Reach your professional goals through summer courses, new certificate program

If you’d like to spend time improving your professional skills this summer, the Faculty of Education has devised online learning experiences for school leaders committed to resilience, innovation and ensuring high-quality educational experiences for all students.

All three summer courses are part of the Graduate Certificate in School Leadership. EDU 520 is a required course. The two EDU 596 courses are electives. They can be taken as part of the Certificate OR as electives in other graduate programs OR as Open Studies.

All courses are delivered online with lecture, seminar and one-on-one components.

Summer courses 2020

Foundations of School Leadership (EDU 520 LEC B1), a one-week intensive that runs July 27 - 31, 2020, is designed for students to explore the foundational dimensions of school leadership including instructional leadership, fostering effective relationships, supporting the application of foundational knowledge about Indigenous Peoples, visionary leadership, leading learning communities, modelling continuous professional learning, developing leadership capacity, and understanding the social context influencing schooling.

Instructor Jean Stiles is a veteran educator who has worked for many years as a school principal in a large urban district. In the course, she will share her experience with aspiring and current school leaders as they explore the meaning of school leadership.

"Change is always around the corner in leadership,” Stiles said. “When embarking on the leadership journey it is critical to develop a personal philosophy about leadership and how to best engage with change. Dynamic processes will assist students in refining their thinking about leadership."

Strategic Foresight in School Leadership (EDU 596 LEC B01), a one-week intensive that runs August 3 - 7, 2020, is designed for students to engage with emerging approaches to strategic planning and future studies that offer alternatives to current models of educational leadership, policy-making, and governance. Participants will be invited to rethink their role as education leaders using foresight tools applied to “hands-on” case studies.

Instructors Steven Murgatroyd and J.C. Couture have worked extensively with school leaders and teachers unions to imagine the future of education. Murgatroyd said the global pandemic has altered the education landscape irreversibly, so it’s an opportune time to consider how to harness this transformative moment.

“Strategic foresight practitioners are not in the business of predicting, but are in the business of drawing attention to the patterns and features which are reshaping the landscape on which we are all moving,” Murgatroyd said. “The current crisis has opened up the conversation about what matters most and how it will shape the future of our educational institutions.”

Leading School Operations (EDU 596 LEC B02) is three-week course runs from July 27 - August 14 is designed for aspiring, new, and experienced school leaders, who are seeking to develop and enrich their management knowledge and skills. Leading school operations in Alberta requires the ability to effectively manage the school’s human, financial and material resources as outlined in the Leadership Quality Standard. The course provides students with the opportunity to explore the fundamentals of managing school staff, funds, and facilities in the context of a shared vision, community connections, and legal requirements.

Instructors Maureen Yates and Ken Robertson bring decades of experience as school leaders and administrators in the Edmonton Public School District to the course, which Yates said explores topics and ideas that students might not find elsewhere.

“When I first went into being a principal this material wasn’t really touched on in the courses that were available at the time,” Yates said. “We’re interspersing the learning modules with practical assignments our students can go apply immediately. There are also case studies that talk about handling human resources, physical resources and the legal context of the school. I’m hoping they’ll find it so useful.”

For detailed course descriptions and information about applying, please visit Professional Learning’s Summer 2020 page.

Certificate in Teaching Students with Complex Communication Needs

The Faculty of Education is also offering an exceptional learning opportunity for educators who teach and/or support students with significant disabilities including complex communication needs (CCN).

This certificate focuses exclusively on the challenges educators face in reaching and teaching this population of students. Whether you are a teacher with a child with CCN in your class, a professional who provides consultation and support to teachers who do, or indeed teach in a setting which specializes in this group of learners, this certificate will provide practical, research-based information that will enhance your skills and knowledge in the area.

There are five courses that make up the certificate:

  1. An introductory course that focuses on foundations and curricular design
  2. A course on implementing augmentative and alternative communication in the classroom
  3. A course on teaching students with CCN who are at an emergent literacy level
  4. A course of teaching students with CCN who are at a conventional literacy level
  5. A course on teaching numeracy concepts and practices to students with CCN

The certificate is fully online and will be offered over a two year period to ensure educators across Alberta and beyond have easy and equitable access.

Instructor Kathy Howery says the certificate program, which would be valuable to speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists as well as educators, marks an important acknowledgement of the unique challenges faced by students with complex communications needs and the professionals who work with them.

“The thing I’m excited about is that it’s stepping up the game for these kids in terms of recognizing that with systematic, intentional instruction these students will gain skills that will help them to be more autonomous communicators and have more agency in their lives,” Howery said.

“This is intended for a group of teachers who are not often targeted in terms of professional learning, so I’m excited that we are thinking about some of our most vulnerable students and some of the teachers who have the biggest challenges.

For more information and/or to register please see or contact Betty Lo at