From graduate certificates to post-doctoral certificate programs, these four K–12 education degrees provide in-demand knowledge and skills for advancing your career as an educator.

Teacher sitting on her desk with laptop open. Chalkboard with writing is in the background.Classroom teachers and professionals in different areas of the education system often enroll in K–12 graduate certificate programs to update their skills, increase their effectiveness, and advance their careers as educators. Some Classroom teachers and professionals in different areas of the education system often enroll in K–12 graduate certificate programs to update their skills, increase their effectiveness, and advance their careers as educators. Some online certificate programs may serve as credit toward a master’s degree, potentially decreasing tuition cost and completion time.

Even though there are many types of certificate programs for educators, these four were chosen as a high-level overview of key graduate certificates designed to help you become a more accomplished educator. Each provides updated tools and knowledge for successfully handling the complex challenges of today’s K–12 learning environment:

  • Evaluating a curriculum’s positive or negative affect on learning.
  • Measuring your impact on student achievement.
  • Connecting with culturally diverse classroom groups.
  • Teaching students via online learning platforms.

Top 4 K–12 Education Graduate Certificate Programs

  1. Graduate Certificate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
    Online graduate certificate programs like this one are designed to provide professional educators with updated knowledge and leadership skills. These learnings can help them make important assessments about how students learn and the best ways to promote student success in the classroom. Coursework typically focuses on planning, developing, and implementing more effective curricula and instruction. Educators prepare themselves to use their expertise in ways that directly affect how their students learn and achieve.
  2. Graduate Certificate in Engaging Culturally Diverse Learners
    This specialized education degree program can prepare K–12 educators to embrace the unique learning opportunities of a class comprising students with different cultures, traditions, and languages. Coursework covers planning and implementing differentiated lessons that address those differences. Graduate certificate programs like this one also teach educators to utilize leading-edge online technologies to increase learning and achievement for all students—gifted, special needs, and English-language learners.
  3. Graduate Certificate in Teacher Leadership
    A graduate certificate program like this one helps educators build skills as teacher-leaders who can facilitate positive changes in student achievement and parent involvement. Coursework in this specialized K–12 education degree emphasizes self-examination and self-perceptions about teacher leadership, educational research, and theories that guide leadership decisions—along with methods for promoting professional growth of colleagues through mentoring, coaching, and collaboration.
  4. Graduate Certificate in Special Education
    If you enjoy the challenge of working as a special educator and influencing the lives of special needs children and helping them reach their potential, this certificate is a great choice. Become a leader in your school and learn the advanced skills necessary to develop strategies to influence behavioral interventions, differentiate instruction, provide ability-appropriate accommodations, and more.

Job Market Growth and Salaries for Instructional Coordinators and Teachers*

The job market for instructional coordinators is projected to increase by 11% between 2016 and 2026. The growth is a response to an increased emphasis on teachers’ accountability for their students’ achievements. As states and school districts implement accountability measures, instructional coordinators will be evaluating and improving curricula, as well as mentoring teachers. In 2017, the median salary was $63,750, while the median salary for the top 10% was $101,500.

The projected job growth rate for teachers from 2016 to 2026 ranges from about 7-8% for all educators from kindergarten teachers (2017 median salary of $56,900) to high school teachers (2017 median salary of $59,170).

Explore Walden University's accredited K–12 graduate certificate programs online for graduates and undergraduates. Get the help you need to continue your education and advance your career goals. Earn your degree in a convenient online format that fits your busy life.


*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Instructional Coordinators, High School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Elementary School Teachers, Kindergarten Teachers, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/home.htm.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

Find information on costs, occupation types, completion rates, and median loan debt for these programs at www.WaldenU.edu/programdata.

Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to www.WaldenU.edu/educlicensure.

Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Teacher Education and Certification Division of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-242-9935 or www.alsde.edu to verify that these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.

Prospective Washington state students are advised to contact the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction at 1-360-725-6275 or prof.educ@k12.wa.us to determine whether Walden’s programs in the field of education are approved for teacher certification or endorsements in Washington state. Additionally, teachers are advised to contact their individual school district as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

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