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School Business Management Certificate

This program is designed for aspiring and current educational leaders. Participants will develop the 13 competencies identified by the Association of School Business Officers (ASBO) as essential to leading a business operation in a K-12 school district or charter organization. 

Sponsored by Fiscal Crisis and Management Assessment Team (FCMAT), School Services of California (SSC) and Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs (ASCIP).


This program is delivered approximately 15% in-person and 85% online. The program is designed to simulate a year in the life of a K-12 school district business office. You will be solving real world problems through over 40 different activities and assignments, some done in groups and some done individually. The assessment of your work is mapped on to a set of 13 competencies defined by the American School Business Officer (ASBO) organization’s Standards and Ethics for School Business Officers. You will be part of a cohort of no more than 40 students and will stay with the same cohort for the full extent of the program.

Download the SBMCP Brochure for more details.



The School Business Management coursework is divided into four quarters bookended by a Bootcamp to kick start your learning and a Leadership Capstone session to bring the program to closure. The sequence of learning activities are partially dictated by the policies and procedures of budget management and oversight in the state of California. Other simulations appear sporadically as they would in real life. The overall goal of the program is to give participants a laboratory to apply leadership and management principles in the context of K-12 public education.



Applicants for SBMCP for 2024-2025 will open March 1, 2024.

All applicants are asked to complete an online application form. There is a $25 non-refundable fee to open your application account.

The online application consists of:

  1. $25 non-refundable and non-transferable application fee
  2. Your current professional resume
  3. Two letters of recommendation
  4. Zoom interview following satisfactory review of your application near March of 2024.

*Please note*


The 2024-2025 SMBCP Program start date will be July 25, 2024.

The School Business Management Certificate is a hybrid program with study 85% online and 15% in-person, depending on the Department of Health Mandates.



The 2024-2025 SBMCP program will begin with an in-person Boot Camp experience which will take place on Thursday July 25, 2024-Saturday, July 27, 2024 on USC's campus.

The program concludes with a 2 1/2 day in-person Capstone event to be held on June 26-28, 2025. This is when you will give your final project presentation as well as receive personal coaching on your resume preparation and your interviewing skills. A ceremony celebrating the culmination of the program is held and families are invited to attend.

*ALL face-to-face meetings described above will be contingent upon the Department of Health orders and the University’s policies for in-person events.


Online Schedule

You will work in online learning environments that support both live and self-paced learning. You should plan to spend approximately 8-10 hours per week during the weeks that connect your in-person sessions. Your live sessions are held most Mondays from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Your group and individual assignments have deadlines that can be completed at your pace.

Program Fee: $7500.00. Your program fee includes your tuition and materials. Students are responsible for their own hotel accommodations for the Capstone event. A block of hotel rooms will be reserved at the USC rate for students.

All course materials will be provided electronically through the program’s learning management system.

Tuition is due at the time of registration.

All SBMCP Program participants will receive a USC email address and an IVIP number which will allow access to all of USC’s Digital Resources for research.

USC Credit Union Low-Interest Loans for Certificate Programs

While we do not offer payment plans, the USC Credit Union does offer low-interest loans for Certificate Programs indicated.

Please read more here.

Joel Montero
Chief Executive Officer, FCMAT (Retired)

The program is led by Joel Montero. As the Faculty Director, Mr. Montero has 37 years of service in public sector institutions in a variety of roles including superintendent of Novato Unified School District, assistant superintendent in curriculum and instruction, business, and personnel. Mr. Montero has been a principal, assistant principal, and classroom teacher. Recently retired, Mr. Montero served for over 25 years as the Chief Executive Officer for the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT), an independent and external statewide agency. Basic FCMAT operations include AB 1200/management and fiscal emergency assistance, professional and product development, California School Information Services (CSIS), the Educational Data website, teleconferencing, and product development. Since 1997, Mr. Montero has played a key role in the development and implementation of CSIS an independent and external statewide program administered by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). CSIS is charged with facilitating the exchange and reporting of student information by local education agencies (LEAs) to the California Department of Education (CDE), other LEAs, postsecondary institutions, and other State agencies if authorized by law. One of CSIS’ responsibilities is to assist local education agencies with the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).



  • Michael Bishop, Former Deputy Superintendent of Business (Santa Ana Unified and Paramount Unified)
  • Lynn David, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Moorpark Unified School District
  • Andrea Ward, Intervention Specialist, FCMAT
  • Pearl Iizuka, Former Deputy Superintendent of Business (formerly with Palos Verdes Unified)
  • Tami Montero, Chief Analysist, FCMAT
  • Marcus Wirowek, Intervention Specialist, FCMAT

Program Details

Degree Awarded


Estimated Length

11 months



Program Cost



  • Hybrid

Start Date

July 25, 2024

Take the Next Step

  • Applications for 2024-2025 are closed.

  • Connect

People Are Saying

Jennifer Root

I entered the USC School Business Management Certification Program to gain more fiscal knowledge to apply within my position of Director of Student Services. I exited the program the following year and began a position as a CBO and used the knowledge, connections, and strategies that I learned through USC. I was well prepared to “hit the ground running” in my new position. Thank you USC!

Jennifer Root

Superintendent – Menifee Union School District

Contact Us

Delia Racines Profile Portrait

Delia E. Racines, Ph.D.

Program Administrator