2020-2021 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School District Business Leadership (Professional Certification), CAS

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Joseph Shedd, 150 Huntington Hall, 315 443-2685, jbshedd@syr.edu

The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in School District Business Leadership (SDBL) provides a comprehensive program in school business management provided jointly by the School of Education’s Department of Teaching and Leadership and the Maxwell School of Public Affairs Department of Public Administration. The program leads to New York State certification as a School District Business Leader.

School district business leaders are typically the chief financial officers of school districts and manage a broad range of non-instructional functions, such as budgeting, accounting, facilities management, information technology, procurement, human resources (personnel) management, labor negotiations, food service and transportation.

Alongside meeting the requirements for SDBL certification in New York State, the program provides coursework and field experiences that prepare candidates to fulfill all professional functions of school business management specified by the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO). Besides an introductory course in Issues and Practices in School District Leadership, the program includes coursework in six areas of study:

  • Financial management and management of ancillary services
  • Education leadership and management.
  • Education law
  • Human resource management
  • Microeconomics
  • Program evaluation

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Leaders support, develop, and nurture all those served by a school system. School district business leaders must demonstrate the knowledge and skills to create and sustain financial and operational conditions that enable all students to meet state learning standards and all staff to serve effectively in achieving that objective. They must demonstrate the ability to identify, develop, and endorse organizational and administrative policies and procedures that support their district’s mission, goals, and objectives.
2. Leaders have a vision for schools that they constantly share and promote; they persevere and take the long view. School district business leaders must demonstrate the knowledge and skills to assist in implementing, monitoring, and evaluating a district strategic plan; monitor and asses programs that support instruction; and assist with the allocation of resources for instructional programs.
3. Leaders hold themselves and others responsible and accountable; they have the courage and judgment to take informed risks. School district business leaders must demonstrate the knowledge and skills to effectively and ethically manage the financial resources and operational functions of a school district, and administer its employment agreements, in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.
4. Leaders communicate clearly and effectively; they collaborate and cooperate with others. School district business leaders must demonstrate the knowledge and skills to oversee the design and administration of management information systems, implement mass and interactive communication strategies, and effectively present financial data and administrative issues to various audiences, framing choices that help lay audiences understand and make decisions, and framing questions that assure that those with specialized expertise make appropriate recommendations.
5. Leaders promote the success of all students and their districts’ interests by understanding, responding to, and influencing the political, economic, legal, regulatory, and cultural contexts that affect public education. School district business leaders must demonstrate the know-ledge and skills to keep their superintendents and boards of education apprised of external developments that bear on a district’s non-instructional functions and that affect their ability to maintain and support its instructional programs, and they assist the district’s leaders or directly represent and advocate for their district in relationships with outside experts and regulatory and legal authorities on all such non-instructional issues.

Certificate Requirements

A required practicum experience (a 600-hour clinical internship, typically spread over spring, summer and early fall semesters) completes the course structure of the program.

To receive certification as a school district business leader a student must have 60 graduate credits and a Master’s degree. The SDBL program itself consists of courses (including the internship) accounting for 37 of these graduate credits. The number of courses that a student is required to take varies depending on her/his previous graduate experience. Candidates who have either completed or are concurrently pursuing a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership or a Master’s of Public Administration are likely to have already completed some courses required under the SDBL program. Each student will take at least thirteen (13) graduate credits toward the SDBL that are not included in some other program. Certification and (under most circumstances) program completion also require that the candidate pass a New York State administered examination in School District Business Leadership.

The following courses are required by the program. (We have marked below those that are either required or elective courses in our CAS program in educational leadership for school district and school building leaders (CAS) or our MPA program in public administration (MPA), or Masters of Arts in International Relations, which candidates may already have taken or may be taking simultaneously to secure those degrees.):

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