Community College Leadership Graduate Certificate

Community College Leadership Certificate of Graduate Study (CGS)

Learn to Lead Community Colleges and be part of one the Most Exciting Sectors in Higher Education

Overview of the Program

The Certificate of Graduate Study (CGS) in Community College Leadership prepares faculty and staff for leadership roles within the two-year college setting. This 12-credit program is designed to provide students with knowledge about the administration, leadership, and learning environment in the community college as well as provide them with an introduction to skills necessary to effectively analyze and address education-related problems. The program is intended to prepare globally-aware community college leaders who can identify, analyze, and lead in the rapidly changing world of community colleges. This program also serves as a gateway into the MS in Higher Education, MS in Educational Policy & Leadership, and PhD in Educational Policy & Leadership.

Community colleges have emerged as essential elements of the educational pipeline – serving diverse students, strengthening communities, and expanding educational access. These institutions have evolved significantly over the last 100 years and they are now confronting significant turnover in the senior leadership ranks. In fact, a 2012 survey by the American Council of Community Colleges found that 75% of community college presidents intended to retire within 10 years. It is likely that those in other senior leadership roles are likely to be moving on at similar rates as many in the upper administration were initially hired during the 1960s and 1970s when there was significant growth in the number of these institutions nationally.

For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Gina Giuliano, the Departmental Advisor at General inquiries about the department can be directed to Ms. Maria Moon, Department Coordinator, at

Applying for the Program
Formal application to the program can be made here:

Applications for the CGS in Community College Leadership are considered on a rolling basis and students may start in the summer, fall, or spring term. All applications are reviewed by the departmental admissions committee and students are notified by the University of all official decisions. Questions about the application process can be directed to

Requirements for admission to the program include the following.
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
Official transcripts from all schools attended. [Minimum of 3.0 GPA and/or 5 years of work experience (any setting).]
Resume or CV detailing professional and educational experience, as well as other relevant activities such as (student) leadership positions, community service, and/or presentations.
Statement of Goals: In no more than two pages, describe your experience, interests, and expectations for the certificate program.
Reference Letters: Two letters of support are required. One of the letters should come from a supervisor or colleague, setting out your qualifications, interests, and likely professional trajectory. The other should be a recommendation from professional and/or academic reference.

Additional information about application process and requirements can be found here:

Concurrent Enrollment
Students currently enrolled in a masters or PhD in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership can apply to automatically complete the certificate at the same time as their other degree. This can be done through the MyUAlbany portal.

Program Design and Coursework

The program is a 12-credit graduate certificate structured to serve as a standalone educational experience or serve as a stackable credential into the MS in Higher Education, MS in Educational Policy and Leadership and/or the PhD in Educational Policy and Leadership. All certificate courses count toward the completion of these degrees (with consent of advisor).

The certificate program requires two community college core courses that provide a foundational understanding of the community college; how they are administered and led; and how they are situated in the broader educational context. Students choose one leadership elective, allowing to pursue a more in depth understanding of a particular leadership topic, and one analytical elective intended to provide a grounding in the effective analysis of educational institutions.

The certificate is structured in the following way:

Community College Core (6 credits):
EAPS 654: Two-Year College in American Education


EAPS 609: Leadership for Cradle to Career Education Systems OR
EAPS 757: Seminar in the Administration of the Community College

Leadership-Elective (3-credits – choose 1 of the following):
EAPS 641: Seminar in Adult and Continuing Education
EAPS 651: Administration of Institutions of Higher Education
EAPS 659: Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education
EAPS 750: Higher Education Finance

Analytical-Elective (3-credits – choose 1 of the following):
EAPS 600: Introduction to Organizational Leadership
EAPS 601: Introduction to Social Analysis
EAPS 614: Quantitative Methods in Educational Leadership

Learning Outcomes:

The learning outcomes for the community college leadership advanced graduate certificate are:

1. Articulate the purposes of the community college and how they differ from and integrate with other educational institutions in the cradle-to-career pipeline.
2. Think systematically and analytically about organizational cultures, structures, and functions.
3. Understand the relationship between the college and the community, including cultural, social, and economic implications.
4. Use data-driven evidence and proven practices from internal and external sources to solve problems, make decisions, and plan strategically.
5. Appreciate and articulate cultural and socioeconomic differences of community colleges students and be able to identify programs to effectively support such students.
6. Understand and effectively use data for program improvement purposes and decision making.
7. Demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge of emerging issues, academic innovations, leadership expectations, organizational culture, global education trends, and institutional change.
8. Demonstrate an understanding of team dynamics and conflict management, including how to build and develop effective leadership teams.