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School District Business Leader Certification (SDBL)

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Choose Saint Rose for Your School District Business Leader (SDBL) Certification

Make an impact on the education sector while moving up in your career

The fully-online School District Business Leader (SDBL) certificate program will prepare you to assume district-wide leadership roles, including business administrator, director of finance or business, or assistant superintendent for finance or business. The program is a collaborative effort between an Association of School Business Officials of New York (ASBO New York) and the Saint Rose Educational Leadership program.

The Thelma P. Lally School of Education’s longstanding reputation as a top destination for educators means you’ll receive instruction from experts in the field and have opportunities to apply theory to practice.

24-credit SDBL Certification

The 24-credit-hour program leads to New York State certification as a School District Business Leader (SDBL) after meeting other requirements. The certificate program is for students who already hold a master’s degree.

Learn More About SDBL Certification

60-credit SDBL + MBA

If you’re looking to advance to a district-wide leadership role but do not have a master’s degree, check out our SDBL + MBA program. Explore our program’s flexibility, discount rates, and other available benefits.

Learn More About SDBL + MBA Program

SDBL Certification Program Highlights

You receive the full Saint Rose experience:

  • Fully-online
    Work toward your certificate remotely with our fully-online program and gain the skills needed to pass the SDBL assessment.
  • 20% Discount
    Receive a 20% tuition discount if you’re a member of the Association of School Business Officials of New York (ASBO New York).
  • Academic Cohort
    Join a cohort of peers who you will study and progress with them throughout the program.
  • Internship Opportunities
    Gain hands-on experience in an administrative internship tailored to your current career or future career goals.
  • Industry Mentorship
    Learn from industry experts who know what it takes to be successful as school-business professionals.

Start Terms

SDBL program starts in Fall and Spring terms.

School District Business Leader (SDBL) Certification + Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

Most students are unaware they need to accumulate 60 graduate hours to receive SDBL certification — a New York State requirement. Saint Rose’s SDBL + MBA program will help you get a headstart on earning your SDBL certification while working toward a master’s degree in a respected field of study.

Fully Online – Any Time, Any Way MBA Program

Our SDBL+MBA program is the ONLY program of its kind in New York State with the opportunity to take classes fully-online, providing you with the tools and knowledge to obtain TWO certifications and work at the district level.

You will take advantage of our new Any Time, Any Way MBA program, which gives you the flexibility to take courses either in person, via livestream, or later online with the option to switch it up week-to-week.

 

Bonus Certification in Organizational Leadership and Change Management (OLCM)

In addition to earning a master’s degree and SDBL advanced certificate, you will also gain a CAS in Organizational Leadership and Change Management (OLCM), bolstering your resume and career opportunities. The MBA program can be tailored to your specific educational aspirations and introduces SDBL courses right from the start.

Why SDBL + MBA at Saint Rose?

  • 20% Discount
    Receive a 20% discount on the entire 60-credit program if you’re a member of the Association of School Business Officials of New York (ASBO New York).
  • Flex Program
    Take MBA courses on your own time and however you like: either in-person, via livestream, or later online with the option to switch it up from week-to-week.
  • Industry Mentorship
    Gain dual advisement from industry professionals who will keep you on task for both master’s degree and certificate programs.
  • Save Time, Graduate Faster
    Earn your MBA, SDBL, and OLCM in 60 credits — 6 credits less than if you were to tackle them separately.
  • Internship Opportunities
    Gain hands-on experience in an administrative internship tailored to your current career or future career goals.

Time to completion

  • A full-time student can complete the SDBL+MBA in 3 years
  • A part-time student can complete the SDBL+MBA in 4 to 5 years

Start Terms

SDBL + MBA program starts in Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.

What Our Students Say

Kathryn L. Blackman ‘20, CPA, MBA

Central Business Office Controller, Broome Tioga BOCES

The College of Saint Rose SDBL certificate program has provided me with the opportunity to enhance my understanding of school business finances and operations. The flexibility of the online program allows me to balance my responsibilities at work, home, and school, while the synchronous sessions enable a diverse cohort of students from across the state to maintain positive connections in an open forum where we can share our knowledge and passion. The curriculum is interesting, informative, challenging, and rewarding. The expertise of the professors and their relevant real-life examples adds a level of enhancement to the assignments and theoretical readings. This program has allowed me to invest in my own professional development while taking my career to the next level as an educational leader.

