Academy of Board Development

ASBA’s Academy of Board Development program recognizes school board members for their commitment, through ongoing professional development, to continuous improvement in service to their students, schools and communities.

Professional development provides school board members with focused and structured opportunities to

  • Gain content knowledge and skills required to effectively govern their school districts
  • Remain current on issues affecting education and student outcomes
  • Acquire critical leadership skills and competencies

ASBA’s comprehensive professional development offerings are delivered through workshops, conferences, events, webinars and custom, on-site board trainings, all designed to equip board members to

  • Support gains in student achievement and greater educational equity
  • Develop effective policies and practices
  • Engage the community as an advocate for public school education
  • Provide responsible district governance as part of a leadership team

ASBA tracks the participation of individual board members in professional development activities and annually presents Academy of Board Development awards for various levels of attainment.

To earn awards through the Academy of Board Development, a board member first must complete ASBA New Board Member Orientation. This foundational one-day session is held in December of even-numbered years.

Download the Academy of Board Development Brochure.

Creating Your Well-Rounded Professional Development Plan

Effective board service requires board members to be well-versed (have solid understanding of?) on a wide variety of subjects. Throughout the year, ASBA offers workshops, conferences and events that enable board members to delve into topics like these:

Effective Board Operations

  • Board meetings/decision-making process
  • Board member relationship
  • Board officer performance
  • Effective board meetings
  • Basic boardsmanship

Budgeting & Fiscal Management

  • Budget
  • School facilities

Communication/Interpersonal Relations

  • Board/community relationships
  • Legislator and governmental relationships
  • Employee relationships
  • Special interests
  • Media relations
  • Community agency relationships
  • Dealing with media and special interest groups

Strategic Planning

  • Board/district goal-setting
  • Setting mission, vision, values
  • Addressing equity

Board and Superintendent Relations

  • Legal roles and responsibilities
  • Administrative staff relations
  • Selection, evaluation and dismissal
  • Communications
  • Contracts

Leadership Skills

  • Listening skills
  • Decision making
  • Influencing others
  • Personal qualities
  • Running effective meetings
  • Conflict resolution
  • Team building
  • Group dynamics

Board Policy

  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Oversight

Curriculum and Instruction

  • Planning
  • Auditing
  • Compliance
  • Accreditation
  • Accountability: student achievement

School Law & Ethics

  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Oversight

Current Issues and Specific Board Development

Professional Development Tracking

Participation and credits for Academy of Board Development awards are tracked and accounted for through paid registration and attendance at eligible ASBA events.

Credit is based on one hour of (classroom) instruction. Credit may range from one to several hours per developmental opportunity.

Hourly credit can be earned for the following activities:

  • ASBA Conferences such as the Equity Event, Summer Leadership Institute, Law Conference, Legislative Workshop, and Annual Conference
  • Annual County Meetings
  • Regional Courses
  • Custom on-site Board Training
  • Board Self-Evaluation training
  • ASBA training webinars and podcasts
  • The NSBA Annual Conference, Equity Symposium, Advocacy Institute, and CUBE Conference
  • Attending workshops and webinars hosted by ASBA-recognized groups, such as ASA, AASA, AASBO, ABEC, ADE and NALEO trainings up to 12 hours per year, not to exceed hours earned by attending ASBA activities in that year.

ASBA recognizes the efforts of its members to increase their knowledge base and further their professional development by attending conferences, workshops and webinars sponsored by other organizations. ASBA, for the purposes of our Academy of Board Development Awards, will accept a limited number of continuing education units (CEUs) earned from other education related organizations.

ASBA tracks earned CEUs in a fiscal year format, from July 1- June 30 each year and awards are presented at county meetings in September and October.

ASBA CEUs can be earned by attending training events of the following organizations*:

  • American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
  • Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO)
  • Arizona Business and Education Coalition (ABEC)
  • Arizona Department of Education (ADE)
  • Arizona School Administrators (ASA)
  • National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO)
  • National School Boards Association (NSBA)

*Training from other organizations will be considered upon submittal of the Professional Development Credit Form

CEUs Earned From Organizations Other Than ASBA


  • ASBA members can earn a maximum of 12 hours of CEUs annually from organizations other than ASBA
  • The 12 or fewer CEUs earned from other organizations will be awarded up to but not exceeding the number of ASBA acquired CEUs in any given year


  • Member Linda Learner earned 12 CEUs from NSBA and 20 CEUs from ASBA. Linda would have 32 total CEU hours that year for the ASBA Academy of Board Development Awards program.
  • Member Sam Smart earned 15 CEUs from NSBA and 5 from ASBA. Sam would have a total of 10 CEUs for that year; since the NSBA earned CEUs cannot exceed the total ASBA CEUs, he earned 5 NSBA CEUs and 5 ASBA CEUs for a total of 10 CEU hours for the ASBA Academy of Board Development Awards program.

To submit hours from other organizations for CEU consideration, please complete the Professional Development Credit Form

You can now view your own hours of professional development with ASBA’s new database by clicking here.

Recognition for Training

Participation in professional development earns board members Academy of Board Development continuing education units (CEUs). Completion of ASBA New Board Member Orientation is the doorway to receiving recognition for professional development. This foundational one-day session is held in December of even-numbered years. Once completed, board members will begin receiving awards when they reach various levels of attainment.

Certificate of Orientation

Requires: Completion of ASBA’s New Board Member Orientation Program (6 CEU hours)
(Required as a prerequisite for all other awards)

Certificate of Boardsmanship

Requires: 36 CEU hours.
Recognition of this accomplishment will be provided and your annual County Meeting.

Associate of Boardsmanship

Requires: 60 CEU hours.
Recognition of this accomplishment will be provided and your annual County Meeting.

Master of Boardsmanship

Requires: 84 CEU hours.
Recognition of this accomplishment will be provided and your annual County Meeting.

Superior Training Accomplishments & Recognition (STAR) Awards

In honor of the diversity within our state, the STAR awards are presented close to your home at your local County Meeting which are held in the fall each year.

Awards are presented to members who continue in their quest for ongoing professional development:

  • Copper – 150 CEU hours
  • Turquoise – 300 CEU hours
  • Silver – 450 CEU hours
  • Gold – 600 CEU hours

Total Board Boardsmanship Award

Granted to a board when at least a quorum of members has attained the level of a Certificate of Boardsmanship, with the remainder having earned the Certificate of Orientation, granted as a result of completing New Board Member Orientation.