This 36 contact hour certificate offers a unique opportunity for educators to reimagine schools with practitioners across the country. Grounded in social justice leadership and culturally responsive leadership, educators receive 21st century online learning to build better relationships with students and families, rethink their policies and practices, and examine their mindsets and dispositions that impact student success. The certificate signals competence for leading personal, professional, and systems change. Upon completion of six modules co-constructed by practicing school administrators and researchers, educators will have new knowledge and strategies to engage school communities in equity work and create better schools, better communities, and ultimately, a better world.
Module 1: Culturally Responsive Leadership
Culturally responsive leadership is anchored in community connections. These connections promote equity for our most marginalized students and their families. As you work through this module you will be exposed to material from Dr. Muhammed Khalifa's book entitled Culturally Responsive Leadership. Dr. Brene Brown's text, Dare to Lead, also informs this module. Participants will engage in several activities that will include a mini project, a threaded discussion around shared leadership and power, and a case study that focuses on a school that was facing closure. Participants can also expect to participate in a quiz and there is a video assignment.
Module 2: Reflexive Leadership - Deficit Thinking and Low Expectations
The Reflexive Leadership - Deficit Thinking and Low Expectations module will empower educators to (1) engage in exercises to better understand deficit thinking, racism, and stereotypes, (2) identify and challenge their own deficit thinking and low expectations that show up in practice and policy, (3) understand the differences between reflecting and being reflexive and (4), participate in activities that examine their five essential values.
Module 3: Servant Leadership
Servant Leadership satisfies the natural feeling that one has to serve others. The purpose of this module is for the participants to begin self-reflecting on the nine characteristics of a servant leader: (1) listening (2) empathy (3) healing (4) awareness) (5) persuasion (6) stewardship (7) conceptualization (8) building community and (9) commitment to the growth of others. These nine characteristics of servant leadership are crucial to creating a positive school climate that will lead to higher student achievement, which will ultimately meet the goals of all stakeholders.
Module 4: Racially Responsive Leadership
We will define Racially Responsive Leadership as we reflect on your current leadership practice and how it reflects your sensitivity to the presence of racism in various schooling spaces. As a school leader, how will you promote equity and diversity in your educational or work setting for success? We will examine racist practices and policies that marginalize students. We will create equitable and just leadership responses to oppression in schools, think with other educators about strategies to dismantle systemic racism, and rethink schools with liberating structures that honor students of color and their communities.
Module 5: Transformative Leadership
This module introduces educators to transformative leadership theory. Thoughtfully constructed assignments will support transformative leadership development. This module will help identify areas that need changing within an organization. As a transformative leader, you will need to create a vision to guide change while collaborating with others to meet the needs of your school community. During this module, you will have an opportunity to learn about the eight tenets of transformative leadership. Participants will interact with two articles, watch a video, and go on a transformative leadership hunt. The module concludes with an assessment to check your understanding. Take this opportunity to learn and engage with classmates. Delve into the topic of transformative leadership to create equitable learning conditions for students.
Module 6: Social Justice Leadership
This module will introduce educators to Social Justice Leadership Theory. Educators will construct a working definition of the theory, critically reflect on its characteristics, and share how they are currently implementing this leadership theory into their current practice. Educators will explore the role and responsibility of school leaders to ensure that equity and diversity are implemented so that individual educational needs are met and all students feel included within the learning environment. Participants will examine current curriculums and programs, share their own experiences, and think critically about how these entities lack diversity and inclusivity.
What people are saying about this course:
"I have really enjoyed this course and the timing of it could not have been more appropriate. You have wonderful teachers leading us to become more culturally competent and ready to make changes in the districts/building we serve. Being out of school for longer than I care to say, I had some struggles, but I am so thankful to MDE, you and EMU for making this possible. I feel I have been enlightened, challenged, and "woke" to make necessary changes in the high school I work at."
"Just wanted to thank you both (and/or anyone else involved) in the EMU leadership professional development (six-week course). I found it insightful, thought-provoking, and overall helpful for me as a school leader."
"I am enjoying the readings and learning along the way."
"I am very thankful for this opportunity. This microcredential is everything that was lacking in every teacher and administrative preparation program I had...spanning 25 years."