Exceptional Faculty

Our faculty challenge and support you.

Expert practitioners as well as respected researchers knowledgeable in trends throughout the global marketplace, our faculty hold you to the highest standards of ethics and transparency as well as academic excellence, and encourage you and your classmates to be effective in all aspects of business.

Dr. Deborah Shea Assistant Professor

Dr. Shea has been an assistant professor and the coordinator for the school building leader and school district business leader programs at Saint Rose since 2018, and has been an assistant professor at The Sage Colleges since 2014. She has worked as an assistant superintendent, director of curriculum and instruction for grades K-12 and K-5, and principal at various school districts in the Capital Region and Central New York since 1992. Her teaching interests include organizational systems, change theory in organizations, social capital, and leadership theory and practices, and she has conducted research on teacher leadership and building social capital.

View Full Bio

Dr. Jennifer Avery Adjunct Professor

Dr. Jennifer Avery is an Associate Professor in the Educational Leadership Program at The College of Saint Rose. She is currently teaching EDA 591: Critical Issues in School Business Leadership.

Dr. Avery has served the Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES as the Deputy Superintendent for the last nine years. Before this role, she was the Assistant Superintendent for Management Services for five years. Bolton also spent three years as the Director of Finance at Erie 2CC BOCES in Western New York and three years as the District Treasurer for the Cold Spring Harbor School District on Long Island.

In addition to her work for the BOCES, Jennifer Avery has taken on several leadership roles with organizations in the school finance world. She participated in the creation of the SBDL certification exam and Part 83 panel for the State Education Department. In 2016, she received a National Award for her work with data analytics from the Forecast5 organization. Dr. Avery also served on the NYSASBO Board of Directors for seven years and was president of the state organization in 2010. She went on to serve on the ASBO international board for four years, making many visits to see the workings of school finance in states across the country. Dr. Avery now services on both the New York Liquid Asset Fund Board of Directors and the NYSIR Board of Governors. She is still actively involved in NYSASBO, having been asked to lead the membership committee, serve on the government relations committee, coordinate the BOCES strand at the SBMW and teach in the NYSASBO Leadership Academy each year.

Dr. Avery is a graduate of the School of Management at the University at Buffalo. She received her SBA from Long Island University and her Doctorate from Dowling College in 2005. Her research was focused on the relationship between the use of technology by the school business official and the financial efficiency of the school district.

Michael Vespi Adjunct Professor

Instructor Michael Vespi, who has taught at Saint Rose since 2018, is a senior analytics advisor with Forecast5 Analytics, working with school districts all over New York State, assisting with long-range financial planning and data analytics. Vespi has also taught for LeMoyne College and has over 20 years of experience working in public education, serving as an assistant superintendent for business services and as a teacher in the Syracuse area.

He holds a B.S. in Business/Public Management from SUNY Polytechnic Institute Utica/Rome, M.S. in Special Education from Syracuse University, and a CAS in Educational Administration from Oswego State University of New York.

Dr. Deborah SheaAssistant Professor

Dr. Shea has been an assistant professor and the coordinator for the school building leader and school district business leader programs at Saint Rose since 2018, and has been an assistant professor at The Sage Colleges since 2014. She has worked as an assistant superintendent, director of curriculum and instruction for grades K-12 and K-5, and principal at various school districts in the Capital Region and Central New York since 1992. Her teaching interests include organizational systems, change theory in organizations, social capital, and leadership theory and practices, and she has conducted research on teacher leadership and building social capital.

View Full Bio

Dr. Jennifer AveryAdjunct Professor

Dr. Jennifer Avery is an Associate Professor in the Educational Leadership Program at The College of Saint Rose. She is currently teaching EDA 591: Critical Issues in School Business Leadership.

