MBA, Chief School Business Official Specialization
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Develop the Skills for Educational Leadership with an MBA from Concordia University Chicago

Educational leaders play a vital role in society. They work not only to ensure that schools operate efficiently, but also that they provide students with the best education possible. Leaders with a foundation in theory, practical knowledge and strong ethics—particularly those with a master’s in education—are in demand in educational systems everywhere.

At the same time, today’s education leaders face a complex set of financial, regulatory and administrative issues. Earning an MBA with a Chief School Business Official Specialization from Concordia University Chicago prepares graduates with the strategies and tactics needed to meet these challenges.

This on-campus or 100% online MBA program is designed for professionals who aspire to work in influential leadership roles within the educational system. The Chief School Business Official Specialization helps students:

  • Master the knowledge needed to excel in today’s complicated educational system.
  • Develop practical skills related to educational budgeting, facilities management, human resources, public relations, and administrative and legal issues.
  • Gain professional insights during a school business management internship
  • Prepare to take the tests required for Illinois CSBO Management endorsement.
Take the Next Step in Your Education Career with an MBA

Concordia University Chicago offers a variety of specialized MBA degrees in many disciplines and industries, including options for students interested in earning a master’s in education. The online MBA with a Chief School Business Official Specialization is designed for professionals who wish to move into educational leadership roles.

This online MBA degree includes many of the courses featured in the core MBA degree program, plus four additional courses in specialized school management topics as well as a two-semester, six-credit internship opportunity:

  • Managing and Leading Effective Organizations
  • Ethics, Law and Communication in Decision Making
  • Global Marketing in the Digital Era
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Economics for Management
  • Entrepreneurialism & Innovation
  • Managing Human Capital
  • Global Management
  • School Funding Accounting & Budgeting
  • School Evaluation & Change
  • Principles of School Business Management
  • School Finance Law
  • School Business Management Internship I and II
Degree Program Specifications

The 42-credit MBA with a Chief School Business Official Specialization includes 36 hours of online coursework and a six-credit internship opportunity. The academic calendar features three 16-week semesters per year, with each semester comprised of two consecutive eight-week terms. Depending on whether students opt for a standard or accelerated degree plan, this online master’s in education program can be completed in one or two years. Students also have the option to pursue an Illinois CSBO Management endorsement, which is highly recommended for those who plan to work in Illinois.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission into the online accounting MBA degree program at Concordia University Chicago, students must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Complete and submit all required admission materials as follows:

  • Objective Statement – Write a brief statement outlining your education and career goals and explain how an MBA degree from Concordia University Chicago will help you fulfill those objectives.
  • Official Transcripts – Provide one official, sealed transcript from each institution that has granted you a degree. Full admission requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or better for bachelor’s degrees and 3.00 or higher for a master’s degrees.
  • Letters of Recommendation – Send two letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to comment on your academic proficiency, professional competencies and personal character.
  • Professional Resume – Provide a copy of your resume or curriculum vitae, including relevant work experience, degrees, certifications, and skills.

International applicants may be required to submit additional supporting materials, such as proof of English language proficiency and a foreign transcript evaluation from an approved credentialing service. For full requirements, visit the Admission & Tuition page. 

There is no application fee and no GRE requirement to apply for the online MBA program at Concordia University Chicago.

Chief School Business Official Endorsement

Students who enroll in the Chief School Business Official MBA specialization are eligible to earn an Illinois Chief School Business Official (CSBO) Management endorsement. The university’s curriculum adheres to state-mandated requirements for endorsement, including six credit hours of clinical experience. Students must also pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) and CSBO content test #185 to attain endorsement. 

Illinois CSBO endorsement is an optional component of the specialized MBA program; students from other states and countries can complete their online MBA degrees without pursuing endorsement. However, those who intend to work in Illinois may find that CSBO endorsement provides an advantage when applying for leadership positions at educational institutions and school systems throughout the state.

MBA, Chief School Business Official Specialization: 42 Credit Degree Program

Total Core MBA Credits – 36

Chief School Business Official Specialization Courses

Semester 1

Managing and Leading Effective Organizations

MBAC 6000     3 credit hours 

This course is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge to facilitate innovative leadership and management within different types of organizations.  This course focuses on the impact of leadership and management on organizational effectiveness. Students will hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students will learn attributes of successful leaders and managers, the challenges they face in in a global society, and how they build relationships and impact culture for organizational sustainability and innovations. 

Ethics, Law and Communication in Decision Making

MBAC 6050     3 credit hours

This course introduces the legal and ethical obligations in business. Knowledge of law and ethics must be included into managerial decisions.  Students will learn to apply and communicate ethical frameworks to business decisions, with a lens on social responsibility. Proactive and effective communication can provide a competitive edge to organizations, reducing risk and liability.

Semester 2

Global Marketing in the Digital Era

MBAC 6100     3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and understanding of the global marketing environment through key marketing concepts, digital marketing tools and global marketing strategy.  The course challenges you to think critically about the global marketplace.  Students will hone their approach to global marketing decisions, policies and strategies.  Students will learn to formulate and evaluate a global marketing plan through the use of digital marketing tools and techniques.

