International School Leadership Certificate Program Overview

School-Level Leadership

60 Hours of Exemplary Learning for all School Leaders – Principals, Heads, Deputies, Department Heads, Aspiring Leaders – National and International Schools

Our certificate program is designed to provide you with a comprehensive set of modules leading to the acquisition of an International School Leadership Certificate. Our certification is awarded at three levels of achievement, depending on the number of completed modules. Participants will be able to reflect on their own practice using our free online tools focused on self-assessment for teachers and for school leaders.


Certificate Level 1

Module 1: Principal Leadership for School Improvement

  • examine practices of an effective school leader for 21st century teaching and learning using international leadership frameworks and research
  • explore the role of personal reflection, emotional and cultural intelligence

Module 2: Characteristics of Effective Schools and Systems

  • review the effective school research
  • identify characteristics of effective schools that support 21st century teaching and learning
  • explore the characteristics of effective schools and systems

Module 3: Building Relationships and Developing People

  • explore in-depth the concepts of emotional and cultural intelligence
  • understand the importance of building relational trust, a collaborative culture and collective efficacy
  • probe how to improve challenging conversations

Module 4: Setting Goals and Expectations Using Data Informed Decision Making

  • examine characteristics of a collaborative school culture
  • understand the importance of collecting and analyzing a wide variety of student achievement data
  • explore how to plan, monitor, and evaluate school improvement

Module 5: Leading Improvement in Classroom Instruction: Meeting the needs of all learners

  • understand conditions for learning, universal design for learning, tiered interventions, differentiated instruction, assessment and high-yield strategies
  • identify the role of professional learning, collaborative inquiry and learning walks

Module 6: Instructional Leadership Project Plan: The application of theory to practice

  • apply new knowledge to the development of a leadership plan that identifies a problem of practice, goals, context, leadership, applicable literature and a process for assessing success

Certificate Level 2.1

Module 7: Planning, Executing and Monitoring School Improvement

  • learn to appreciate the critical role of school improvement planning
  • examine key components that include SMART goals, monitoring strategies and implementation rubrics
  • explore essential processes

Module 8: Resource Management for Improved Student Learning

  • understand the financial responsibilities, the connection between the budget and improvement plan, key strategies and management principles
  • explore the concept of the three-E’s of Value of money
  • analyze current budget

Module 9: Personal Qualities, Competencies and Problem Solving

  • examine how knowledge, values, beliefs and assumptions impact leadership practices
  • understand the role of self-awareness, self-assessment, planning for growth and develop ethical fitness by examining dilemmas

Module 10: Mentoring and Coaching

  • examine mentoring and coaching from an academic and implementation perspective
  • explore the types of mentoring and components of successful coaching
  • understand the required skills and competencies

Module 11: Parent and Community Engagement

  • understand the importance of parent and community engagement
  • review various types of parent engagement, potential barriers, strategies and resources
  • explore strategies to develop intercultural competencies

Module 12: Instructional Leadership Project Completion: General reporting requirements

  • learn to execute the plan developed in Module 6: Instructional Leadership Project Plan
  • report on the execution of the plan with a time/activity log, a reflective journal and a summative report

Certificate Level 2.2

Participants must have previously completed Certificate Level 1 and Level 2.1 in order to continue study at this next level.

Module 13: Instructional Leadership Project Completion: Master’s Degree recognition requirements

  • execute the plan developed in Module 6: Instructional Leadership Project Plan and
  • prepare two academic papers reporting on the leadership project, with the advice of an Academic Advisor who holds a doctoral degree.
For a more detailed description:

Program Design

The program is designed to address ways that principals and heads exert leadership in the pursuit of school improvement, intercultural competency and student academic achievement, including:

  • defining the school’s goals and program
  • creating a professional development plan
  • collaborating with teachers to solve classroom discipline problems
  • observing instruction
  • encouraging teachers to take responsibility for improving their teaching and for student learning and
  • providing parents or guardians with information about the school and about student performance  OECD 2015

Module Design

Modules incorporate a wide variety of instructional strategies:

  • Minds on – Connect to prior learning
  • Multiple learning opportunities for all earning styles
  • Multiple learning partners – collaborative learning community
  • Research foundation
  • Reflection – individual and collective
  • Active learning – visible learning and protocols
  • Assessment for, as, and of learning
  • Module Evaluation – Ongoing and final feedback

“Thank-you for such practical, useful and bite-sized information, that, in our busy day and workload, we can manage and learn from.”  School leader in Belgrade  

Program Delivery and Pricing

We offer you the flexibility to choose between onsite or online delivery!

Aside from our customized learning, our greatest strength is the quality of our instructors. Beyond having demonstrated the highest levels of leadership, these individuals stand out as exemplary teachers. Another critical element in our unique program delivery is the contextualizing of content. Our programming is tailored to understand the nature of and priorities for your specific jurisdiction.

Onsite Program Delivery

All modules are highly interactive and use a broad range of strategies, therefore, registration is limited to a maximum of 35 per group. Each module also requires the online submission of a personal reflection following each learning experience.

Onsite delivery is supported by an Online Learning Forum

  • Using a state-of-the-art learning management system, an Online Learning Forum is established for the entire program or one module
  • All resources are available online
  • Module reflections are submitted using the Forum
  • Module evaluation is completed online
  • Communication is facilitated before and after the module

Typical onsite delivery timing

  • 3-day session for Modules 1 and 2
  • 3-day session for Modules 4 and 5
  • 2-day session for Modules 3 and 6
  • or a customized delivery with 2 days for each module

“Your institution has led to a huge academic growth to my staff within this one academic year.”  Head of School in Lesotho

Three wonderful, inspiring days of professional input, cooperation and reflection, fantastic :)” Principal in Belgium

Online Program Delivery   Learning Online With ISL

Modules are delivered over a 5-week period and require 2-3 hours per week of active online participation. The required technical skills are minimal, given the state-of-the-art learning management system.

Online delivery allows participants to progress through the module as a cohort

  • interacting with fellow participants and the instructor online
  • committing to regular online contributions
  • participating in two web-conferences arranged by the instructor

Online delivery timing allows participants the flexibility to determine the time and days of active participation.


International School Leadership issues individual Certificates of Completion for each module and the International School System Leadership Certificate after meeting program requirements.

Program Pricing

  • Online modules 1 – 5 are $452 CAD per module per person; $113 CAD for Module 6
  • Onsite modules 1-5 are $400 CAD per module per person plus site costs. A minimum of 15 registrants is required

Contracted delivery prices are available and determined by participant enrollment and specific site costs.

Are you interested in partnering?

Contracted Delivery involves jurisdictions, organizations and schools entering into a specific contract for program delivery.

Co-sponsoring Delivery is a joint effort between ISL and a jurisdiction, organization or school. Each assumes certain responsibilities, with the local co-sponsor assisting in local promotions and facilitation of the program, without assuming financial risk.

Licensing Fee is a contractual arrangement whereby ISL provides the rights of usage regarding specific program materials for unaccompanied program delivery.

Partnership is a contractual arrangement for program delivery that involves the co-appointment and training of identified instructors, the provision of an online platform, the review and modification of the program and the issuance of jointly-branded certificates.


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