This Master's program and MHEC-approved certificate is designed to analyze issues and trends promoting equity and excellence for all students in America's schools. Candidates will critically examine their personal, social belief systems related to education, and learn to facilitate open dialogue about equity and excellence in their schools and school systems as equity leaders. Courses will focus on theoretical frameworks that address meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Culturally relevant pedagogy, critical race theory, intersectionality theory, and language and linguistic acquisition theories will provide the frameworks for the analysis and application of effective pedagogical strategies.
group of young students being read to
Program Location

Program Options

The Cultural Proficiency Leadership program has two distinct options depending on where you are at in your teaching career:

  • MA in Leadership in Teaching for experienced teachers who already hold a K-12 state certification
  • Post-Master's MHEC-Approved Endorsement Certificate for certified teachers who already hold a master's degree

Stackable Credentials

Credits earned in the Cultural Proficiency Leadership certificate program can roll seamlessly into the master's degree or the Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations.

Additional Study Options

What to Expect Studying at Notre Dame of Maryland University

With award-winning teacher certification programs nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, you can expect to benefit from small class sizes, expert faculty, and practical field experiences.

Courses are conveniently offered during the evening hours. Class size consists of 12-21 students per course. A co-teaching model is utilized for several of the courses. Program assignments will allow candidates to participate in a variety of self-reflective activities; conduct research on an intersectionality topic of interest; develop their personal visions as equity leaders; and evaluate curriculum, instruction, and assessment using an equity lens.

Bryan Burns

Bryan Burns

A Transformational Experience

Alum, NDMU Class of 2018
Leadership in Teaching: Cultural Proficiency Leadership
The Cultural Proficiency Leadership Endorsement Program at NDMU is one of the few educational programs throughout years of professional development that actually transformed the way I look at education, especially as it relates to my role as an educator. We formed a partnership in this program; we developed an energy of mutual understanding where we could individually reflect, yet collectively challenge and grow in our personal and professional lives as it relates to our impact on the diverse identities of our students and our society. The coursework allowed me to transcend beyond the writing on the wall in order to question the institutionalized structures that mask reality and limit the success of our students in public school education. This program will change much more than your perspective, it will change your purpose.


This Master's degree opportunity is appropriate for equity-focused educators who are interested in positions of leadership in administration, curriculum development, instruction, and/or assessment.

Research Opportunities

Upon completion of the program, candidates may choose to transfer credits earned into the School of Education's Ph.D. program: Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations. The opportunity to develop a dissertation topic with an equity focus is encouraged.

Faculty-student collaborative research is encouraged in this program.