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Masters in Governance is a groundbreaking governance leadership program that recognizes the necessity for the board and superintendent to work closely toward a common goal. Participants attend each of the nine modules, which define the roles and responsibilities of school governance teams and provide tools that keep efforts focused on student learning.

Superintendents are encouraged to enroll in the program as a member of the governance team.

Program Details

  • The program consists of 60 hours of instruction and participation. You enroll one time and are eligible to participate in nine one-day Masters in Governance learning modules (pre-registration required).
  • The enrollment fee of $1,600 covers the registration fee for the nine modules and a non-refundable deposit of $70.
  • Program requirements must be completed within two years from the date of enrollment.
  • Substitutions for attendance at a module with someone else within your organization are NOT permitted.
  • Program participants who complete the entire program will receive CSBA's Masters in Governance certificate.


  • Participants bear the responsibility to contact CSBA regarding their inability to complete the program within the two-year period. One year extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis (for example call to military duty or severe illness).

  • Failure to remain active in the program or contact CSBA for an extension will result in the forfeiture of all remaining program funds at the end of the two-year time frame.


A full refund is available (less the non-refundable deposit) within 30 business days after registering in the program if no modules have been completed. Participants who wish to cancel from the program must provide official notification by mail on district letterhead and include the reasons for cancellation from the program. After 30 business days, there will be an additional cancellation fee of $175 plus a deduction for any modules completed. Once participants have completed five modules in the program, no refunds will be granted.

Program Modules

Foundations of Effective Governance

This module covers the roles and responsibilities of the governance team and focuses on the two core concepts of the Masters in Governance program: trusteeship and governance.

Note: This module must be taken prior to enrolling in any other module.

Setting Direction

This module will help the governance team understand how a district’s vision, beliefs and strategic goals are interwoven into every facet of the district’s education programs.

Note: CSBA recommends that this module be taken after the Foundations of Effective Governance module.

Human Resources

This module covers the elements of employing a superintendent who meets the district’s needs; maintaining a positive working relationship with the superintendent; evaluating the superintendent according to established criteria; and establishing a framework for sound personnel practices across the district.

Policy and Judicial Review

This module will help governance teams develop skills in setting policy; learn to identify policy issues; set an appropriate process for developing sound policies; communicate and support policies; and review and revise policies to ensure their effectiveness.

Student Learning and Achievement

Discover how to set expectations for student learning; ensure that appropriate processes are in place for curriculum development, review and adoption; communicate and support the curriculum; and assess student achievement and district programs.

School Finance

Learn how to achieve a balance between district goals and student achievement by establishing budget priorities; developing appropriate processes for budget development, adoption and revision; implementing the budget; and monitoring and auditing the district’s finances.

Collective Bargaining

This module provides an overview of the history of collective bargaining and the legal framework for collective negotiations in public schools. Topics covered include the board’s responsibilities during negotiations; collective bargaining methodologies; and setting goals and objectives for the collective bargaining process.

Community Relations and Advocacy

Explore strategies and proven methods to build community support; keep the community and media informed; be responsive to community concerns and interests; encourage community engagement and involvement; and engage in advocacy efforts at the state and national levels.

Governance Integration

This final module in the series integrates the concepts of trusteeship and the governance team with the jobs of the board. At the end of the session, graduates of the program receive the Masters in Governance certificate.

Note: Participants must have completed all of the modules in order to attend the integration session.