Leadership in Teaching: Culturally Proficient Leadership


This Master’s program and 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 language and linguistic acquisition theories will provide the frameworks for the analysis and application of effective pedagogical strategies.

two students sitting on couch talking

Program Locations

Additional Study Options

Maryland Certifications

  • MHEC-approved Endorsement Certificate (12-credit Post Master’s)

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.

Program Outcomes

All graduates will be able to:

  1. Pass all national testing requirements, as applicable, achieving a 100% pass rate for NDMU.
  2. Enhance career and professional development opportunities for employment pathways in the profession, e.g., Equity facilitator, specialist, coordinator, or director.
  3. Facilitate open dialogue about equity and excellence in schools and school systems as an equity leader.
  4. 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 543 - Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Educational Research
EDU 557 - Leadership Seminar I
EDU 563 - Curriculum Development
EDU 567 - Learning Theory and Practice
EDU 569 - Supervision: Empowering Teachers
EDU 624 - Dialects in American Schools
EDU 665 - Digital Game-Based Learning and Design
EDU 674 - Global and International Perspectives in Education
EDU 698 - Linguistic and Cultural Diversity

Total Credits: 36

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.

Monica Joynes-Massey
Toggle between the photo and the story

The Art of Becoming

Student, NDMU Class of 2020 Leadership in Teaching: Culturally Proficient Leadership, Culturally Proficient Leadership (Certificate)

The Cultural Proficiency Master’s Program has given me new life: pedagogical knowledge, intellectual discourse, and current research tools to prepare me to become a ‘Cultural Race Theorist.’ I’ve gained a greater level of appreciation and understanding of myself and others.

Read story


This Master's degree 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 program, candidates may choose to transfer credits earned into 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.

Faculty-student collaborative research is encouraged in this program.