University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

Strategic Leadership in Education

Penn GSE Certificate Program

February 2022 - July 2022

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Earn a certificate in educational leadership and develop your capacity to lead with purpose, confidence, and skill.

The Strategic Leadership in Education certificate program is designed for leaders looking to strengthen their effectiveness and deepen the impact they have on their schools, systems, or organizations. The program caters to working professionals from across the globe in K12, higher education, and other educational organizations, and includes an accelerated 6-month course of study. Leaders complete the program virtually, which allows them to maintain their current professional roles while joining the new Penn GSE leadership cohort.

**Strategic Leadership in Education Certificate at Penn GSE: INFORMATION SESSION**


Looking to develop your capacity to lead with purpose, confidence, and skill, within an educational organization? Please join us for an information session on the Strategic Leadership in Education Certificate Program at Penn GSE, on December 1 from 5:00 - 5:45 pm EST. 

Join the program leaders as they discuss the program goals, curriculum, and requirements, as well as time for questions and answers from attendees. This session is ideal for mid to senior-level professionals in an educational organization looking to learn more about this program.

Please visit this webpage to register for the information session on December 1.

Program Format

The program consists of 13 live virtual sessions, each focused on a critical and urgent aspect of educational leadership. Before and after each live virtual session, leaders learn at their own pace by exploring materials and completing assignments in Penn GSE's online learning portal. Led by experts from Penn GSE, Wharton, and beyond, this cohort-based program allows leaders to learn and develop together as they form relationships, provide support, and broaden their professional networks. The program's curriculum speaks to the contemporary challenges and opportunities of the current time, and utilizes the cohort member's own experiences as opportunities to reflect and grow.

Live sessions will tentatively occur from 5:30pm – 7:30pm ET on February 22, March 8, March 21, April 5, April 12, April 26, May 10, May 24, June 7, June 21, June 28, July 12, July 19.

Program of Study

The Strategic Leadership in Education certificate program is organized around four modules.


Module 1: Leadership for Teaching and Learning
This module supports leaders to explore core concepts in teaching and learning. Areas of focus include:

  • Establishing an ambitious and meaningful instructional vision
  • Supporting students to develop non-cognitive and social-emotional skills
  • Supporting educators to design and enact culturally responsive learning environments for students from racially, ethnically, and linguistically minoritized backgrounds

Module 2: Leadership for People Development
This module focuses leaders on the imperative of adult learning, development, and well-being. The sessions in this module explores:

  • How leaders can support the development of strategic and robust professional learning systems
  • How and why leaders must manage their own work-related stress and well-being, as well as that of the people within their organizations
  • How and why development and individual change efforts often fail, and what leaders can do about it

Module 3: Leading Schools, Systems and Organizations
This module explores the challenges, and possibilities, of how leaders can support positive change within their schools, systems, and organizations. The sessions in this module explore concepts such as:

  • Organizational sensemaking
  • The sociopolitical context of leadership
  • Organizational learning
  • Psychological safety
  • Decision-making
  • The 4P Framework for Strategic Leadership, which focuses leaders on perception, process, people, and projection


Module 4: Leadership in a Broader Context
Perhaps now more than ever, leaders must be mindful of the broader context within which they exercise their leadership and their organizations engage in its work. The sessions in this module will:

  • Support leaders to explore foundational concepts regarding crisis leadership
  • Explore theories and best practices related to a leader's role in effectively communicating vision and change

Application and Registration

Ideal candidates for this program are mid to senior-level administrators and leaders in public or independent K12 schools, districts, or systems; colleges and universities; and organizations with an education-focused mission.

Completing the program application is simple and easy. Simply click on the “Apply Now” button to complete your application. Applicants will be admitted into the certificate program on a rolling basis. You should expect to hear about your application decision within two weeks of applying.


Payment Options

If you are accepted into the program, you will be emailed directions for how to pay your program enrollment fee. When submitting payment, you will see two options for paying the $8,000 program fee. Payment is required in order to finalize your enrollment.

Payment in Full - This option will allow you to pay the entire program fee immediately upon registration.

Payment Plan - This option will allow you to enroll in a payment plan. The payment plan schedule is as follows:

  • Payment 1 - $2,000, due immediately upon registration
  • Payment 2 - $2,000, due on March 1, 2022
  • Payment 3 - $2,000, due on May 1, 2022
  • Payment 4 - $2,000, due on July 1, 2022

Please note that there is a discounted program fee of $6,500 for those who complete their application by February 3, 2021.

Program Faculty

The Strategic Leadership in Education certificate program draws on leading scholars, researchers, and practitioners for its teaching faculty. While each cohort's faculty may be different based on the unique professional learning needs of members of the cohort, the faculty listed below are all members of the 2021 teaching team.

Penn GSE Faculty Ed Brockenbrough
Dr. Ed Brockenbrough

Associate Professor

Penn GSE

Penn GSE Faculty Angela Duckworth
Dr. Angela Duckworth


Wharton and Penn SAS

Penn GSE Faculty Pam Grossman
Dr. Pam Grossman

Dean and Professor

Penn GSE

Penn GSE Faculty Zachary Herrmann
Dr. Zachary Herrmann

Assistant Adjunct Professor

Penn GSE

Penn GSE Faculty Sarah Schneider Kavanagh
Dr. Sarah Schneider Kavanagh

Assistant Professor

Penn GSE

Ms. Antoinette McDermott

Director of Graduate Programs

Wharton Communication Program

Penn GSE Faculty Rand Quinn
Dr. Rand Quinn

Associate Professor

Penn GSE

Scott Van Pelt
Mr. Scott Van Pelt

Associate Director
Wharton Communication Program

Penn GSE Faculty Kandi J. Wiens
Dr. Kandi J Wiens

Senior Fellow

Penn GSE

Robert Wilkinson
Mr. Robert Wilkinson


Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Apply Now

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Application Deadline: February 11

Program Duration

6 months
Approximately 3-4 hours of work per week


Program Location


Program Fee


Early Registration fee: $6,500 if you apply by February 3

Please note that a payment plan option is available. For details, see the 'Payment Options' section of this webpage.


Certificate and Credits

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a Penn GSE Certificate in Strategic Leadership in Education as well as 3 continuing education units.

Contact Us

Please contact with any questions about this program.