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Cultural Competence and Social Justice Leadership

Specialized Study Program in Cultural Competence and Social Justice Leadership

Specialized Study Program in Cultural Competence and Social Justice Leadership

Online Program


6 months



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Created in partnership with ACSA (The Association of California School Administrators).

In our constantly evolving schools, young learners need leaders who advocate for their uniqueness, opinions, and equal opportunities. Learn how to champion a modern approach to cultural diversity for your employees or educational professionals and for your students.

Compare today’s educational needs for diversity and cultural awareness to historical inequality in schools. Understand how your own personal opinions can affect your leadership style and how cultural interpretation and perspectives in general integrate with social justice and action plans. Use reputable standards such as the Cultural Proficiency Continuum to assess your school’s or district’s status and growth. Learn how to improve core values and responses to students’ needs using the Guiding Principles of Cultural Proficiency. Prepare yourself to lead other educators into an environment designed for access and opportunity and set your students up for success.


Designed For

  • Superintendents and assistant superintendents
  • Equity administrators
  • County office administrators
  • Educational professionals who help with LCAP implementation
  • School board members

What You'll Learn

  • Differences and similarities with historical inequality in schools
  • Methods to examine policies and practices against the impressions and results of action plans and used approaches
  • Standards to use for analysis and policy development for cultural proficiency, and equal opportunity and barrier assessment for marginalized and privileged students
  • Approaches to continued equity assessment and improvement in policies, classroom practices, and leadership

What You Can Do With This Program

Positions that would benefit from this program would create leaders who:

  • Understand the need for adapting to today’s culturally changing school environment
  • Know how to self-assess their beliefs
  • Can use sets of approved standards for cultural competence
  • Can integrate policy-driven changes for equity and keep educators focused and cognizant

Real People. Real Results.

“My experience at UCR Extension was great. My instructors worked in industry, not just academics, and were able to share real-world scenarios for the assignments we were learning and participating in. I took real-time experiences back to the office, and implemented the new knowledge immediately.”

Tracy Trettin

Administrative Operations Manager
UCR School of Medicine
Riverside, CA

Earning the Certificate

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

Cultural Competence for Educators


3 units

Quarter 2

Leadership for Equity and Social Justice


3 units

Instructor Spotlight

“Social justice leadership is about recognizing the disparities and inequities in our system and using our leadership, power, and influence to make an impact in service of all students, especially those most marginalized and disengaged from the system.”

Marguerite Williams, Ed.D.

Sr. Director of Equity & Diversity
Association of California School Administrators

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