Advanced Graduate Study

Total cost:

$10,780 View Tuition Details

Application due date for January 11, 2021 term: January 8

Estimated time to completion: 1 - 2 Years

Take your career further.

This program is designed for students wishing to design their own program of study at the post-master’s, advanced level. Students can choose from a variety of courses to study the topics they want to study.


Nationally for most Master’s of Education graduates.*

What you can expect.

  • Advanced Coursework You will learn the fundamentals required for writing, studying, and learning at the post-mater’s level.
  • Completely Customizable You can choose 27 of the required 30 credits in this certificate, so you can take the classes that align with your career goals.
  • Flexible Study on your schedule. Our online format allows you to plan your coursework around your life.
  • Transferable If you choose to continue your education, you can apply credits earned in this certificate program toward our Ed.S. or Ed.D. programs and get your degree faster.

Goodbye 2020, hello app fee credit

Apply by December 16 and we’ll credit your application fee toward your tuition.

Learn More

A few of the classes you'll take.

  • BE6083 Understanding Linguistics and Second Language Learners 3 semester credits
  • CI6103 Curriculum and Instructional Design for Diversity 3 semester credits
  • EC6043 Early Childhood Assessment and Intervention 3 semester credits
  • EDUC6113 The Role of International Organizations and Global Foundations 3 semester credits
Kathleen Stroud, Ed.D.

Department Chair

Kathleen Stroud, Ed.D.
Administrative Faculty and Chair,
Department of Leadership and Administration
View All Faculty

Quality Without Question

We are, and have always been, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This accreditation guarantees that our programs meet certain levels of quality standards.   

A Note About Licensure:

While this certificate provides a comprehensive understanding of the intended certificate outcomes, it does not lead to licensure, certification, or endorsement. ACE offers several programs that do provide a pathway to licensure, certification, or endorsement and they can be found here.


Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study

Total Tuition

30 semester credits
x $306 per credit



$100 Application Fee

$1,350 Technology & Library Fee
($45 per credit)

$150 Program Conferral Fee


Total Program Cost*


On average, see how ACE compares to other online universities.

Let’s find a plan that fits your budget.

Even without federal loans, there are plenty of ways to finance your education at ACE. When you’re ready to invest in yourself, explore our flexible payment and financing options. Our Student Services reps are available to help you create a workable plan whatever your financial circumstances.

View Payment Options Talk to an Enrollment Counselor

*This is an estimated value of the cost for tuition and fees. Amounts may vary depending on number of transfer credits applied to the selected program hours, the pace and satisfactory completion of the selected program credit hours, receipt of, or eligibility for, institutional or non-institutional scholarship and/or grant amounts, and adjustments to tuition or fees as described in the Catalog Right to Modify Tuition section.

State of California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)

It is a state of California requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. For more information and to see if you must pay the state-imposed assessment for Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) click here.

Admission Requirements

Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study

ACE General Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit all application components including the admission application, including the enrollment agreement, and payment agreement.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee.*
  • Provide official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution indicating successful completion of the level of education required for entry to the program.**

*The application fee is valid for one year from date of submission.
**Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview.

Program Admission Requirements

Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study

  • ​Master's or Doctoral degree          
  • Minimum grade point average cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for full admission
  • A minimum of master's degree required for doctoral level certificate

International Transcript Requirements

All applicants must submit to the Admissions Office official, sealed college transcripts from each institution attended.

  • Transcripts that are international and/or not in English must be evaluated through an NACES-recommended agency.
  • Texas applicants may only submit evaluations from agencies approved by the Texas Education Agency.
  • International applicants must request the course-by-course evaluation. The evaluation report must show that the non-U.S. education is equivalent to the education/accreditation level required for the program.

English as a Second Language Applicants

All applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in the English language as demonstrated in one of three ways:

  1. Submission of an official transcript showing a degree from a United States secondary school or regionally accredited college/university.

  2. Submission of an official minimum score on the paper or internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams.
    • The minimum TOEFL score required for the internet-based version is 80, and the paper-based version requires a minimum TOEFL score of 20 for each of the three skills: Reading, Listening, and, Writing.

    • The minimum IELTS score required is 6.5. Note: IELTS is not acceptable for Texas programs leading to certification.

    • The testing agency must send test scores directly to American College of Education.
  3. Applicants to the Texas Educational Leadership program whose first language is not English must submit scores from the Internet-Based (IBT) TOEFL. An overall score of 80, and a score of 26 on the speaking section is required.


Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study

Explore the classes you'll take to fulfill this program's 30 semester credit requirement. For more information, a complete list of requirements, and course options, see the College Catalog.

Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

Choose any 9 courses (27 credits) from the doctoral level courses listed in the course list below:

This course covers the following essential dimensions of linguistics and the acquisition of language: language and the brain, first and second language acquisition, major components of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and sociolinguistics), cognition and learning, and communicative competence.  The course examines second language learners and their proficiency in oral, reading, and writing skills in English as well as the importance of the home languages as a foundation for learning a second language. Students get an overview of socio-cultural, psychological, and political variables that play a part in second language acquisition, which will translate to greater understanding of second language learners as they navigate the community and professional settings.
This course provides an understanding of the historical, political, social, cultural, and instructional concepts and issues that affect linguistically and culturally diverse learners in a variety of settings. Students will research and review local, state, and federal policies regarding entitlement and appropriate services for second language learners. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of language development and acquisition and design research based support and instruction for second language learners. U.S. and international program models are analyzed and current theories of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), bilingualism, and socio-cultural theories are explored for their pedagogical implications. Students will develop assessment instruments, select materials, and learn how to monitor learning outcomes to support and enhance the development of second language learners.
Students in this course examine assessment approaches for second language learners within the larger framework of historical, social, cultural, and political contexts. Students will evaluate assessment tools and research historical theories in order to analyze the best practices in assessment of second language learners. Utilizing a variety of theoretical models related to second language acquisition and academic achievement, students 1) analyze the ways that second language students are diverse, 2) discuss equitable assessment of diverse learners, and 3) evaluate existing instruments for second language learners. Students examine and review relevant state or national standards for content matter learning and language proficiency and examine how those are assessed in mandated, large-scale assessment and in professional assessments (traditional and alternative). Students in non-traditional settings will examine how to align assessment methods with current professional standards for the field. Students will learn how to target certain learning outcomes by using critically evaluated materials.
This course focuses on the methodology for teaching language and content to second language learners. Participants research and critically examine historical and current ESL and bilingual education program models, theories of ESL and bilingual instruction and literacy, first and second language acquisition, and transfer of skills and content knowledge between first and second language. Relevant federal, state, and local learning and assessment standards are researched, reviewed and applied to their instructional settings. Participants research and use various methods, approaches, and techniques, as well as discuss the selection, use, and evaluation of books, multimedia, and other materials in the first and subsequent languages to support second language learners across multiple professional settings.
This course addresses growth opportunities for leaders as they increase their awareness of the need for advocates in the area of second language instruction in a variety of settings. Students will research policy and laws at the local, state, and national levels and reflect upon how they impact the second language learners in their current professional setting. Emphasis is placed on building the knowledge and skills required to share information on policies and trends with colleagues; to work collaboratively with others to advocate for second language learners and instructor rights, needs, and resources, and to represent and advocate for second language learners both within and beyond their current instructional settings.
This course assists educators in the development of rigorous, appropriate, curriculum and instruction, with a focus on diverse-learner groups. Multi-model instructional strategies, culturally relevant pedagogy, differentiated instruction, and thematic, interdisciplinary unit planning are emphasized. Using a curricular framework, graduate students in this course will plan, evaluate, and adapt curricula experiences to build successful learning environments for all learners. 
This course focuses on the major theories, strategies, and applications utilized in P-12 standards-driven learning environments. Participants review and apply current literature and educational research studies concerning standards-based curriculum, implementation strategies and tools.
Educational assessments provide useful information on what students know and can accomplish. This course examines the purpose of various categories of assessment and tools of assessment, given at different organizational levels. Growth in assessment literacy will be developed while investigating appropriate feedback methods based on assessment data.
This course prepares students to implement a school-wide and district-based leadership initiatives to improve a comprehensive range of literacy skills. Specific principles and theories of reading instruction are evaluated in relation to currently employed practice, so teachers and administrators can immediately strengthen instruction. Students examine the scientific research base underlying different models of reading instruction. Special attention is given to curriculum mapping, alignment, and the development of an implementation plan to strengthen literacy.
