Culturally Proficient Leadership (Certificate)


This MHEC-approved certificate is designed to analyze issues and trends promoting equity and excellence for all students in America’s schools. Candidates will critically examine their personal, social belief systems related to education, and learn to facilitate open dialogue about equity and excellence in their schools and school systems as equity leaders. Courses will focus on theoretical frameworks that address meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Culturally relevant pedagogy, critical race theory, intersectionality theory, and various learning theories will provide the frameworks for the analysis and application of effective pedagogical strategies.

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Program Locations

Additional Study Options

Student Outcomes

All students will be able to:

  1. Analyze major trends and issues related to equity and excellence in America’s schools.
  2. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the historical framework undergirding access to educational equity in American schools.
  3. Evaluate the intersectionality of contemporary critical theories that contribute to addressing the academic, social, and emotional needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.
  4. Establish environmental factors, pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment practices to determine how each can reproduce inequalities or promote success for all students and their communities.
  5. Develop culturally responsive teaching and leadership practices to ensure access and opportunity for all students.

Certificate Outcomes

All participants will be able to:

  1. Enhance career and professional development opportunities for employment pathways in the profession, e.g., Equity facilitator, specialist, coordinator, or director.
  2. Facilitate open dialogue about equity and excellence in schools and school systems as an equity leader.
  3. Design and evaluate curriculum and instruction to support the diverse learning needs of all students.



Required Courses

EDUC 510 - Introduction to Cultural Proficiency and Educational Equity
EDUC 511 - Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
EDUC 514 - Critical Race Theory in Education
EDU 567 - Learning Theory and Practice

Total Credits: 12

What to Expect Studying at Notre Dame of Maryland University

With award-winning teacher certification programs nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, you can expect to benefit from small class sizes, expert faculty, and practical field experiences.

Courses are conveniently offered during the evening hours. Class size consists of 12-21 students per course. A co-teaching model is utilized for several of the courses. Program assignments will allow candidates to participate in a variety of self-reflective activities; conduct research on an intersectionality topic of interest; develop their personal visions as equity leaders; and evaluate curriculum, instruction, and assessment using an equity lens.

Becky Miskimon
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One of the Best Decisions I’ve Ever Made

Alum, NDMU Class of 2018 Leadership in Teaching: Culturally Proficient Leadership, Culturally Proficient Leadership (Certificate)

Completing the Cultural Proficiency Leadership Endorsement Program at NDMU has been one of the best decisions that I have made. The program is thought-provoking and rewarding, and has promoted positive growth in me, both personally and professionally. The professors are knowledgeable, challenging, supportive, and accepting. I feel that anyone who participates would benefit from the experiences provided in this program.

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This Post-Master's Certificate opportunity is appropriate for equity-focused educators who are interested in positions of leadership in administration, curriculum development, instruction, and/or assessment.

Research Opportunities

Upon completion of the certificate, candidates may choose to transfer credits earned into the Cultural Proficiency Master’s Program, or the School of Education's Ph.D. program: Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations. The opportunity to develop a dissertation topic with an equity focus is encouraged for Ph.D. candidates.