MBA, Chief School Business Official

This MBA with a concentration of chief school business official (CSBO) provides the business fundamentals needed to lead and manage in today’s increasingly complex educational institutions. This distinctive program is appropriate for educational professionals preparing for the Chief School Business Official endorsement exam. The curriculum has the clinical experience of six credit hours of internship built in the program as required by the State of Illinois to be eligible for the CSBO endorsement. You will learn specific skills for an educational administrator related to budgeting, facilities management, human resources, public relations, and legal issues. By pursuing an MBA with a concentration of chief school business official, you will gain a solid foundation in school administration.

Program Profile

Length and Format: 
Students can choose from the following class formats:

  • Part-time (in the classroom), two years
  • Online, two years

Course Schedule

  • Part-time: Classes meet Wednesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Students take one class at a time for eight-week terms.
  • Online: Students complete all coursework and discussions online. Students take one class at a time for eight-week terms.


  • MBA courses are $699 per credit hour. Most courses are worth three credits. Thirty-nine credits are required to complete the MBA program. Payment is due at the start of each term. Financial aid is available.


Our unique cohort system groups students together throughout their educational experience. You will complete the program one class at a time, in a predetermined sequence.

Total Credit Hours: 39

Core Courses: These classes are available in the classroom or online.

  • Financial Accounting and Analysis: Introduction of key financial accounting concepts. Analysis of a firm’s historical, current and prospective financial condition and performance. Emphasis on investment and credit decision.
  • Marketing Design and Strategy: Developing and evaluating brand strategies over the life of the product. Strategies for introducing brands and reviving brands. Includes basic marketing principles of product, price, promotion, environment and customer.
  • Managerial Economics: Focus on basic microeconomic principles of the firm and relevance in business decisions. Covers supply and demand and its relationship to market outcomes and economic determinants of consumption, savings, and labor behavior.
  • Seminar in Descriptive Statistics: Basic statistical concepts and analytical tools for data driven decision making. Introduction to concepts of frequency, distribution, variation and normal curve correlations with application to business decisions.
  • Ethical Strategic Leadership: Decision making, negotiations and ethics. Cultural impact on management strategy. Create value, motivate resources, leading and creating high performance teams. Integrating performance across business units.
  • Macroeconomic Analysis: Focus on creation of money, function and roles of financial institutions, fiscal and monetary policy and the Federal Reserve system. Covers economic theory of financial markets and impact of government policies, determinants of national income, employment, investment, interest rates, inflation and exchange rates.

Breadth Course: This class is available in the classroom or online.

  • Management of Human Resources: policies in human resource management and organizational design, recruitment, selection hiring, development promotion and incentive based pay.

Depth Course: This class is available in the classroom or online.

  • Managerial Accounting and Analysis: Accounting information used in decision-making. Why firms are adopting activity based costing, economic value added and balanced scorecard decision models. Budgeting, cash flow and incremental analysis.

Concentration Courses: These classes are available in the classroom or online.

  • Principles of School Business Management: Introduces students to the role of school business management including key concepts, skills and aptitudes. Provides a basis from which students can connect and apply key school business management concepts to their graduate business education in the MBA Program.
  • Legal Issues for School Districts: This course examines the legal framework for school districts in Illinois. Case law will be examined and applied to legal problems that confront school administrators.
  • School Evaluation and Change Processes: Examination application of school program and curricular evaluation processes to school improvement. Examination and application of change processes and interventions.
  • Educational Finance: Public values, policy issues, specialized terminology and practical problems associated with the generation, distribution and internal allocation and control of education revenues and expenditures.
  • Internship I and II for Chief School Business Official: An academic, semester long clinical experience at the K–12 level, requiring extensive, intensive and diverse assignments including school business management policies.

    Internships will include:
  • 120 hours of clinical experience. Minimum 95 clock hours of school business management work and contact experience in K–12 level and minimum 25 hours of work on budget development, financial and strategic planning, and policy development/implementation.
  • A standards-based project related to school business management policy.
  • A technology or data drive project related to school business management.

Student Experience

Cohort Format

Our unique cohort system groups students together throughout their educational experience. You will complete the program in a predetermined sequence. This collaborative environment accelerates learning and builds strong peer relationships that last a lifetime. We also host occasional networking events for our MBAs, which allows them to interact with other cohorts and alumni.

Class Size

  • Average class size: 15
  • Maximum class size: 25 (15 online)

In the Classroom

  • We facilitate a close working relationship between students and faculty. 
  • Group work is often part of the curriculum, which helps prepare students to work collaboratively in the business world. 
  • Student discussion is encouraged as the MBAs learn from each other’s diverse backgrounds.

Project Work

At the end of the program, students will complete a capstone course. This class integrates the knowledge and skills gained from the MBA courses and applies them to a real business environment. Students will work as a team to solve an authentic business challenge.

On-campus Environment

  • Study areas: There are various places around campus for group meetings or studying.
  • Wifi: Classrooms and study areas are wifi accessible.
  • Information Technology Services: Our technology staff provides personal attention and prompt care for software, hardware and networking needs.
  • Print Services: Exists to serve students, faculty and staff with their printing and copying needs.
  • Gymnasium, tennis courts, running track and workout facilities: All students have access to on-campus workout facilities.
  • Restaurants: There is a full-service cafeteria available to students as well as a grab-n-go café.
  • Vibrant community: The River Forest and Oak Park area is a lively community filled with restaurants, retail stores, museums and other attractions.
  • Transportation: The Concordia-Chicago campus is accessible via the CTA’s green line train and is minutes from I-290.