This course prepares educational leaders to serve as role models for creating, promoting, and conducting effective professional development for their staffs. Learners evaluate the merits of offsite professional development opportunities with goal-structured, job-embedded professional learning. Educational leaders utilize effective strategies, programs, and services based on data, student needs, and consideration of other stakeholders including teachers, parents, administrators, elected officials, and community members. Emphasis is placed on the impact of relevant, high-quality, differentiated, technology-integrated professional learning opportunities aligned to school or district goals. This course also prepares leaders to serve as advocates for staff to have the proper time and support to work collaboratively in job-embedded professional learning.
Focused on early childhood developmental issues, this course includes formal and informal approaches to assessing young children while diagnosing potential concerns which lead to informed instructional and intervention choices. Choices in curricula are aligned to needs to enhance student achievement.
This course focuses on the role of advocacy and leadership for early childhood practitioners. Students gain knowledge on different levels of advocacy and how this supports students and families in the field. This course prepares students to take on leadership roles related to advocacy and professional development opportunities relevant to current issues in early childhood education. 
By exploring current trends in early childhood education, students examine public policy, research, professional development relevant to classroom practices, and program management. Students will apply guiding research practices currently utilized in the field. The connection between theory and emerging information will help to maintain relevance for the profession.
This course examines classic and modern theories of child development and applications to real world settings. Students relate the theoretical foundations which guide key elements of early childhood educational practices to curriculum design, play, attachment and guidance.
Through the formation of collaborative partnerships, roles across multiple early childhood settings are investigated. Theories and practices which guide relationships with families, community organization and advocacy organizations will highlight the leadership skills necessary to establish and maintain connections relevant to supporting the field of early childhood education.
This course examines the theory and research of andragogy, with an emphasis on the historical influences, practical applications, and critical analysis. Topics include fields of practice, schools of thought, clarification of concepts, and emerging issues and challenges.
This course examines a variety of learning and teaching strategies to enhance adult learning. Students analyze methods suited for adult learning in different settings, apply knowledge of adult learning theories, and explore ways in which adults learn critical thinking.
This course focuses on theories and processes of measuring student learning in post-secondary educational settings to evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs. Students explore accreditation procedures and standards, instructional approaches, engagement strategies, and management of instructional environments.
This course provides an introduction to the historical developments, theoretical perspectives, fundamental approaches, and real-world practices of evaluating adult learners. Students learn to apply a variety of methods to assess learning outcomes effectively and to analyze assessment data to improve teaching and learning.
This course promotes the concept of leaders serving as role models of professional development for their staffs to achieve higher levels of performance within the organization. To do so, leaders must utilize effective strategies, programs, and services based on data-driven decisions and the needs of stakeholders in the organizational community. Emphasis is placed on the impact of relevant, high-quality, job-embedded, differentiated, technology-integrated professional learning opportunities aligned to organizational goals. The course also prepares leaders to serve as advocates for sufficient preparation, time, and support for colleagues to work collaboratively in job-embedded professional learning.
This course provides an overview of education from a global perspective, including international development theories, as well as key international development policies and frameworks impacting education, including Education for All, the Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals, Post-2015 Agenda as well as key protocols developed by the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations. Leaders also explore the complexities of international aid, refugee education, and post-conflict environments. Professionals have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the course by developing policy briefs and conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses.
This course explores the role of international organizations, international aid agencies, non-governmental organizations, and global foundations in the provision of education internationally with a focus on developing countries. After looking at guiding frameworks and financing issues in the EDUC6103 course, students move on to look at programs, initiatives, and implementation of education programs in a wide variety of contexts (formal, informal, and non-formal). Pre-requisite: EDUC6103 or equivalent course.
This course explores international migration - at the international, transnational, and local levels - and its impact on education systems. Challenges for teaching, learning, and administration are explored. Leaders have the opportunity to examine different cases and conduct comparative research to explore the impact of migration on education, as well as strategies to deliver high-quality education in diverse learning environments.
Leaders examine some of the major international programs and initiatives in education, such as study abroad, the International Baccalaureate in K-12 education, and the Bologna Accord in the area of higher education. With an emphasis on applied learning, students explore pedagogies, theories, curricula, and strategies that are applied to meet the needs of intercultural and multicultural learning environments. Significant attention is given to the application of technology, including mobile technology; students have the opportunity explore the use of educational technology in both developing and developed country contexts.