Dr. Avery has served the Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES as the Deputy Superintendent for the last nine years. Before this role, she was the Assistant Superintendent for Management Services for five years. Bolton also spent three years as the Director of Finance at Erie 2CC BOCES in Western New York and three years as the District Treasurer for the Cold Spring Harbor School District on Long Island.

In addition to her work for the BOCES, Jennifer Avery has taken on several leadership roles with organizations in the school finance world. She participated in the creation of the SBDL certification exam and Part 83 panel for the State Education Department. In 2016, she received a National Award for her work with data analytics from the Forecast5 organization. Dr. Avery also served on the NYSASBO Board of Directors for seven years and was president of the state organization in 2010. She went on to serve on the ASBO international board for four years, making many visits to see the workings of school finance in states across the country. Dr. Avery now services on both the New York Liquid Asset Fund Board of Directors and the NYSIR Board of Governors. She is still actively involved in NYSASBO, having been asked to lead the membership committee, serve on the government relations committee, coordinate the BOCES strand at the SBMW and teach in the NYSASBO Leadership Academy each year.

Dr. Avery is a graduate of the School of Management at the University at Buffalo. She received her SBA from Long Island University and her Doctorate from Dowling College in 2005. Her research was focused on the relationship between the use of technology by the school business official and the financial efficiency of the school district.

Michael VespiAdjunct Professor

Instructor Michael Vespi, who has taught at Saint Rose since 2018, is a senior analytics advisor with Forecast5 Analytics, working with school districts all over New York State, assisting with long-range financial planning and data analytics. Vespi has also taught for LeMoyne College and has over 20 years of experience working in public education, serving as an assistant superintendent for business services and as a teacher in the Syracuse area.

He holds a B.S. in Business/Public Management from SUNY Polytechnic Institute Utica/Rome, M.S. in Special Education from Syracuse University, and a CAS in Educational Administration from Oswego State University of New York.

Michele Jones, ESQ Adjunct Professor

Michele Jones is an adjunct professor at Saint Rose teaching school law for both SDBL and SBL CAS programs. A 2004 honors graduate of Albany Law School, she is currently a school attorney at Capital Region BOCES where she provides legal advice to the board of education on education issues, including Medicaid compliance and labor relations.

She regularly contributes articles to the “School Administrator,” a monthly commentary published by the American Association of School Administrators, for school system leaders.  She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the New York State Association of School Attorneys, the New York State Association of Management Advocates for School Labor Affairs, and the National Council of School Attorneys.

Throughout her legal career, Michele has been a passionate advocate for children, and the developmentally disabled, and has worked to influence positive changes in legislative policy on education and guardianship issues.

Dr. Christopher Abdoo Adjunct Professor

Christopher Abdoo, who has been an adjunct professor for Saint Rose since July of 2019, is the assistant superintendent for support services at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District.  Prior to his current role, Abdoo has served as the director of business & finance for the Rome City School District, the business administrator for the Frankfort-Schuyler Central School district, a teacher at the New Hartford Central School District, and an accountant/auditor for Ernst & Young LLP’s Manhattan office.

He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Binghamton University, a M.S. in Social Studies Education from Syracuse University, a C.A.S. in Educational Administration/Leadership from the State University of New York College at Cortland, and a Doctorate of Education from the Sage Colleges.

Dr. L. Oliver Robinson Adjunct Professor

Dr. L. Oliver Robinson has taught at the College of St. Rose since the Spring of 2019. He serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Shenendehowa Central School District since July of 2005.

Dr. Robinson is the author of “Naked in the Public Eye – Leading and Learning in an Era of Accountability.” The book provides a practical road map to success and illuminates the mental and emotional fortitude needed in leadership positions.

Dr. Robinson received a B.A. in Business Economics and Organizational Behavior & Management from Brown University.  He received a master’s degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) from the University at Albany.

Michele Jones, ESQAdjunct Professor

Michele Jones is an adjunct professor at Saint Rose teaching school law for both SDBL and SBL CAS programs. A 2004 honors graduate of Albany Law School, she is currently a school attorney at Capital Region BOCES where she provides legal advice to the board of education on education issues, including Medicaid compliance and labor relations.

