Online Social Justice Education Graduate Certificate in Teaching for Diversity

The online Social Justice Education (SJE) graduate certificate in Teaching for Diversity seeks to extend the goals and outcomes of the existing SJE graduate programs by offering a select set of courses (15 credits) online as a coherent certificate program in Teaching for Diversity. The purpose of the certificate is to provide educators and student services professionals with basic foundational and applied knowledge and skills in Social Justice Education. Students will learn to develop, facilitate, teach, and assess social justice education curricula in their professional contexts.

The goal of the 15-credit online certificate in Teaching for Diversity is to respond to the increasing need to prepare educators and educational leaders to intentionally plan, deliver, and assess curricula addressing social justice issues in schools, colleges and universities, and in community organizations.

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The social justice graduate certificate curriculum bridges theory and research with the practice of teaching for diversity and social justice. Through three foundational courses students will explore the ways that inequities get enacted and perpetuated in educational settings, along with strategies for effective methods of addressing and remediating these inequities. Through in-depth specialization and practicum courses, students will gain curriculum development and facilitation skills to effectively employ social justice education practices in educational settings- inside and outside of classrooms.

Who should consider the Social Justice Education online certificate?

This online certificate is ideal for educational professionals who want to acquire the tools and knowledge they need to effect positive change in their work environments. It is  relevant for teachers, counselors, psychologists, administrators, and student affairs professionals who work throughout the educational system, kindergarten through college, in after-school and youth development programs, and in community-based organizations. The online SJE certificate program is well-suited for those already working full-time and whose professional and/or personal commitments make an online program convenient and affordable.

Want to learn more about the graduate certificate program? Sign up for a virtual information session for a chance to speak with faculty and other prospective students over Zoom.  The times listed are U.S. East Coast.

  • Monday, February 7th at 4pm EDT
  • Thursday, March 10th at 4pm EDT
  • Monday, April 4th at 4pm EDT
  • Thursday, April 21st at 4pm EDT
  • Monday, May 2nd at 4pm EDT

For more information, please contact the certificate program director, Dr. Nina Tissi-Gassoway, 

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    Course of Study

    To complete the SJE graduate certificate, students take five courses, including four foundational courses and a practicum that is the last class for the certificate.

    • EDUC 691E – Introduction to Social Justice Issues in Education, 3 credits
    • EDUC 648 – Historical & Pedagogical Foundations of Social Justice Education, 3 credits
    • EDUC 697SJ: Curriculum Design for Social Justice Education, 3 credits
    • EDUC 697TG – Teaching and Facilitation for Social Justice Education, 3 credits
    • EDUC 691G – Practicum: Reflective Practice, 3 credits


      Spring 2022 Course Offerings 

      Spring registration begins Monday November 8. Academic calendar. 

      Course Description Credits
      EDUC 648

      Historical & Pedagogical Foundations of Social Justice Education

      EDUC 697SJ Curriculum Design for Social Justice Education 3

      For sample syllabi and course projections, contact Dr. Nina Tissi-Gassoway, 

      You can refer to the academic calendar for important semester dates including registration and add/drop. 

      Instructions for Enrolling in Classes in SPIRE

      1. Create a student record. (You should not need to do this step if you took a course in the previous semester) Go to On the right hand menu, under Apply/References click on Non-Degree Enrollment Application and fill out the form there. You will receive an email with your NetID and password (this may take up to 3 days.)
      2. Create an enrollment appointment. Once you have received your NetID and password you can create an enrollment appointment by logging in to SPIRE ( with the NetID and password you received. Once logged in, navigate to Main Menu > Enrollment > Summer/Wntr/Non-degr Enroll Appt and follow the instructions. (It can take up to one day for SPIRE to recognize your NetID, so if you do not see these navigation options try the next day.)
      3. Register for classes. The enrollment appointment should be available immediately. Register for the class by logging in to SPIRE ( and navigate to Main Menu > Enrollment > Add Classes.

      Questions about how to register? Contact UMass University Without Walls at, 413-545-3653 or 800-922-8211.

      Tuition and Fees

      University Without Walls (UWW) at UMass Amherst administers registration and payments for the graduate certificate. 

      Tuition details

      • Tuition is currently at $569/credit.
      • Tuition for each 3-credit course is $1707 plus applicable fees.
      • Total tuition for the 5-course program is $8,535 (Figures applicable as of Fall 2021).
      • There is also a $50/semester registration fee.

      Contact the Bursars Office at or call 413-545-0337 for questions about tuition, fees, payments, and discounts. 

      Tuition Waivers

      Eligible Massachusetts state employees receive a 50% discount on tuition for Continuing & Professional Education courses. For more information on tuition waivers, talk to your HR or union representative.  

      Financial Aid

      Financial aid is not available for certificate programs. 


      Application Timeline

      We admit students to the program on a rolling basis. 

      Degree Requirements and Required Application Materials

      To apply to the certificate program you must hold at least a baccalaureate degree. Many applicants will have a master’s or doctoral degree, as well.

      You may take a course (EDUC 691E or EDUC 648) before you officially apply to the program.

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        Application Requirements

        • Application form
        • Personal statement
        • Résumé/CV
        • Transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
        • Two letters of reference

        You may submit your materials electronically to or through the online application form. Please let us know if you have any questions about how to submit your materials electronically.