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University of New England: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

University of New England

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership

Biddeford, Maine


Designed and developed for working professionals who aspire to administrative and leadership roles in an educational environment, the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) in Educational Leadership provides an innovative and convenient program of study, leading to a post-master's professional credential. The part-time online program offers the self-directed, motivated adult learner the needed flexibility to accommodate a busy lifestyle while pursuing career goals.

Degree candidates in educational leadership join other graduate students at the University continuing their professional education in osteopathic medicine, human services, health and life sciences, management, and education. The online educational leadership program builds on a successful distance learning model—the master's degree in education for experienced teachers has hundreds of students enrolled throughout the country.


Courses in educational leadership are offered online, so study is convenient and accessible. Students may opt to study at home or in their school environment, wherever they have access to the Internet. With technical support from the University's instructional technology partner,, students quickly become adept with the technology, which is simple and easy to use. There are many opportunities for interaction with faculty mentors and other students, using Internet tools developed and adapted specifically for online learners; these include threaded discussions, online class sessions, and an electronic bulletin board designed for communication from a faculty mentor to the students. Highlighting the program is the one-week residential Integration Seminar, which brings together all of the students in the program for an intensive session offered in the summer.


The University of New England currently offers the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership in an online format. The curriculum consists of fifteen 3-credit online courses and a one-week residential summer seminar. Ten courses, including the seminar, are required; the additional five courses are available as electives. A minimum of ten 3-credit courses must be taken in the University's C.A.G.S. program to be awarded the Advanced Degree. The particular program of study chosen depends upon the existing requirements in the state where students work or seek certification as educational administrators. Students who do not wish to seek the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study may enroll in an individual course. Up to four courses may be taken as a nonmatriculated student.

The curriculum is designed to apply as broadly as possible to requirements throughout the country; however, it is the responsibility of the candidate to confirm what course content is needed in the state in which certification is sought.

The University of New England (UNE) is an independent university whose mission it is to educate men and women to advance the quality of human life and the environment. The University was created in 1978 in Biddeford, Maine, by combining St. Francis College and the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 1996 the University merged with Westbrook College, a small liberal arts college in Portland, Maine, giving UNE two distinctive campuses. The University now recognizes Westbrook College's 1831 charter date as the University of New England's founding date.

The University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership is approved by the Maine Board of Education to be offered in Maine and elsewhere. The University of New England's Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership meets or exceeds the national standard set by the Interstate School Leader Licensure Consortium (ISSLC) for post-master's certification and preparation in educational leadership.


As a part of the University of New England's online campus, students are just a mouse click away from the services and support they need. The certificate program staff and faculty members are ready to advise on course work and program procedures. The library staff helps in locating and accessing learning materials. The staff members are available 24 hours a day on a helpline for technology-related assistance.


Upon acceptance to the C.A.G.S. program, students may apply for a transfer of up to two 3-credit post-masters-level courses. For transfer credit to be considered, the graduate-level course work must have been taken following the completion of the master's degree. To request a review of course work for transfer credit, students must provide an official transcript for each course, a course description, a syllabus, and a comprehensive student statement supporting the rationale for the transfer request. Transfer of credit is at the discretion of UNE's Department of Education. The Summer Seminar and Internship cannot be satisfied through transfer credit, and no credit for experiential learning in lieu of Educational Leadership courses is given.


The faculty mentors for the program are University professors as well as practicing professionals. All are certified administrators, and the majority have earned a doctorate. Faculty mentors include talented educators with extensive backgrounds as principals, superintendents, specialists in curriculum development and special services, educational consultants, and guidance supervisors.


Applications for admission into the Educational Leadership program are considered as received, and a new cohort begins online every term. Applicants are encouraged to prepare application materials carefully and completely in order to ensure timely action by the admissions committee.Admission criteria for advanced degree can did a cyarea master's degree from an accredited institution (an exception is made for nonmatriculated students who can take up to 12 credits prior to having a master's degree); a minimum of three years' teaching experience; current employment in an educational setting or have ready access to one; ability to pursue challenging online graduate study; interest in continuing professional development and a role in educational leadership; and potential to improve practice through application of new knowledge and skills. Experience in a leadership capacity (i.e., committee chair, project supervisor, team leader) is highly desirable.


Tuition for the 2003–04 academic year was $1140 for a 3-credit course. For further information, prospective students should visit the Web site at the address below.


There is currently a variety of private loan programs available to educational leadership students. For more information, students should contact the Financial Aid Office (telephone: 207-283-0170 Ext. 2342; fax: 207-282-6379; e-mail: [email protected]).


Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership Program
University of New England
11 Hills Beach Road
Biddeford, Maine 04005
Telephone: 207-283-0171
Fax: 207-294-5942
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


The application process consists of six steps: completing the application forms (available in paper or online) no later than forty-five days prior to the start of a term (i.e., August 15, December 15, and April 15); submitting the nonrefundable application fee of $40; submitting official transcripts of all graduate work; sending in three letters of recommendation (one must be from a supervisor); writing a personal goal statement; and demonstrating evidence of teaching or administrative experience. An abbreviated online application is required for those applying as nonmatriculated students. This admission form enables students to enroll in up to four courses without formal admission into the University of New England.

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