This course examines the research related to different educational models and their different learning environments. The course allows students to learn about how the different educational systems impact student learning in schools around the world. Students synthesize how international schools are rapidly developing in terms of curriculum, standards, and influence. Students explore the influence of forces such as culture, management, and government on educational decision-making.  Understanding how the different education models compare to the United States education system is explored and applied in this course.
Focused on examining statutory and regulatory compliance issues impacting institutions, this course is designed to heighten analytical skills to ensure an understanding of the intricacies influencing higher education in today's climate of globalization. The interrelationship between law and policy is explored through the use of case studies, partnerships, and community relationship serving to establish a context for practice with the governance of an organization.
This course considers how to strategically manage human, financial, and data resources. Strategic thinking, planning, and development establish effective ways to 1) strengthen working relationships, 2) engage in financial practices which contain costs and advance the mission of an institution and 3) utilize data for continuous improvement. By comparing and evaluating institutional advancement strategies, activities are assessed to determine how they complement strategic priorities and goals, build and enhance program relevance, and add practical value.
Dependent upon function and service, student affairs influences the relationship between adult learning and instructional outcomes. Leadership practices, as seen through theoretical lens, explore personnel issues, student support, success, and retention, and assessment options which guide decision-making. Consideration is given to ways student perspectives shape the college experience and how these can be leveraged for change.
This course investigates critical issues and concerns, emerging roles and functions, and influencing factors helping to redefine the nature of higher education. Societal shifts are probed to determine relevancy. Trends in technology and instructional delivery become the frame for forecasting the possible future of higher education.
This course focuses on the roles and responsibilities required of administration in higher education. Students investigate critical functions, societal shifts, technological trends, and how emerging roles are reshaping the foundations of higher education. Students also examine functions of and decision making within operations, financial options, human resources, marketing, and enrollment. 
This course examines culture, social norms, beliefs and values, ideology, and practices related to health choices. The students will research various diversity issues and how the issues will influence other areas of life. Through surveys and research, students will examine how choices are made regarding health and health-related behaviors including: perception and attitudes, awareness, prejudice, discrimination or aggression, social cognition, and relationships. This will provide a forum for determining action.
Students will research and explore interactions between health factors as they influence lifestyle choices including social, political, economic, and personal. With the focus on practical application, students will research and examine potential interventions and strategies for overcoming barriers and the ethical implications for professionals practicing in health education. They will research theoretical concepts, practices, and principles of health education.
As students study leadership in health education, they will utilize foundational approaches to guiding and educating individuals within the school and community settings. They will research and use data for decision making in their school and community. Relational skills are also evaluated as an example of how specific settings impact options and how a professional stance is established through ethical application of the laws governing healthcare practices.
As technology is an integral part of the public health care system, students will research ways to deliver, analyze, and interpret data, including informatics/bioinformatics, clinical research, consumer and public health statistics. They will then learn how to teach and train the staff to use the different technology, helping to develop protocols to be established within the organization. These protocols will relate to compliance issues as well as inform stakeholders of their importance. Through research and discussion, the students will be guided to provide the appropriate selection of technology with the targeted population in mind.
This course examines the role of finance and budgeting in educational institutions.  Students will explore topics such as sources of revenue, fundraising, and fiscal allocation techniques.  Public and private financial policies and their impact on educational organizations will be examined.
This course focuses on the improvement of curriculum, instruction, and student achievement throughout diverse school and organizational settings. To make these improvements, leaders must first develop the skill set and knowledge base necessary to build leadership capacity among staff members. Instructional leaders can then collaboratively set learner-centered goals to promote higher levels of student progress, achievement, and post-secondary and college and career readiness.
This course promotes the concept of leaders serving as role models of professional development for their staffs to achieve higher levels of performance within the organization. To do so, leaders must utilize effective strategies, programs, and services based on data-driven decisions and the needs of stakeholders in the organizational community. Emphasis is placed on the impact of relevant, high-quality, job-embedded, differentiated, technology-integrated professional learning opportunities aligned to organizational goals. The course also prepares leaders to serve as advocates for sufficient preparation, time, and support for colleagues to work collaboratively in job-embedded professional learning.
This course emphasizes the importance of understanding state, federal, and other accountability standards in relation to the needs of learners within schools, school districts, and organizational communities. The focus of the course remains on identifying learners' academic strengths and areas in need of improvement to eliminate achievement gaps, improve achievement levels, ensure progress, increase graduation rates, and promote post-secondary and college/career readiness.
