NJSBA’s Board Member Academy, which provides the state’s 5,000 local board members with an opportunity for advanced skill development, has introduced a new certification program: the New Board Member (NBM) Boardsmanship Certification.

“Research links a well-trained, well-functioning school board with student achievement,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “The NBM certification program is designed to engage school board members in professional development early in their service and will give them a firm foundation in their governance responsibilities.”

Certification Criteria To receive NBM certification, board members must attend programs in at least three of six core areas. The core areas include labor relations, finance, leadership, governance, student achievement, and legal/policy.

They must also:

  • Earn at least 10 New Board Member Academy credits (NBM)
  • Attend the New Board Member Weekend orientation program
  • Attend at least one new board member regional professional development opportunity
  • Attend at least two county association meetings
  • Attend at least one annual Workshop conference
  • Be in the first two years of board service
  • Not be judged to have violated the School Ethics Act

Changes to Existing Certification Programs In addition, NJSBA is strengthening the existing certification programs, including the Master Board Member and Certified Board Leader programs, by requiring that members pass an exam before earning those designations, and by increasing other requirements, including attendance at additional county school boards association meetings. The changes are effective immediately.

“At a time when education is more complex than ever and expectations for professional development in education are growing, it is appropriate to increase the rigor of our individual certification programs,” said Dr. Feinsod.

Full details on the NBM program and the added requirements are available online at the NJSBA website.