Certificate in Educational Policy Development

Certificate in Educational Policy Development

The Certificate in Educational Policy Development equips current and aspiring leaders in schools and community-based organizations to leverage dramatic organizational change. Through a series of four courses, participants develop a sophisticated appreciation of how policies shape the cultural norms and day-to-day practices at both a micro level (e.g., within institutions) and a macro level (e.g., within a school district, a city, or a state). The goal of the program is to help leaders develop their repertoire of skills to use policy levers to creatively and effectively advance organizational goals.

Launching Spring 2020.

Available Format:
Online or Hybrid

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At a Glance

How many courses?

This program consists of 4 courses for a total of 12 credits.
Most students complete the program in a semester or a year.

When can I start?

Students can begin the program in the Fall,
Spring or Summer semesters.

Program Faculty & Expertise

Lynch School faculty from the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education are recognized for exceptional scholarship and influential work across a range of areas and subject matters in the fields of expertise. In both research and teaching, our faculty champion diversity—inclusive of race, language, learning abilities, and socioeconomic status—necessary to effect meaningful change. As students put their own scholarship into action, faculty members help guide their growth as critical thinkers, reflective leaders, and engaged citizens.

What will I study?

The Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education prepares the next generation of effective educational leaders. The Educational Leadership and Policy program develops administrators, community leaders, and advocates who will create fair and meaningful learning opportunities for all students. Graduates are knowledgeable about standards-based reform and technological advances and are trained to employ evidence-based practices.


  • Courses: 4
  • Credits: 12
Course Course Title Credit

Educational Policy in Practice 

This course provides an overview of educational policy, and equips students with the theories, tools, and skills to engage in policymaking as future educational leaders. We define policy broadly, considering the influence of policy at various levels, from federal and state to local districts and schools. Students will learn to use a range of tools for policy analysis, and apply different theories of policy implementation. We will also explore the differences between formal and informal policy as it plays out in the everyday practice of educational leaders and teachers; and consider the role education leaders play in interpreting and adapting policy. 

ELHE 7609

Law and Educational Reform 

This course addresses the role of law in education reform and the relationship between law and social science in efforts to promote educational attainment in the nation’s elementary and secondary schools. 



Reflection on Leadership Seminar 

This course serves as a capstone for students and should be the final course. The course supports students in synthesizing their learning across their program of studies, and prepares students for applying their learning as they continue on their career and vocational journey. The course is conducted in a seminar format, with students sharing in the leadership of the course discussions and activities. 

  • Students should select one course out of the following:
Course Course Title  Credit
ELHE 7707 

Leadership for Social Justice 

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of leadership for social justice at the school and district level. In particular, students will learn about leadership that is culturally and linguistically responsive; strengthens parent-community-school relationships; and formulates diversity policies to promote educational equity for students from diverse groups. 

ELHE 7712

School Leadership for Emergent Bilinguals 

This course strengthens the knowledge and skills of current and aspiring school leaders to ensure that culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students experience optimal opportunities to learn. Shifting demographics in the US have led to increasing enrollments of CLD students. These students come from a diversity of backgrounds and prior educational experiences, and speak a wide variety of languages, with varying English proficiency. They share a common experience as immigrants or children of immigrants. This course will help current and aspiring school and district administrators structure their schools to effectively educate CLD students. 


Where Do Our Graduates Work?


Princeton University

Brown University

University of Miami

Kyung Hee University

Fordham University

University of Connecticut

Merrimack College

Elms College

Monsignor Haddad Middle School

The Legal Aid Society


Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Study Abroad Advisor

Director of Enrollment Marketing and Operations

Policy Analyst

Admission Counselor

Career Consultant

Resident Director


Guidance Counselor

Education Attorney

Career paths chosen by previous graduates of the ELHE Department.

Application Information



Early Decision
November 1
Regular Decision
November 30

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A non-refundable application fee of $65 is waived for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 program start dates.


To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.


All official undergraduate and graduate transcripts must be sent to our office before the application deadline. Please note the following:

  • Only official sealed (unopened) transcripts are acceptable. An official postsecondary transcript must be printed on official institutional paper and include at least one of the following: an institutional watermark, the registrar’s signature, or the registrar's seal.

  • Copies and unofficial transcripts sent directly from applicants are not acceptable, the transcript must come directly from the institution.

  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate and/or graduate degree, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.

Official electronic transcripts are accepted when sent directly to gsoe@bc.edu from the institution. When requesting electronic transcripts, you must manually type in gsoe@bc.edu to ensure it is received by our office. 

Mailed transcript(s) should be sent to the following address:

Lynch Office of Graduate Admissions, Boston College
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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