Organizational Behavior

MBAC 6150     3 credit hours

This course focuses on providing students with cutting edge thinking about the topics that are germane to organizational behavior.  It is the people within an organization who create, innovate, and are responsible for keeping a competitive advantage. Knowing how to motivate and mobilize an organization’s human capital is critical to organizational performance. This course will assist students in developing a systematic understanding of why people behave the way they do and understand how to translate that knowledge into organizational applications.

Semester 3

Economics for Management

MBAC 6200     3 credit hours

This course examines key economic concepts critical to managerial decision-making within today’s business environment with an emphasis on national and global, real-world applications.  The course incorporates both microeconomic and macroeconomic principles.

Entrepreneurialism and Innovation

MBAC 6250      3 credit hours

This course challenges students to think about how they can create, build, or change an organization through sound leadership and management theories, personal relationships, creative and critical thinking, as well as how design thinking and innovation principles can be used to create value.

Semester 4

School Funding Accounting and Budgeting

EDL 6510     3 credit hours

This required course in the Chief School Business Official’s Endorsement program supports the development of servant-leaders in public schools. Integrity and competence are demonstrated as candidates show their understanding of the basic concepts and best practices related to school fund accounting and budgeting.

Managing Human Capital (HR, HCM, Global Teams)

MBAC 6350     3 credit hours

Organizational managers and leaders must understand how changing technologies, demographics, mergers and acquisitions, and globalization influence the potential of human capital to create and maintain strategic competitive advantage.  This course will focus on how expanding the leadership and talent pool by having a sound diversity strategy can create competitive advantage.  Issues such as immigration, diversity laws, work-life balance, equal opportunity, ageism, and the multigenerational workforce are discussed.

Semester 5

School Evaluation and Change

EDL 6130    3 credit hours

The examination and application of school program and curricular evaluation processes to school improvement. Also an examination and application of change processes and interventions.

Principles of School Business Management

EDL 6211    3 credit hours

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.

Semester 6

School Business Management Internship I

EDL 6986    3 credit hours

Academic, 16-week, semester long clinical experiences at the K12 level, requiring extensive, intensive and diverse assignments including school business management policies required for Illinois CSBO Licensure.  Prerequisite:  Department approval.

Global Management

MBAC 6500   3 credit hours

This course focuses on how globalization has opened the world to organizations and provides students the skills and knowledge to perform effectively as a leader within a company with global presence. Topics covered the broader themes about globalization and its implications, as well as multinational business strategies, from exporting to foreign direct investment, as well as economic, political, and cultural influences on the international marketplace.

School Finance Law

EDL 6520   3 credit hours

This course examines the legal framework for school finance law.  Case law will be examined and applied to legal problems that confront chief school business officials. Students will explore the affect of school finance legal decisions on protected classes such as low income, special education and ELL students.  Lastly, the course will explore the affect of school finance legal decisions on student achievement.

Semester 7

School Business Management Internship II

EDL 6987   3 credit hours

Academic, 16-week, semester long clinical experiences at the K12 level, requiring extensive, intensive and diverse assignments including school business management policies required for Illinois CSBO Licensure.  Prerequisite:  Department approval.

Career Outlook for Educational Leaders

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 8% increase in employment of school principals between 2016 and 2026, and a 10% increase in employment of postsecondary education administrators.

A master’s degree in education is often required for leadership and administrative roles in the education system, along with prior teaching or administrative experience. An MBA degree with an education specialization demonstrates that graduates are knowledgeable in business theory and education system challenges, making them uniquely prepared for administrative roles.

Earning an online MBA with an education specialization prepares graduates for a variety of leadership and administration positions, including:

  • Elementary, Middle or High School Principal
  • Development Director
  • Chief Academic Officer
  • School System Administrator
  • Superintendent

Salaries vary depending on the position. According to BLS data from May 2017, the median pay for school principals was $94,390 and the median salary for postsecondary education administrators was $92,360. The top 10% of principals earned more than $140,780 per year and the top 10% of postsecondary administrators earned over $182,150 annually.

As these job growth numbers and earnings potential illustrate, qualified educational leaders remain in demand. Earning an online MBA with a Chief School Business Official Specialization from Concordia University Chicago will prepare you for educational leadership roles and a career that focuses on providing the best education possible for all students.

Tuition and Financial Aid

If there is no interruption in your course of study at Concordia University Chicago, you are guaranteed there will be no increase in tuition rates. Contact us to confirm the current tuition and fees for this online MBA degree. Students who enroll in the online MBA program as a degree candidate are eligible to apply for federal financial aid.

Active-duty military service members, veterans and eligible dependents can take advantage of financial programs available to assist in paying for a college education. For more information, please visit the active-duty/veterans website.

Contact Information

Megan Radel
Concordia University Chicago
Student Recruitment Manager


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