The Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML) is designed to provide preK-12 school leaders at all stages of their careers with frameworks, skills, and knowledge to drive change and to lead high-performing schools. An innovative collaboration between the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and Harvard Business School (HBS), the program integrates distinctive capabilities from both schools, combining expertise in managing teams and organizations with a commitment to school and instructional leadership. Click here to receive more information and updates on the full certificate program.

CSML Overview

CSML will comprise four distinct yet interrelated courses, which may be taken individually or completed together to earn a comprehensive certificate. Together, these courses address topics most vital to leading successful schools. These four courses are:

  • Leading Change
  • Leading Schools
  • Leading People
  • Leading Learning

Leading Change, the first course to become available, will begin on July 18, 2018. More information on Leading Change: A CSML Course can be found below. To receive more information and updates as the other three courses become available, click here.

All courses in the CSML portfolio will be offered on the highly interactive HBX platform, created by HBS for an active, social, and case-based online learning experience. Since 2014, HBX has engaged more than 20,000 learners from 100 countries in its innovative learning model. CSML courses feature faculty members from HGSE, HBS, and other Harvard schools, principals and educators from across the United States, and leaders in fields outside of education. The HBX platform supports peer-to-peer learning as a key component of the CSML experience. All learning materials will be provided through the platform.

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Who Should Participate

CSML is intended for principals looking to deepen their knowledge of leadership and management in schools, including: 

  • aspiring, early career, and experienced school leaders
  • district, charter, faith-based, and independent school leaders

Leading Change: A CSML Course

Principals are key change agents for their schools; driving change requires the management and leadership skills to help diverse stakeholders establish priorities and improve practice. Offered as a course within the Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML), Leading Change will focus on three essentials for driving school improvement:

  • Adaptive Leadership: Learn and apply a framework for building and distributing leadership in your school, engaging and empowering others in solving your school’s most challenging problems, including those that require shifts in beliefs and practices. 
  • Culture: Operationalize the fundamental belief that it is the principal who can and should set the culture of a school. Learn how to establish a sense of urgency, craft and communicate a strong vision, and actively shape your school culture to support your most important work.
  • Equity: Develop the knowledge and skills to lead a diverse school community that supports all students in reaching their potential. Explore equity challenges and priorities in schools today, leverage data to identify opportunities, reorient policies and practices to support equity, and cultivate the mindsets and expectations that promote excellence for all.

The course will be co-led by faculty members Mary Grassa O'Neill (HGSE) and Allen Grossman (HBS). Grassa O’Neill, an education expert, is Director of the School Leadership Program at HGSE, Senior Lecturer on Education, and formerly a school principal and superintendent. Grossman is an authority on nonprofit and school district management and a Senior Fellow at HBS. Grassa O'Neill and Grossman will be joined by faculty from across the university, including Ronald Heifetz, King Hussein Bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; Katherine K. Merseth, Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; and Irvin Leon Scott, Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Apply Today for Leading Change: A CSML Course  

We are now accepting applications for the first offering of Leading Change in July 2018. Click here to receive more information on the full certificate program and to be notified when upcoming courses are available. Participants receive a certificate of completion as well as a letter confirming clock hours awarded per course (15 hours). 

Meet The Faculty

Mary Grassa O’Neill (HGSE)

Mary Grassa O’Neill (HGSE)

Senior Lecturer on Education; Faculty Director, School Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Allen Grossman (HBS)

Allen Grossman (HBS)

Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School

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