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Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML) FAQs

Planning Questions

What can I expect of the format and work involved for this certificate program?
CSML is comprised of four distinct yet interrelated courses, which may be taken individually or completed together to earn a comprehensive certificate. Each course takes place over four weeks and will require an estimated three to five hours of work each week. To stay up to date on CSML developments and future course offerings, please request information.

All courses in the CSML portfolio will be offered on the highly interactive HBS Online platform, created by HBS for an active, social, and case-based online learning experience. The experience is designed to be both rigorous and flexible. The activities are asynchronous but gated, meaning you can choose when within a given week you do them; however, you will engage with each module’s content and complete required assignments during designated time periods. This encourages cohort members to proceed through the learning experience together and supports peer-to-peer learning, a key component of the CSML experience. Click here to watch the platform demo.

When will CSML courses become available?
CSML is comprised of four courses, which together address topics most vital to leading successful schools. These four courses are:

  • Leading Change
  • Leading School Strategy and Innovation
  • Leading People
  • Leading Learning

To receive more information and updates about CSML courses, please click here.

What is the cost of the program?
We are pleased to offer a special introductory rate of $399 for Leading Learning through June 2022. Leading Change, Leading School Strategy & Innovation, and Leading People are offered at $499 per participant.

Is financial aid available for this program?
Financial aid is not available for this program. This program is excluded from the use of HGSE Professional Education discounts for HGSE alumni.

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

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

Application Questions

Why am I receiving an error message during my application?
Applications are processed through HBS Online. The HBS Online platform, including the application and courses, is designed to work on an internet-connected desktop or notebook computer running either the Chrome or Firefox browser. Tablet computers and smartphones are not supported by the HBS Online platform at this time. Click here for helpful information to guide you through your application, or for support please email hbsonlineaccommodations@hbs.edu.

Where is the email confirming my HBS Online account has been created?
If you don’t receive a confirmation email after creating an HBS Online account in your inbox, please check your spam or junk folder.

Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML) Credential Questions

What is the certificate that I will receive upon completion of an individual course?
Upon successful completion of an individual course, participants will receive a certificate of course completion as well as a letter confirming clock hours awarded (15 hours). These certificates of completion and certification of clock hours are issued jointly by HGSE and HBS upon completion of each of the CSML courses. 

What is the certificate that I will receive upon completion of all four courses?
Participants who successfully complete all four CSML courses – Leading Change, Leading School Strategy & Innovation, Leading People, and Leading Learning – will receive the comprehensive Certificate in School Management and Leadership. Please request information to stay up to date on CSML developments and future course offerings.

Do participants have the option to earn academic credit through CSML? Can course hour equivalents be provided?
CSML does not provide academic credit and instead provides a certificate of completion as well as a letter confirming the number of clock hours awarded per course. CSML does not provide course hour equivalents.

Does CSML offer graduate credits or a transcript?
CSML is a professional development program and does not offer graduate credits, an academic transcript, or grades.

Does the CSML lead to administrative certification? Does CSML 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 CSML would meet their criteria. CSML has not currently sought approval from specific certification and licensure programs.

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

How are certificates delivered?
Individual course certificates and comprehensive certificates are delivered to eligible participants in both digital and printed formats. Physical certificates are shipped via United States Postal Service (USPS) First Class Mail and may take eight weeks or more to arrive at your address once dispatched. Shipment tracking is not available.

When will I receive my comprehensive certificate?
Participants will receive email communication about ordering both their digital and physical comprehensive certificates within a few weeks of successfully completing their fourth CSML course.

How should I list my comprehensive certificate on my resume and/or LinkedIn?
Once you’ve successfully completed the four CSML courses and have earned your comprehensive certificate, list it on your resume like this:

Harvard Business School Online; Harvard Graduate School of Education
Certificate in School Management and Leadership
Successfully completed Leading Change, Leading School Strategy and Innovation, Leading People, and Leading Learning
[Completion Year]

List your certificate on your LinkedIn profile under "Education" as follows:
School: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Dates Attended: [The year you earned the comprehensive Certificate]
Degree: Other; Certificate in School Management and Leadership
Field of Study: Leave blank
Grade: "Complete"
Activities and Societies: Leave blank
Description: The Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML), a multi-course certificate program for PreK-12 school leaders, is an innovative collaboration between the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and Harvard Business School (HBS).

What happened to Leading Schools?
Leading Schools has been renamed Leading School Strategy & Innovation, effective for the October 2021 cohort. Only the course name has changed, the content of the course remains the same.

I have a Leading Schools certificate from a previous cohort, is it still valid?
Yes, your Leading Schools certificate is still valid.

I have a Leading Schools certificate from a previous cohort. Can I order a new certificate with the updated course name?
No. We are not reissuing certificates. The certificate you earned for Leading Schools is still valid. If you wish, you may update your LinkedIn profile and/or resume to reflect the new Leading Schools Strategy & Innovation course name.

Does the Leading Schools Strategy & Innovation course name change affect my ability to earn the comprehensive Certificate in School Management and Leadership?
No. As the content of the course has not changed, participants who have previously completed Leading Schools as well as participants who complete future cohorts of Leading Schools Strategy & Innovation are eligible to earn the comprehensive Certificate in School Management and Leadership pending their completion of the other three CSML courses.