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Course content

The Graduate Certificate in Systems Leadership in Higher Education is a seven-month, nine-credit program that provides graduates with the knowledge, skills, tools, and models to lead systems-oriented change in post-secondary institutions. The program will prepare students to develop the skills required to understand global trends and national perspectives and take a systems view of their organization, make evidence-based decisions, to think critically, plan strategically and lead meaningful educational change.

Who It’s For

Leaders or aspiring leaders in post-secondary educational environments who want to expand their expertise and gain new skills and credentials in the field of higher education administration and leadership to advance or redirect their career. Applicants who do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission may be assessed on the basis of both their formal education and their informal learning, in accordance with the Flexible Admission Policy.


Graduates will develop an understanding of educational improvement concepts and research from a systems perspective and be able to apply practical tools and strategies to address issues, challenges, and opportunities related to supporting student achievement and institutional growth.

Graduates will:
-Critically analyze the their own organizational context in light of existing cultural norms, national/international trends and global perspectives
-Foster and sustain an inclusive institutional culture and climate to support both student learning and faculty/staff professional growth
-Integrate evidence-based decision making approaches into administrative leadership practices to support growth and improvement
-Understand and use change and improvement processes to support student learning and institutional growth
-Apply systems thinking to strategically plan and manage the higher education institutional environment to support student learning

Delivery Model

The Graduate Certificate in Systems Leadership in Higher Education is delivered online. Participants draw upon web resources as well as more traditional print media, while using online discussion groups and drop boxes to work towards the electronic submission of assignments. Prior to the beginning of each course, students are provided with a list of resources including textbooks and/or online readings, plus a detailed course schedule. Learning activities and assignments are designed to allow participants to identify the practical applications of the course content and to work with others to construct both a personal and shared meaning from their experiences.

Each course requires a level of effort of approximately 10 hours per week. This varies from student to student and becomes easier as students familiarize themselves with Royal Roads University's distance learning technologies, and learn how to work effectively with team members in a virtual setting.

Visit the Systems Leadership in Higher Education - PGCert page on the Royal Roads University website for more details!




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