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Connecticut Association of Boards of Education

Board Member Academy

Where Leaders Emerge

 "Board members arrive at the table with dreams. They have vision and value. In many cases, their fervently held beliefs and sincere desire to make a difference impel them to board membership in the first place. School board members want to prepare children better for life."

 – Boards That Make a Difference, John Carver


Effective board members know that only informed decision-makers make sound decisions. They understand that meeting the many responsibilities of school board members demands possession of a wide variety of skills, knowledge and abilities. The Board Member Academy was created to provide you with the knowledge and expertise you need to enhance your role as a school leader in your community.

The Academy is a unique accreditation program designed to deliver high quality training. This in-service program focuses workshops, conferences and other training opportunities on leadership skills of board members. Through the training offered by the Board Member Academy, board members and school administrators gain the most valuable skills and tools available to provide visionary leadership for their local school districts.

Academy Degrees of Accreditation

Listed below are the levels of accreditation one can accomplish through the academy.

• Certified Board of Education Member (CBEM) 20 credits

• Master Board of Education Member (MBEM) CBEM + 20 additional credits

Board Member Academy Credits

Every three hours of training earns one credit. One-day programs (six hours of training) earn two credits. Evening or half day programs earn one credit. Credits will be automatically earned upon completion of eligible programs.

Certificated Board of Education Member (CBEM)

To achieve the first level of the CABE Board Member Academy, a board member must accumulate at least 20 credits to become a certificated board member. This level is the Certified Board of Education Member (CBEM). Areas of study will strengthen leadership skills and give members a firm foundation in the essential governance skills needed to carry out their responsibilities.

After earning 20 credits and covering specific core areas, board members will be awarded a CBEM. The following core areas must be addressed:

  • Board Relations with the superintendent, with the community and with each other
  • Policy
  • Curriculum
  • School
  • Finance
  • School Law
  • Labor Relations
  • Board Operations

All core areas must be addressed. The balance of credit hours may be earned in any of CABE’s training programs. (Credits must be earned at a rate of at least two per year.)

Although CABE believes that training is essential, it should only supplement, not replace actual board experience. Therefore, a CBEM will not be conferred before the completion of three years of board experience. However, credits toward accreditation may be earned during these three years.

Master Board of Education Member (MBME)

To achieve this higher level of accreditation, the Master Board Member builds on the basics of the CBEM. Programs are designed to enhance interpersonal skills, strategic planning, negotiations, and leadership skills enabling members to better govern the course of education in their schools.

To earn the MBEM, members must have earned a CBEM and 20 additional credits. The following core areas must be addressed:

  • Leadership
  • Effective Meetings
  • School/Community Relations
  • Strategic Planning
  • Group Dynamics
  • Board Member Ethics
  • School Finance
  • Labor Relations
  • School Law

Click here for Board Member Academy Brochure