School Leadership Graduate Certificate

School Leadership Graduate Certificate for Educational Equity, Racial Understanding and Organizational Transformation

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The Graduate Certificate in School Leadership for Educational Equity, Racial Understanding and Organizational Transformation is a principal preparation program focused on developing leaders able to create the conditions needed to influence equitable mindsets, inclusive environments, and effective instructional practice.  This innovative program ensures the development of courageous, inclusive leadership skills that lead to transformational change and improved outcomes for all students. By enhancing and utilizing skills that promote social justice, social emotional competencies coupled with an understanding of human and group dynamics, participants will be equipped to create equitable learning environments for students and adults.

The program is structured as an 18-credit graduate certificate.  It consists of 7 courses that can be completed over three semesters (fall, spring, summer). All courses are delivered in a blended format with a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning.

This graduate certificate is aligned to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) administrator standards and develops core competencies in three main areas: 1) Organizational Leadership  2) Anti-Racist Leadership and 3) Social Emotional Competencies.  As a sponsoring organization, we prepare aspiring leaders and provide endorsement for principal or assistant principal licensure; as required by the state of Massachusetts.

Program Goals and Objectives

Current conditions have demanded principals acquire new leadership skills that are flexible, inclusive and transformative.  Effective transformational leaders influence systemic change by creating shared goals and promoting effective practice.  Through the School Leadership Academy, the Graduate Certificate in School Leadership for Education Equity, Racial Understanding, and Organizational Transformation will equip participants with the following skillset:

  • Understand the science of human behavior in the workplace
  • Learn how to effectively address school climate and school culture challenges
  • Gain knowledge and skills to address systemic oppression
  • Be able to collaboratively lead and manage change
  • Utilize social emotional skills and competencies to enhance stress management, build relationships and improve decision making.
  • Lead with a moral imperative and courage
  • Interrupt the status quo

Why Study at William James College?

William James College strives to be a preeminent school of psychology that integrates rigorous academic instruction with extensive field education and close attention to professional development. We assume an ongoing social responsibility to create programs to educate specialists of many disciplines to meet the evolving mental health needs of society.

The graduate certificate program is offered within the Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department (OLP) and in collaboration with Teachers21 and the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development. William James College is dedicated to training professionals in psychology, behavioral health, and leadership.  The Organizational and Leadership Psychology department is pioneering some of the most important curricula developments in applied psychology to address the most pressing needs of organizations today. We offer a powerful combination of expertise, direct service skills and deep understanding of the educational system.

Studying at William James College also allows participants to pursue continued educational interests. Eligible graduates from this program will be able to transfer up to 8 credits to the William James College PsyD in Leadership Psychology if they decide to pursue a doctoral degree.

Who is this program for?

The Graduate Certificate is intended for classroom teachers, school administrators, mid-career professionals, aspiring school leaders, and working school professionals. This is a principal preparation program aligned to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) administrator standards. 

Though this certificate is designed to meet Massachusetts state principal licensure requirements, the content and competencies developed in the program will greatly enhance the leadership skills of anyone aspiring to be a school leader in today’s high intensity and highly diverse environment. The goal of the program is to develop exemplary leaders by building upon prior knowledge, incorporating organizational development psychology values and concepts while maximizing collective capacity. 

How can you apply the certificate to your work and career advancement?

Participants in the program will learn to lead diverse and multicultural workforces and to strategically engage in anti-racist action. The curriculum will use concepts from psychology and adult social emotional competencies to teach students to create psychological safety that will result in responsive and high performing teams. Students can bring their new knowledge and immediately apply it to the workplace for successful outcomes.

Kris TaylorMeet the Program Director and Contact Us

Kris Taylor, EdD
Director, Graduate Certificate in School Leadership for Educational Equity, Racial Understanding, and Organizational Transformation

Dr. Kris Taylor curates and develops Teachers21 programs and curriculum for resources, activities and alignment to DEI initiatives. She is the Director of the  School Leadership Academy Graduate Certificate and licensure program. Before joining Teachers21 at William James College, she was the District Lead and Manager at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where she  led an internal equity team focused on building the capacity of DEI leaders. She applied research-based practices to improve academic outcomes for students in the lowest performing schools.

Before joining DESE, Dr. Taylor worked with the Chief of Schools and the Instructional Superintendent Team as the Director of Leadership Development for Boston Public Schools.  In this role, she collaborated with an array of Assistant Superintendents, school leaders and partners to design and implement high quality, inquiry-based, professional learning experiences for Boston principals and headmasters.  In addition, she created and coordinated new leader induction to advance the skills and competencies of new principals and aspiring leaders in strategic school design.  Dr. Taylor created and facilitated professional learning, which allowed the district to achieve workforce diversity goals in 2017 and 2018.  Her experience includes coordinating and facilitating courses for school leaders and district leaders on unconscious bias, supervision and evaluation and improving hiring practices and retention rates by utilizing an equity lens.

Dr. Taylor taught middle and high school for nine years. She was an academic coach, supporting K-5 educators and a principal intern before becoming the principal of a large K-8 school in Boston. As principal, she and her team reduced the number of students performing at the warning level on the state assessment. 

Dr. Taylor received her EdD from Boston College/Teachers21/MASS LLPS program, her MEd from Harvard University and her BA from University of California at Berkeley. Her dissertation focused on the leadership practices that influence student achievement and equity. Her research group identified specific practices that allowed a high performing school to achieve academic success with the same student population within a low performing district.