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Enhance your passion for teaching and learning with 100% online graduate certificates – from the state’s flagship university.

Prepare to step out of your classroom comfort zone. Become a teacher leader within your school and beyond. Earn a graduate certificate through one of three completely-online programs in the following disciplines:

  • Instructional Coaching
  • Leadership for Deeper Learning
  • Executive Educational Leadership 

Teacher leader endorsement and rank change are available in Kentucky (see details below).

For each certificate you wish to complete, you take three online courses (9 hours) from a dynamic community of full-time professors and engaged students. Our online classes are taken by educators around the world, providing a diverse learning experience for all students.

What is instructional coaching?

As an instructional coach, you will be equipped to work with educators to improve classroom practices for the betterment of student learning. You will learn how to establish useful and supportive relationships with teachers in one-on-one and small group settings to provide strategies they can use to overcome the daily challenges of teaching. As an instructional coach, you will also coordinate professional development opportunities for educators.

Why deeper learning?

With a focus on deeper learning, you will be able to teach students how to think critically and analyze their environment using complex problem-solving techniques. You will provide them with the tools they need to adapt how they learn in an ever-changing world.

Who is a good fit for executive educational leadership?

Our Graduate Certificate in Executive Educational Leadership is primarily designed for school system leaders. The courses correspond to our Kentucky Superintendent Licensure program and thus are a good fit for district-level leaders. In particular, this program is useful for private school and international school system leaders such as the role of Headmaster.


Program Outcomes

Diverse learning experiences across the program prepare teachers to serve as a:

  • Curriculum specialist
  • Department chair or team leader
  • Instructional coach
  • Peer mentor
  • Superintendent
  • Headmaster
  • Change agent
We are available to help during your application process.

Questions About the Application Form, Checking for Completeness, Uploading Materials

Questions About the Programs, Materials or Qualifications Related to the Application, or Entrance to the Programs





  • Graduate Certificate in Instructional Coaching (9 credits)
    • EDL 638 – Instructional Coaching and Mentoring
    • EDL 706 – Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools
    • EDL 708 – Organizational Learning for P-12 Schools
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership for Deeper Learning (9 credits)
    • EDL 662 – Leading for Next Generation Learning
    • EDL 664 – Assessment Leadership
    • EDL 669 – Leadership for Creative Problem Solving
  • Graduate Certificate in Executive Educational Leadership (12 hours)
    • EDL 676 – The School Superintendency
    • EDL 677 – School System Administration
    • EDL 678 – Strategic Management in Education
    • EDL 682 – Leading District Change and Innovation


Our Program Experience

You will be prepared to be a leader who supports school and student success. Our graduates are teacher leaders who are actively engaged in and supportive of schoolwide improvement initiatives and who model lifelong learning. We value:


Our program prepares teachers to assume formal roles (e.g., department chair, grade-level team leader, technology coordinator) or informal roles (e.g., instructional model, peer mentor) and lead from within and beyond the classroom.


Because collective leadership by administrators and teachers is essential for successful 21st century schools, our program emphasizes developing interpersonal relationships and interdependence to achieve shared visions and goals.


Because teacher leaders build organizational capacity through their shared instructional leadership and collegial support for sustainable change efforts, our program is delivered through cohorts that function as communities of practice.


Our program develops the necessary knowledge and skills teachers need to foster learning-centered leadership. Teacher leaders learn to help educators diagnose and solve issues through action research.


All courses integrate individual and group learning, field-based activities and virtual class meetings. They include research and reflection to assure relevance and applicability.


Students evidence their learning through the creation and oral defense of their unique electronic portfolios.





You must meet the admission requirements established by the UK Graduate School and by the Department of Educational Leadership Studies.


To be eligible for admission to this graduate program, you must:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree, preferably education-based, from a fully accredited institution of higher learning in the USA or from a recognized foreign institution with cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Experience working as a P12 teacher for at least 3 years is required.

Application Documents

  • UK Application for Admission
  • Transcripts: Copies of all transcripts from all postsecondary institutions that you attended. Uploaded transcripts may be official or unofficial, however If you are offered admission and decide to enroll you will then be required to submit official transcripts to the Graduate School.
  • Resume: Limited to 2 pages, providing your name and contact information as well as postsecondary education (all degrees, years awarded, institution names, emphasis area), work experiences, education certifications, professional memberships.
  • Personal Statement: Please write 2-3 double‐spaced pages, word‐processed in either Times New Roman 12‐point or Arial 10‐point, page numbers and your name in upper right corner about why you are applying to the program. If you cite literature/resources to support your comments, adhere to the academic writing guidelines provided in 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

International Teachers

If your native language is not English, you must submit either a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score.

  • Minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based)
  • Minimum IELTS mean band score of 6.5
  • Please note that the language score for international applicants who have received a degree from a U.S. institution is waived.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Detailed information about the application process can be found at

How long is the program?

Any of these graduate certificates can be taken as standalone programs. We also offer Master’s (M.Ed.) and Education Specialist (Ed.S.) programs in Teacher Leadership that embed the certificates in the coursework leading to these degrees. As a standalone, the certificate is only 3 courses (9 credit hours).

What is the cost of the program?

For information regarding current program cost please refer to the UK Graduate Tuition and Fees page.

How can I get more information about this program?

Questions About the Application Form, Checking for Completeness, Uploading Materials

Questions About the Programs, Materials or Qualifications Related to the Application, or Entrance to the Programs

You can also fill out the form below to receive useful emails about the program, such as application tips and online info sessions.

What degree is earned at the end of this program?

You will earn a graduate certificate in your chosen area/s: instructional coaching, deeper learning, and/or executive educational leadership. Students may also seek a 30 credit hour Masters or EdS which allows them to potentially earn multiple graduate certificates.

What is your refund policy?

You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.


State Authorization and Licensure

If you plan to complete a University of Kentucky online program while living outside of Kentucky, you should check the Out-of-State Students page to determine if the University of Kentucky is authorized to provide this program in your state of residence. If you plan to use the degree to seek licensure, you should also determine if the degree meets the educational requirements for licensure in your state.


Check out our departmental FAQ page for useful information about our programs.