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Leadership & Public Administration School Board Certificate

Whether you're a prospective candidate seeking a position on a school board, or just want to learn about school board governance and best practices in effectively leading a school district, join this non-partisan initiative to educate all citizens about public service and administration. Take classes online or on-campus. Classes begin January 18, 2020.

Course Schedule

January 18 - February 22, 2020

Students meet each Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for 6 weeks.

The curriculum consists of six live, or live-streaming courses. Class is held on campus at the Meinders School of Business or students may participate remotely via live-stream.

Upon successful completion of the program, participants are awarded a certificate in Leadership & Public Administration - School Boards.

Course Description

Management and Governance of School Districts

This module provides information on the roles of school board members in the
governance structure of a public school district. In addition, school board members will learn about effective board-superintendent communication, successful community engagement, advocacy and communication best practices. Superintendents and board members will share their roles in working together from an internal perspective. Governance and best practices of board members in effectively leading a school district will be discussed.

Open Records & Open Meeting Act

The Oklahoma Open Records Act and Oklahoma Open Meeting Act will be
addressed. Participants also will learn requirements of the office; training required for maintaining the office; and the special aspects of campaign finance laws and reporting requirements for those seeking election or appointment to a school board.

Human Resources

This module provides a sample code of ethics to attendees and will address the interplay of personal, moral and ethical concepts related to school board service. This module will also include discussion on the various laws and rules regarding school employees, including the evaluation of the superintendent.

Visionary Leadership and Student Success

School boards play a vital role in the success of all students. Information will be provided on how school board members can serve as visionary leaders and support students, the administration and staff in the area of student achievement.

School Finance and Facility Planning

This module introduces each participant to how school districts are financed, school revenue streams, school budgets and the statutory limitations placed on funding. Laws related to each school fund and audit procedures will be addressed. This module will include information on school facility planning and bond projects. Information presented will include the legal requirements for school bond proposals as well as Oklahoma law regarding construction and use of school property. Topics addressed in this module will include a discussion of TIFs and TIF districts. This workshop will include information on how to work with stakeholders and what impact a TIF may have in a school district.

Negotiations and Conflict Resolution

Subject matter included in this module is based on the negotiation framework taught at the Harvard Program on Negotiation. The session will include activities, discussions and planned viewing of select video exercises designed for anyone who wants to become a confident and effective negotiator. Teaching segments will cover topics such as dealing with difficult people, planning your negotiation, evaluating your options and achieving your objectives both as an individual and as an organization.

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites are not required.

Enrollment is open to students and professionals of all ages interested in public service and administration.


Tuition is currently $250 for the entire certificate.

Contact Information

Susan Winchester
Director of Learn to Govern Program