instructions and case studies are drawn primarily from U.S. contexts. CAEL is designed to be inclusive of diverse and international education leaders, and participation across time zones should not impact the learning experience. CAEL is partially asynchronous; learners choose when to access content (video and readings), complete assignments, and report out on job-embedded practice, as long as requirements are completed within an agreed-upon time period.

Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership (CAEL) Credential Questions

What is the certificate that I will receive upon completion of a specific module?
Upon the completion of each individual module, participants will receive a certificate of participation for the specific module by email. In addition, participants will receive a clock hour document and a signed letter that confirms their participation.

What is the certificate that I will receive upon completion of all four modules?
Upon satisfactory completion of four modules, including Leading Learning, within a 24-month time period, participants will receive a certificate by mail with the HGSE shield and signed by the faculty chair.

Do participants have the option to earn academic credit through CAEL? Can course hour equivalents be provided?
CAEL does not provide academic credit and instead provides a certificate of competency as well as a letter confirming the amount of clock hours awarded per module (60 hours). CAEL does not provide course hour equivalents. 

Does the Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership offer graduate credits or a transcript?
The Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership is a professional development program, and does not offer graduate credits, an academic transcript, or grades.

Could I eventually apply credit that I earn in CAEL toward the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program at HGSE?
While the content of the Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership (CAEL) is based on the curriculum of the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program at HGSE, it is not considered a replacement for the Ed.L.D. Program and it does not provide academic credit.

Does the CAEL Certificate lead to administrative certification? Does CAEL qualify for my state specific licensure program?

Participants should inquire with the accrediting board/organization of the certification/licensure that they are seeking in order to determine whether participation in CAEL would meet their criteria. CAEL has not currently sought approval from specific certification and licensure programs.

Does completion of this program grant alumni status?
Participants in professional education programs are not considered alumni of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.