UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania teachers interested in leadership roles can now earn a graduate certificate in teacher leadership, offered by the Penn State College of Education through Penn State World Campus.

The four-course, 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Teacher Leadership, offered exclusively online, meets Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements for a Teacher Leaders Endorsement for certified Level I and II teachers. It also fulfills professional development requirements for teachers.

“It’s a really good option for meeting those requirements in a meaningful way,” said Tiffany Squires, lead faculty for the program.

The required courses cover school improvement plans, how schools work, teacher leadership practice, and principles of instructional leadership. Each of the courses incorporates a field experience in the teacher’s own school, such as working with a fellow teacher to conduct a peer coaching evaluation.

“If you are a K–12 teacher looking to advance in your school or district, you can benefit greatly from this program,” Squires said. “This unique online program allows you to continue teaching while you cultivate the skills and knowledge that can prepare you for additional roles, such as lead teacher, mentor teacher, or department head.”

Teachers can complete the courses asynchronously, allowing them to participate “from where they are, in a way that works with the time they have to give,” Squires said.

Squires is an assistant professor in the Education Policy Studies department. Her own research focuses on highly effective leadership and the potential connections between teacher leadership and equitably serving diverse communities and learners.

The program is also a chance for teachers to network with other teachers from across the state.

The credits may be applied toward a Master of Education in Educational Leadership for students who apply and are accepted into that program.