Professional Certificate in Chief Business Officials

Professional Certificate in Chief Business Officials

Online Program


18-24 months


35 Units


Chief Business Officials have big shoes to fill, and we have what you need to do the job with confidence. Learn how best to navigate the responsibilities and politics of your role as the leading financial officer. Get tools and techniques to effectively manage all business aspects of public education, including human resources, attendance, transportation, purchasing, and more.

Designed For

Those who are currently working or aspire to work as a chief business official (CBO) in a school district.

What You'll Learn

  • Overview of California's public schools financial and education system and the role and responsibilities of a chief business official
  • All aspects of school business accounting, including budget, payroll, student body accounting, audits and more
  • Technology systems for communication, attendance, inventory, and personnel
  • Human resources management, including collective bargaining and contract administration
  • Facilities construction, operation and risk management
  • Purchasing and warehousing procedures
  • Pupil transportation, school law, asset management and bond elections
  • Entrepreneurship, and strategic planning
  • Practicum experience working with a chief business official

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Positions are available in public education. They might include:

  • Chief Business Official
  • Assistant Superintendent

Program Overview


35 Units

“I highly recommend the Chief Business Officials Professional Certificate Program. I benefited from the high-quality courses and professional instructors. My knowledge of this field grew tremendously. The program is a fantastic opportunity because of the networking and real-world experiences.”

Nurmuhammet Melayev

Budget Analyst
Magnolia Educational Research Foundation

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree

ELECTIVES: A total of 10 quarter units are required for electives. Elective courses must be approved by the Director of Education Extension. Courses may be selected from the following areas:

  • Educational Philosophy
  • Business Administration
  • Relevant Research and Thesis Topics
  • Other Courses Relevant to the Program

Our program is in alignment with CASBO's certification. Successful completion confers:

  • CASBO certification
  • UCR Professional 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

School Business Accounting

EDUC X372.2

5 units

School district financial systems, such as auditing, accounting, reporting, attendance accounting, student body organization funds, state and federal projects, and certificated and classified payroll as they relate to school business accounting and other areas.

Overview of California School Business Services (formerly California Public Schools Finance System Overview for School Business Officials)

EDUC X372.1

1 units

Overview of the history, concepts and legal aspects of financing public schools to serve California. Emphasis is on the role of the political climate and the unique demographics in California. The future of educational finance, the role of the chief business official and the organization of a school district's business division will be discussed in light of historical and legal perspectives.

Quarter 2

Information and Technology Systems in School Business

EDUC X372.3

4 units

Information and technology systems used in school finance and business operations. Topics include: hardware and software, role of information systems in school business, computer-assisted management decision making, integrating network applications, managing data and knowledge, and planning for future technology needs.

Budget Development and Control in Public Education

EDUC X373.4

2 units

Review of budget preparation and monitoring during the fiscal year, including the role of the chief business official in budget development and financial controls. Effective methods for monitoring and adjusting school district budgets are presented.

Quarter 3

Human Resources Management for the Chief Business Official

EDUC X372.4

4 units

Effective methods for managing human resources from a school business official's perspective and personnel issues that affect school districts. Topics include: regulations, laws and court cases relating to K-12 personnel administration; ways to maintain high productivity and quality of work life, ethics and social responsibility in a demographically and culturally diverse workforce, linking personnel to student learning, evaluation procedures, supervision practices, hiring and retention of good employees and progressive discipline.

Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration in Public Education

EDUC X372.5

1 units

Overview of California's public school collective bargaining and contract administration principles and processes, including a brief history of public school collective bargaining. Topics include approaches for developing and presenting contract language and determining strategies for handling grievances, impasse, fact finding, mediation and arbitration. The role of the chief business official in classified and certificated collective bargaining is explored.

Quarter 4

Attendance Accounting and Auditing in Public Education

EDUC X372.6

1.5 units

In-depth focus on student attendance accounting, record-keeping, reporting and audit requirements mandated for K-12 California School districts.

Food and Child Nutritional Services in Public Education

EDUC X372.7

1 units

Overview of the operation of food and nutritional services in public schools. Methods for ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations, cost and accounting controls and ways to contribute to educational goals of the district by providing nutritional meals and services to students are presented.

Purchasing and Warehousing in Public Education

EDUC X373.1

1 units

Fundamental concepts associated with purchasing processes and supply chain management. Topics include standards of purchasing practice, the bidding process, bonding requirements and legal aspects of purchasing from the perspectives of Public Contract Code and the Uniform Commercial Code.

Quarter 5

School Facilities Construction and Project Planning

EDUC X314.3

1.5 units

This course includes an overview of the construction process from planning to culmination. Included in the discussion and lecture is an explanation of the interrelationships and function of the Division of the State Architect, the California Department of Education School Facilities Planning Division, the Department of Toxic Substance Control, and city and county agencies. The class will revolve around a case study of an actual project from the planning stage to completion. Included will be discussion of the interaction of the school board, superintendent, business services, maintenance and operations, purchasing, the architect, design consultant, construction managers, local agencies and contractors.

Maintenance, Operations and Pupil Transportation

EDUC X372.8

1.5 units

Elements of maintenance and operations of a school district. Effective delivery systems for pupil transportation will be presented. Topics include preventive and deferred maintenance, training, planning, budgeting and staffing.

Leadership and Strategic Planning for Chief Business Officials

EDUC X373.5

1 units

Principles of leadership and key components for becoming a visionary leader. Methods for demonstrating vision, positive communication, positioning and empowerment, which contribute to the success of chief business officials, and a strategic planning process that enhances a school district's ability to plan for the future are presented.

Quarter 6

School Law for Chief Business Officials

EDUC X373.2

1.5 units

A practical focus on various legal issues typically encountered in the day-to-day operations of chief business officials in K-12 public schools. Topics include school safety, The Brown Act, Public Records Act, authority to expend funds, general fund encroachment, lobbying, legislative process and charter schools.

School Financing: Practical Approaches for Chief Business Officials

EDUC X373.3

1.5 units

A review of public education financing in California in light of the philosophical, sociological, legal and political forces that bring pressure for change and their impact in practical terms for school business officials. Topics include base revenue limit income, apportionment schedules, financing mechanisms, redevelopment and asset management, and technological trends and their impact on forecasting revenues and current issues.

Risk Management in Public Education

EDUC X372.9

1.5 units

Basic processes, goals and strategies associated with risk management principles including legal aspects. This course examines the interrelationship and functions between OSHA, Joint Powers Authority, third party administrators, brokers/consultants and insurance companies and provides an analysis of the interaction with school boards, site administrators, the district office and interdepartmental operations and the injured worker or visitor. Topics include workers' compensation, employee benefits, property liability, safety issues and mandates, and alternative risk financing.

Quarter 7
Quarter 8

Practicum for Chief Business Officials

EDUC X373.7

6 units

Supervised experience working with a chief business official. Participants will work for 60 hours in a school business division and demonstrate the competencies necessary to become an effective chief business official through application of knowledge, skills and principles learned in certificate coursework.

“We are all continual learners, and to see practitioners better equip and prepare themselves within their careers is truly phenomenal. My best students have also been the best teachers to both their peers and staffs.”

Richard De Nava

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services
San Jacinto Unified School District

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