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. In this program, you will work with other mid to senior-level professionals from across the globe in K-12, higher education, and other educational organizations, in an accelerated 6-month course of study. You will complete the program virtually, which allows you to maintain your current professional role while joining the new Penn GSE educational leadership certificate program cohort.

What Sets Us Apart

  Expert teaching faculty from Penn GSE, Wharton, and more
  Cohort model allows you to learn in community and expand your networks
 Deep, rich, and personal learning experiences made possible through live synchronous sessions

About the Program

Educational leaders must navigate complex demands with a sophisticated understanding of people, organizations, and their context. The Strategic Leadership in Education certificate program provides a sustained, rigorous, and cohort-based leadership development experience that empowers you to embrace your leadership role with purpose, confidence, and skill.

Program startFebruary 2023

Program length6 months 

Certificate offeredPenn GSE Certificate in Strategic Leadership in Education

Professional development3 Continuing Education Credits from Penn GSE

Format(s)This program includes both live virtual sessions and asynchronous work to be completed at your own pace.


  • Program fee: $8,000
  • Early-bird fee: $6,500

For information about group payment options or payment plans, please contact ProfessionalLearning@gse.upenn.edu

Ideal candidatesMid to Senior-Level administrators and leaders in:

  • Public or independent K-12 schools, districts, or systems, such as teacher leaders, department chairs, principals, central office administrators, and superintendents.
  • Colleges or universities, such as division chairs, directors, deans, provosts, and presidents.
  • Organizations with an educational mission, such as education directors, executive directors, chief learning officers, and chief executive officers.
Programs for Working Professionals

The Strategic Leadership in Education certificate program is advanced, executive education for educational leaders. The program supports leaders to explore critical ideas in 21st-century teaching and learning, developing people and supporting well-being, leading schools, systems, and organizations, and leading change in a broader context. 

The program consists of 13 live virtual sessions, each focused on a critical and urgent aspect of educational leadership. Led by experts from the Penn GSE, The Wharton School, 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 for its inaugural spring 2021 cohort speaks to the contemporary challenges and opportunities of the current time and utilizes cohort members’ own experiences as opportunities to reflect and grow.

The program curriculum focuses on topics such as:

  • Cultivating Culturally Responsive and Student-Centered Teaching and Learning
  • Designing Strategic Professional Development Systems
  • Organizational Sensemaking and Strategic Leadership
  • Developing Psychological Safety and Leading Learning Organizations
  • Crisis Leadership and Managing Change
  • Leadership Communication in Challenging Times

Before and after each virtual session, you will complete readings and assignments asynchronously on Penn GSE’s learning platform. All assignments will relate directly to your current work, allowing you to make meaningful and immediate connections and impact in your current role. 

To learn more details about this program, including information about the curriculum and the dates and times of sessions, please contact us at ProfessionalLearning@gse.upenn.edu


Our Faculty

Listed below are the faculty members of the inaugural program. Each cohort’s faculty may vary.

Penn GSE Faculty Kandi J. Wiens
Senior Fellow
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Sarah Schneider Kavanagh
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Washington
Penn GSE Faculty Angela Duckworth
Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Zachary Herrmann
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Ed.L.D., Harvard University
Penn GSE Faculty Rand Quinn
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Stanford University
Penn GSE Faculty Ed Brockenbrough
Associate Professor and Calvin Bland Fellow
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Antionnette McDermott
Director of Graduate Program, Wharton Communication Program
Penn GSE Faculty Robert Wilkinson
Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School of Business
Penn GSE Faculty Scott Van Pelt
Associate Director, Wharton Communication Program
Penn GSE Faculty Pam Grossman
Dean, Graduate School of Education
Ph.D., Stanford University