Certificate in Improvement Science FAQs

FAQ for Certificate in Improvement Science (Online)

Your application for admission will be reviewed based on:

  • A personal statement of 750 words that describes your experience leading improvement activities and/or your interest learning about improvement science
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which must come from a current supervisor
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • For international applicants, an official report of your TOEFL score that is less than two years old

You may use the same letters of recommendation and transcripts for your application. We ask that you generate a new personal statement that speaks directly to your experience leading improvement activities and/or your interest learning about improvement science.

No. The program is open to students who are currently pursuing a Master’s degree.

No. The program does not require the GRE.

The certificate alone does not quality for financial aid. However, you may be eligible for aid if you complete the certificate while pursuing a Masters or Doctoral Program. Please consult IU Student Central for more information about financial aid options.

A new cohort begins each Spring. The first cohort of the program will begin in Spring 2021.

To earn the certificate, you must take:

  • A600 – Problems in Education;
  • A671 – Planning & Change in Education; and
  • A629 – Data-Informed Decision-Making

In addition, you must complete an improvement project by enrolling in either A695 or A785.

Yes. The course content is structured to support student learning. Students should take the courses in the following sequence:

  • Spring Semester: A600 and A671
  • Summer Semester: A629
  • Fall Semester: A695 or A785

The project is an opportunity to apply concepts and skills learned in the certificate program to your own practice. Specifically, it requires students to complete a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) in their organization, develop an improvement plan related to their analysis, and enact one PDSA cycle to introduce a meaningful change idea. The project typically requires 30 hours to complete. It can be completed as a group project provided all of the students are working on the same problem of practice.

Yes, this project can be completed as part of the principal or superintendent internship. The project can count toward 30 hours of your internship experience.

Yes, this project can be used as the basis for an Ed.D. dissertation with approval of your dissertation chair and supervisory committee.

Yes, all of the credits earned in this certificate program count toward the M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership.

Yes, all of the credits earned in this certificate program count toward the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

This certificate prepares individuals in front-line service roles (e.g., classroom teachers, school administrators, superintendents, central office administrators) with an understanding of improvement science process. With the knowledge acquired in this program, you can pursue a variety of improvement-focused positions (e.g., teacher leader, instructional coach, school improvement specialist, research analyst, assessment coordinator, program director).

The skills apply to work in early childhood education, K-12 public and private schools, community colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations. Students may also find the skills in the program compatible with work in business, healthcare, and social service settings.

Yes, you can use professional development dollars or school improvement dollars to pay for the cost of this program. In addition, a school district or professional association can pay the cost of this program for a cohort of 15 or more employees to complete this program.

This document was last updated on May 11, 2020.