Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma (4 course program) towards the MEd Interdisciplinary


Fully Online


Four course topic delivered over Summer, Fall, and Winter terms


Graduate Program Administrator:
Shelley Enderton

Academic Coordinator:
Dr. Sharon Friesen

Program Overview

This graduate topic in the MEd Interdisciplinary program is designed for aspiring and current learning, curriculum and school leaders within the K-12 educational system. Multiple approaches to leadership are considered within the current context of schooling with consideration of contemporary trends and emerging issues. The focus is on evidence informed leadership practices that enhance student learning through attention to quality teaching and assessment, the ethic of care, inclusion and the thoughtful leveraging of learning technology. Courses integrate research and practical knowledge and link leadership theory to practice and consider a range of pragmatic strategies designed to provide a solution-oriented approach to instructional leadership in contemporary schools. This topic will explore and examine the competencies and approaches leaders can utilize to foster effective relationships, model commitment to professional learning, embody visionary leadership, lead a learning community, support the application of foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit, provide instructional leadership, develop leadership capacity, manage school operations and resources, and understand and respond to the larger societal context.

Program Details

Courses in this program are offered fully online. Courses are held in both an asynchronous environment (D2L) and a synchronous (real-time) environment (Zoom) which allows instructors to virtually meet and talk with students and experience a live exchange of ideas, hear class presentations and do group work with access to a whiteboard. For additional information regarding online delivery, refer to the eLearn website.

Program Goals:

  • Develop professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions that integrate both practical and research knowledge and link theory with systematic inquiry in relation to the expectations for school leaders in Alberta as detailed in the Leadership Quality Standard (Alberta Education, 2018a).
  • Emphasize nine school leadership competencies: fostering effective relationships, modeling commitment to professional learning, embodying visionary leadership, leading a learning community, supporting the application of foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit, providing instructional leadership, developing leadership capacity, managing school operations and resources, and understanding and responding to the larger societal context.
  • Develop a critical, systematic, and research informed knowledge base within the larger field of educational leadership.
  • Engage in the scholarship of leadership, teaching, and learning through reflexive processes of research informing practice and practice informing research.
  • Review, critically analyze, and report on educational research literature using a range of academic writing genres to make informed practice and policy decisions.
  • Investigate, understand, and resolve complex problems of leadership practice.
  • Conceptualize, design, and conduct disciplined inquiry and/or field-focused action research.
  • Demonstrate collaboration, communication, knowledge-building, and leadership skills.

The program will be of interest to current and aspiring leaders and will enable graduates to apply to Alberta Education for:

A registration package will be sent to new students after they have been admitted. Registration for the summer term will be available in late winter. Fall and Winter registration opens in the spring. Your Graduate Program Administrator will send more information about registration to you.

Fee details are available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

The University of Calgary offers multiple ways to meet the cost of your education. Please refer to the Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries page to learn more about options available to students. For additional information, please contact Student Financial Support.

Program Schedule & Course Descriptions

  • Program begins each Summer term (refer to the Academic Schedule for specific dates)
  • Outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L
  • 3 units per course

Term 1 - Summer

Leading Student Learning

This course focuses on expanding leaders’ knowledge of and expertise in instructional strategies that engage students through challenging and authentic learning experiences. It explores the importance and practices of ensuring alignment of curriculum outcomes, learning experiences, and assessment including pedagogies that enable First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success.

Registration info:
EDER 619.22 L02 (50029)

Term 1 - Summer

Contemporary Leadership Perspectives and Practices

This course examines leadership theories and their place in today’s educational landscapes. It explores how leaders develop strategies that foster innovation and sustainable improvement in schools, and how they lead within broad societal directions and local challenges and imperatives. Particular attention will be paid to the theoretical and practical aspects of fostering effective relationships, embodying visionary leadership, understanding and responding to the larger societal context, and advancing First Nations, Métis and Inuit foundational knowledge in schools and districts.

Registration info:
EDER 619.11 L01 (50028)

Term 2 - Fall

Leading for Enhanced Capacity

This course investigates how leaders work to build instructional and leadership capacities in self and others. Drawing on current research on teacher growth, supervision and evaluation, it explores school leadership as planned, contextual, and responsive. It also examines the ways in which leaders create the conditions that encourage collective professional growth and continuous learning on behalf of student success.

Registration info:
EDER 619.90 L05 (73435)

Term 3 - Winter

Leading an Evidence-Informed Learning Culture

This course explores the leadership required to establish a collaborative, inclusive, and evidence-informed learning culture. Participants will reflect on their dual role as researcher and practitioner and will also consider the ethical ways data is shared and used in classroom, schools, and systems to ensure optimum teaching and learning. The ways in which leaders foster effective relationships, provide instructional leadership, lead a learning community, and respond to the larger societal context will be considered.

Registration info:
EDER 619.12 L02 (11084)