Success is attributed to effective decision making, a skill required for professional and personal reasons. An essential ability required by leaders, decision making is a process which identifies critical elements of a choice to determine a course of action. The focus for this course considers ways decisions are made and how these techniques can be evaluated to improve outcomes. Specifically, the course addresses the development of skills to efficiently and consistently make informed decisions using data to maintain awareness of organizational needs, demographics, and performance levels. The role of collaboration in decision making is also a major focus.
This course examines how structure, values, and behavior impact an organization and its culture. Students analyze how leadership theories can be integrated and applied into advanced leadership roles.
Students will model and promote responsible global citizenship. Culturally relevant pedagogy will be examined and critiqued.
Students will analyze funding sources and the process of applying for funds from an organization or agency. Students will develop and critique requests for proposals.
Students will design, implement, and assess evidence-based teaching strategies appropriate for the online course room. Students will demonstrate best practices for effective online teaching through course activities.
The course focus is on theory, research, and practices related to ethical administration. Students will assess ethical decision making and implications for policy.
Students will examine principles and concepts of finance at local, state, federal, and international levels; strategies for maximizing and obtaining financial resources and economic issues of the third sector.
Students will evaluate and compare different leadership and coaching models, analyze the relationship between leadership effectiveness and leadership coaching and determine appropriate-ness of each type of leadership and coaching for diverse settings.
Students will design, develop, and implement models of strategic planning that exhibit innovation.
The course emphasizes principles and practices of personnel administration, including recruitment, selection, evaluation, staff development, and employee relations. Students will evaluate best practices for working with volunteer boards, advisory councils, and external stakeholders.
Students will analyze theories of collaboration, especially as applied to educational and community organizations. Students will propose partnership models for an educational or community organization.
Students will design, implement, and assess examples of programs that apply emerging technology. The course will focus on issues associated with the interface of technology and people.
This course provides a comprehensive view of advocacy strategies including polling, research, lobbying, and communicating with the media and stakeholders. Students will evaluate communication and best practices for nonprofit and education advocates working in the public policy process.
Students will analyze funding sources and the process of applying for funds from an organization or agency. Students will develop and critique requests for proposals.
Students will analyze specific current and future public policies and conduct policy impact analyses. Students will evaluate best practices for working with local school councils, volunteer boards, advisory councils, and external stakeholders.
This course provides a holistic overview of historical and current issues and trends impacting science education in today's global society. Emphasis is placed on the examination of diverse viewpoints and approaches to integrated science education to examine research-based integrative models and strategies for the improvement of student learning. Participants will examine current STEM education initiatives related to policy, method, and engagement. Critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and writing skills are emphasized. While using an integrated approach, this course spotlights content-rich components dedicated to biology, chemistry, and physics.
The course will examine didactic strategies of pedagogy, andragogy, multiple intelligence theory, social learning theory and exchange theory to foster the innovative engagement of diverse learners. Emphasis will be placed on strategies related to the differentiation of instruction.
This course will examine the integration of digital resources into the integrated science learning environment. Participates will explore digital resources and develop strategies for effectively integrating technology with didactic strategies to address the needs of diverse learners and enhance learning.
This course examines best practice in developing curriculum to foster student learning in the field of mathematics and science. Emphasis is placed on curriculum theory, curriculum design, development of instructional manipulatives, and the implementation and evaluation of curriculum for didactic improvement.
Building scientific understanding in students is essential to the STEM field. This course is designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of skills, including the role of critical questions and essential concepts.  Students break down common misconceptions in STEM as well as build on existing skills of observation, analysis of communication, assessments informing instruction, and understanding the role society plays in fostering scientific literacy and knowledge.
Students will compare theories of teaching and learning with applications to digital instruction. Content includes emerging technology and use of Open Educational Resources.
Students will critique research on social presence and best practices for connecting through using technology with students or colleagues, as well as best practices for social media use within education organizations.
Students will implement and assess the concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for accessible online courses and compare models of instructional design.
Students will analyze effective online teaching and assessment; evaluate and recommend Learning Management Systems; and advocate for professional organizations, which provide continuing development for online educators.
Students will design, implement, and assess examples of programs that apply emerging technology. The course will focus on issues associated with the interface of technology and people.


(3 semester credits) (required)

The Capstone Experience is designed for candidates to demonstrate and document the impact their knowledge and competencies gained throughout and as a result of the Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study.