Woman working on computer

Data-Based Decision-Making Certificate

Enhance your ability to work with education-related data to make evidence-based decisions for improved learning outcomes and policy

Take Your Credentials to the Next Level

The Graduate Certificate in Data-Based Decision-Making is designed for anyone who wants to develop education-related data expertise, improve their understanding of assessment and data, and consider the role of data in education policy. It is also geared toward school administrators and educators who seek to improve the data-related culture in their schools, use school and classroom data to improve decision-making, and monitor the progress of their students and schools.

Woman standing in front of room teaching
Woman standing in front of room teaching
Woman working on computer
Clock with graduate hat icon

Time to Complete

One year (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters). You can start any semester.

A+ computer icon


4 courses totaling 12 credits

Program Highlights

  • Learn at your pace and convenience: This program can be completed entirely online in asynchronous courses, for ultimate convenience for busy schedules.
  • Learn what matters most in your context: Professors customize assignments for students working in schools, as well as those not currently in the education field.
  • Learn from a globally recognized faculty at a nationally recognized institution: CSU is a leading public, urban, research university, giving you the opportunity to learn from professors who are involved in large-scale research on learning sciences, particularly in urban environments.
Man working at a table
Man working at a table

Learning Methodology

In this certificate program, you will learn about writing good assessments and evaluating them, using classroom, school, and district-level data to make informed decisions, basic statistics and data presentation, and program evaluation. These skills will also enhance your marketability in education-related careers.

Admissions Requirements

All students applying to the Data-Based Decision-Making program must:

It is highly recommended that EDB 601: Educational Research be completed before taking the program courses.


The certificate is 12 credits, and can be earned as a stand-alone certificate or in conjunction with a Master's Degree in Educational Research and Assessment.

Program Courses

EDB 574Data Driven Decision-Making in the Classroom3 Credits
EDB 572Beginning Statistics for Research3 Credits
EDB 704*Interpreting Student Performance Data3 Credits
EDB 711*Educational Evaluation & Innovation3 Credits

*EDB 601 or equivalent (an introductory research course) is a prerequisite for these courses.

Hand holding pen going over documents
Hand holding pen going over documents

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and financial aid for CSU programs are kept competitive so you can receive the education you deserve. Tuition for online programs and courses follows the same fee structure as traditional, on-campus programs and courses. Current CSU Graduate tuition costs can be found on the Bursar’s website.

Approximately 70% of CSU’s students receive some form of financial assistance. The University participates in or administers all the major federal and state grant and loan programs. In addition, CSU provides University grants and scholarships.

To begin the financial aid process, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must file a FAFSA every year after January 1st to receive your financial aid. Cleveland State University’s financial aid school code is 003032.

If you have any questions, visit the Financial Aid section of CSU’s website, or contact the Financial Aid office.



Your professors in this program:

  • Are experienced. They conduct large-scale research studies related to education and learning and are published in respected journals around the world.
  • Are connected. They have connections to the community, including CMSD schools.
  • Are accessible. Professors are available and communicative when you need them.
  • Are passionate. They are passionate about your success and are willing to contribute where needed.
CSU trees blooming
CSU trees blooming

Student Success Coaching

At CSU, you will be paired with a Student Success Coach to support you on your journey from acceptance into a program to graduation. Coaches help with:

  • Time management
  • Study strategies
  • Focus techniques
  • Work-life balance
  • Academic support resources
  • Navigating University policies and procedures
  • Resolving issues and locating the right resources

Student Success Coaches will reach out to you for a welcome call early in your program. Coaches can help you create an academic success plan with strategies and goals that will help you be successful. Student Success Coaches are available to you throughout your program. Student Success Coaches do not replace academic advisors or other counselors, but rather work as a team with them to provide you with all the right resources.

Girl looking at her computer
Girl looking at her computer
People around a table

Career Outcomes

This certificate is used to enhance your skills or marketability for a career in education or related field. The data-based decision-making skills developed in this program are excellent for teachers, administrators, and counselors, as well as for those in related fields who need to write assessments and gather data for decision-making.

When you successfully complete this program, you will be prepared to make critical decisions based on your robust understanding of data. This will elevate your decision making to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have background in education or data to be in this program?

No. While many of our students have an education background, it is not required, and your professors create assignments that are adaptable for those who are not in an education setting. There is no expectation of a background in data or assessment.

Is this a teaching endorsement?

No. This is a Cleveland State University graduate certificate that indicates your expertise in this area.

Will this program prepare me for a career in data analytics related to education?

This program is a great start toward a career in data analytics in that it gives you some of the tools needed for understanding research and data. However, if you are interested in a career in data analytics, we recommend you pursue courses in statistics as well (e.g. our Ph.D. program in Urban Education).

Connect with us to learn more

Fill out the form to connect with a Cleveland State University admission counselor who can provide additional information about your program of interest, the admission process, financial aid, and more.