Skip to main content area Skip to main navigation Skip to institutional navigation Skip to footer

Graduate Programs

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies

The  Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Teacher Leadership offers an important opportunity to advance your educational career through a focused, research-based, and practice-rich program. A teacher leader is able to understand and apply research and theory towards powerful and deliberate change and improvement at the classroom, school, and district level. A teacher leader is passionate about success and determined to make a difference. The CAGS is a 36-credit program, and is for students who already hold a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Program Partners

The CAGS program is a unique partnership between Merrimack College and the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Students participating in the Reading Specialist program have the opportunity to enroll in courses held on the MGH campus, as well as utilize the services available on their campus.

Program Directors

Dr. Richard Santeusanio is the coordinator of the Reading Certificate program at the MGH Institute and is a former superintendent of schools.


Reading Specialist

  • About the program: This program is for educators with an initial license in another subject matter area who wish to become licensed as a Reading Specialist.
  • About the CAGS: The program complements the credentials of classroom teachers, special educators, speech & language pathologists, administrators, psychologists and private tutors.
  • Partnership with MGH Institute of Health Professions: This concentration can be fulfilled through a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Reading at MGH Institute of Health Professions. MGH has a longstanding history of a clinical model of diagnosis of reading and language disabilities, and provides a strong link to schools through a partnership with Merrimack College.

Instructional Leadership

  • About the program: This program is designed to support experienced educators’ professional and academic development at the classroom, school, and district level.
  • About the CAGS: The program fosters systemic, institutional-level perspectives of educational change and renewal, with a focus on supporting classroom teachers to become schoolwide district-based change agents. This concentration incorporates key coursework within a student’s area of specialization.

Program Components

Core Courses (6 credits)

Course Title Credits
ED 585G Information Technology in Education 2
ED 586G Organizational & Systems Theory 2
ED 607G Advanced Leadership and Policy in Education 2


Reading Specialist (18 credits)
 Courses are taken on the MGH Institute of Health Professions campus.

Instructional Leadership (16 credits)
 Courses are taken at Merrimack College.

Course Title Credits
ED 570G Reflective Teaching 4
ED 576G Education Law and Policy 4
ED 642G Instructional Leadership: Creating Data-Driven Instructional Systems in Schools 4
ED 643G The Development of Principals as Instructional Leaders 4

Research (8 credits)

Course Title Credits
ED 610G Research Methods 4
GRAD 590 Capstone Project 4

Students will engage in either an Action Research Project or a Capstone Thesis as the culminating experience of the CAGS program. The capstone research will be a substantive contribution to the student’s ongoing or desired field of research/practice experience.

Electives (4 or 6 credits)
 Students choose electives from another graduate program at Merrimack College.

  • Teacher Education
  • Higher Education
  • Community Engagement

Course work and program options are subject to change.


Office of Graduate Admissions