She regularly contributes articles to the “School Administrator,” a monthly commentary published by the American Association of School Administrators, for school system leaders.  She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the New York State Association of School Attorneys, the New York State Association of Management Advocates for School Labor Affairs, and the National Council of School Attorneys.

Throughout her legal career, Michele has been a passionate advocate for children, and the developmentally disabled, and has worked to influence positive changes in legislative policy on education and guardianship issues.

Dr. Christopher AbdooAdjunct Professor

Christopher Abdoo, who has been an adjunct professor for Saint Rose since July of 2019, is the assistant superintendent for support services at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District.  Prior to his current role, Abdoo has served as the director of business & finance for the Rome City School District, the business administrator for the Frankfort-Schuyler Central School district, a teacher at the New Hartford Central School District, and an accountant/auditor for Ernst & Young LLP’s Manhattan office.

He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Binghamton University, a M.S. in Social Studies Education from Syracuse University, a C.A.S. in Educational Administration/Leadership from the State University of New York College at Cortland, and a Doctorate of Education from the Sage Colleges.

Dr. L. Oliver RobinsonAdjunct Professor

Dr. L. Oliver Robinson has taught at the College of St. Rose since the Spring of 2019. He serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Shenendehowa Central School District since July of 2005.

Dr. Robinson is the author of “Naked in the Public Eye – Leading and Learning in an Era of Accountability.” The book provides a practical road map to success and illuminates the mental and emotional fortitude needed in leadership positions.

Dr. Robinson received a B.A. in Business Economics and Organizational Behavior & Management from Brown University.  He received a master’s degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) from the University at Albany.

Professor Lin A. Severance Adjunct Professor

Professor Lin A. Severance, who began teaching at Saint Rose in the Spring of 2019, is the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Guilderland Central School District. Dr. Severance co-presents the Personnel Academy I & II annually at the state conference of the New York State Association of School Personnel Administrators.

She holds a B.S. from SUNY Geneseo, a M.S. from University at Albany in Educational Psychology & Statistics and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Administration.

Professor Lin A. SeveranceAdjunct Professor

Professor Lin A. Severance, who began teaching at Saint Rose in the Spring of 2019, is the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Guilderland Central School District. Dr. Severance co-presents the Personnel Academy I & II annually at the state conference of the New York State Association of School Personnel Administrators.

She holds a B.S. from SUNY Geneseo, a M.S. from University at Albany in Educational Psychology & Statistics and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Administration.

Curriculum and New York State Requirements

SDBL Certification Requirements

  • Candidate must have completed a total of 60 graduate hours inclusive of the candidate’s master’s degree.
  • Candidate must pass the NYS SDBL Assessment Examination (candidate receives SDBL Advanced Certificate from the college).
  • Candidate must complete 18 credit hours of coursework
  • Candidate must complete an additional 6-credit-hour internship: Requires college-approved proposal and 600 logged internship hours.
  • Intro to Educational Leadership & Administration
  • Education Law
  • Personnel Administration
  • School Finance
  • Finance & Practice
  • SEM: Critical Issues in ELA

School District Business Leader

  • Intro to Educational Leadership & Administration
  • Education Law
  • Personnel Administration
  • School Finance
  • Finance & Practice
  • SEM: Critical Issues in ELA

MBA

  • Management communications
  • Organizational behavior and management
  • Budgeting and cost analysis
  • Managerial economics
  • Human resource management
  • Marketing management
  • Managerial finance
  • Production and quality management
  • Strategic management
  • Leadership & Organizational Change
  • Management: Skills-based approach
  • Manage Effective Teams
  • Corporate Government & Trusts
  • Managing Organizational Development & Change

Industry Stats

Lead like a boss

Obtaining a New York State SDBL certification provides graduates with greater career opportunities, geographical flexibility, and leadership enhancement, and better serves school districts.

Contact Us Now

Of course, if you have any questions, please reach out. We’re here to help.

 

Dr. Deborah Shea

Program Coordinator

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