Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC)

Post-Masters Certificate in Cultural Foundations and Social Justice Education

The aim of the certificate in Cultural Foundations and Social Justice Education is to provide students with a broad understanding of the cultural, social, political and ideological forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, education in the United States. Building on this knowledge the certificate introduces students to those pedagogical traditions that speak to the quest for more socially just, equitable and liberating institutions and social structures, and the movements, both political and intellectual, that have been instrumental in this quest. The required courses for this program are intended to provide students with a broad, interdisciplinary exposure to the rich scholarly and research traditions that currently shape studies in the cultural foundations of education and social justice.

Career Opportunities

Internships, hands-on job experience, exciting career leads and more. Get connected.

Program Contact

Silvia Bettez
358 School of Education Building


All you need to know about the application process – click here to get started.

Successful completion of this program culminates in a certificate, not a degree.


The certificate provides a mechanism through which students can gain additional credentials to adjunct or teach in community colleges, colleges or universities. Most non-tenure track positions require either a Master’s degree or 18 credits in the area of specialization. Cultural Foundations courses either fulfill an entire program of study or provide service courses to a variety of programs. So we see this 18 credit certificate as providing a needed certification prior to the completion of a related doctoral degree or outside of it in preparing students for professional careers in institutions of higher education.

Designed For

Students who wish to develop a specialized area in Cultural Foundations and Social Justice Education within their program of study and/or who wish to teach as adjuncts in 2 and 4 year institutions of higher education.

Career Opportunities

Students will often have the opportunity to engage in research along side faculty, present and attend conferences, write for publication, serve in various associations or committees on campus, and pursue different opportunities fitting to their research interests and career goals.

Program of Study

Total hours: 18
Courses for certificate:
Required Courses:

  • ELC 705: Foundations of Critical Theory
  • ELC 706: History of Education in the United States
  • ELC 707: Philosophies of Education
  • ELC 708: Educational Sociology: Race, Class, and Gender Power Dynamics
  • ELC 709: Introduction to Critical Pedagogy

Must elect one more ELC course as approved by advisor.

Our goal is for every student in the School of Education (SOE) to be able to focus on their studies and not on student debt. A variety of financial aid is available to our students, including scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. We invite you to explore the many scholarship opportunities offered in the School of Education.