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Developing Myself: A CAEL Module

5/7/18 to 7/28/18

This is an online program.

Applies toward the Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership

Individuals: $2,250 per module

Teams of 3 or more: $1,995 per team member


In order to transform the sector, you must first transform yourself. Developing Myself will not only show you how, but also offer rich opportunities for practicing the very skills that enable transformational growth for leaders. Leaders often underestimate the power they have to make change. In this module you will explore how adults can continue to evolve and apply those ideas to your self and your leadership. You will learn the importance of intentional self-development and use a variety of tools to support that development. Practices like deep listening, the ladder of inference, and testing big assumptions will help you leverage both relationships you will form with others in the course, and existing relationships within your current contexts, as invaluable resources for your growth. You will identify and make progress toward a high-level leadership goal with the support of your peers using the Immunity to Change Process. The concepts and tools offered in this module will help you develop your capacity to diagnose and respond successfully to the complex demands inherent in systems level education leadership.

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Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership FAQs


Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Practice intentional self-development
  • Identify a high-level leadership goal and make progress toward that goal
  • Apply the tools and practices used within this learning community to further your development within the context your own workplace
Format and Delivery

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.

Who Should Attend

Developing Myself is intended for current leaders in preK-12 school systems, including:

  • Superintendents and district-level administrators
  • Directors of charter management organizations
  • Administrators at state agencies
  • Experienced principals and teachers who aspire to system-level roles
  • Teams of education leaders seeking to strengthen their skills and collaborative capabilities

We encourage you to participate in this module as an individual or with a team. Please note that to create an environment in which you can take risks, share your experiences openly, and receive diverse input, we will group you with peers from other schools or organizations.

Faculty Co-Chairs

Lisa Lahey is a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was most recently the Associate Director of the Change Leadership Group at HGSE, a national project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop greater internal capacity for leading organizational improvement in our nation’s public school districts. She is also a founder, co-founder, and co-director of Minds at Work, a consulting group that works with senior leaders and teams in corporations, government, and nonprofits. Lahey is the author of Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization with Robert Kegan (2009), and How The Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work with Robert Kegan (2001). She is also co-author of Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools (2006). Her most recent publication, co-authored with Robert Kegan and Deb Helsing, is An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization (2016).

Deb Helsing is lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, researcher and author at Way To Grow, and Director of Coach Learning Programs at Minds at Work. Her primary role is to provide training and supervision to coaches (and other people-development professionals) working to incorporate the Immunity-to-Change approach into their practice and their organizations. At HGSE, Helsing co-teaches a course in personal mastery and provides individualized executive coaching to high potential educational leaders as part of the Doctor of Educational Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program. In her former role as Senior Program Associate at Harvard's Change Leadership Group, she worked with her colleagues to better understand school transformation and to design high-quality professional development programs for educational leaders. She holds a B.A. in English from Grinnell College, a masters degree from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Helsing is co-author of An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization (2016).

About the Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership

The Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership is designed to help current and aspiring preK-12 system-level leaders develop a robust understanding of the complexities within educational systems, while honing the leadership skills to create transformational change.

The CAEL certificate is comprised of four online modules. All participants must complete the Leading Learning module, and can select three of the remaining four offerings. Leading Learning can be taken at any point within the certificate timeline. 

CAEL Modules:

Each module spans approximately 12 weeks. Coursework is flexible — you can begin with any module and complete modules in any order.

Following successful completion of four modules, a final assignment will be required to receive the Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership. This final assignment provides an opportunity to reflect on the CAEL journey and to look forward, considering opportunities for further application.


  • Make visible to yourself key learnings from CAEL
  • Show evidence of your learning
  • Identify questions and next steps for continued learning

The project will result in a 2-3 page reflection and is due one month after your fourth CAEL module. The primary audience for this document is YOU. A facilitator will provide brief feedback.

Enrollment for Individuals

Enrollment Instructions

Step One
You will be asked to provide your personal profile and organizational information.

Step Two
You will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. Explain how participation in the program will benefit your work, and describe one or more significant challenges you would like to explore during the program. (250 word limit)
  2. In what ways do you expect your particular skills, experience, and perspective to contribute to group discussions? (250 word limit)
Enrollment for Teams

Enrollment Instructions

Identify Your Team Coordinator

  • Before beginning the application process, you will need to identify a team coordinator.
  • The coordinator will be the primary point of contact during the application process and preparation for the program.
  • The coordinator must participate in the program and all team members must enroll in the same module to be eligible for the team rate.

The Application Process

  1. A team application to be completed once by the coordinator.
  2. A team member application to be completed by each member of your team.
  • In order for your team to be considered for review by the admissions committee, each team member will need to complete the team member application. The coordinator will receive a link to the team member application once the team application is complete.
  • Once started, the team application must be completed in a single session. It should take 15–20 minutes to complete.
  • A list of required questions will be provided at the beginning of the team application.
  • When your coordinator is ready to complete the team application, it can be accessed by continuing to the next page.
Fees and Policies

Tuition includes all instructional materials. Participants receive 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. 

Payment or a purchase order must be received within thirty days of program acceptance and prior to the program start. While a purchase order confirms enrollment, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. 

Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies. If you have any additional questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please contact our admissions team at or 1-800-545-1849.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

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