Alberta School Boards Association Trustee Governance Program

ASBA is pleased to announce the launch of the Alberta School Boards Association Trustee Governance Program

This is an exciting initiative that ASBA has developed in conjunction with the University of Calgary Continuing Education to provide to ASBA members. This optional program will enable and empower trustees to further their professional knowledge to ensure that these requirements and priorities are achieved and to elevate trustee standing through a certificate designation.

Not only will this program benefit school board trustees in their knowledge and leadership capacity, but it will also benefit student learning. When trustees are equipped with current, relevant and timely information to support effective decision making at the local level, this ultimately leads to better learning for students.

Participants will also be able to transfer hours for all courses*** to Continuing Education’s Front Line Leaders Certificate.


***Please note, hours for the Governance Foundations course is non-transferable.

Payment information

Participants will have the option to pay the full amount upfront, or to pay in three equal installments of $1000 (GST will be assessed on the first invoice). These installments will be due by Aug. 31, 2022; Dec. 31, 2022 and March 31, 2023.


The program will begin in September 2022 and continue to completion in June 2023. Courses are approximately seven hours each in length.

Cohort model

Courses will be offered online, with two potential in-person courses aligned to ASBA General Meetings in November and June. More information on this will be shared with cohort participants.

Register now!

Registration is available through the University of Calgary Continuing Education via the below link.

Click here to register

Key Contacts

Corinne Sperling, Chief Officer, Professional Learning and Events, will be the key point of contact for ASBA. If you have any questions related to this program, please get in touch with her.

If your question is connected to the University of Calgary program administration activities, such as delivery logistics, schedule, online resources and course management Deb Sawdon (she/her) Program Advisor, Corporate Training & Workforce Development Programs at the University of Calgary will be your key contact.


Alberta School Board Association (ASBA)
Corinne Sperling
Chief Officer, Professional Learning and Events
Suite 1200, 9925 – 109 Street
Edmonton AB  T5K 2J8
ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (amiskwacîwâskahikan) Treaty 6/Métis Region 4
P 780.451.7125
ASBA-specific questions related to the program.
University of Calgary, Continuing Education
Deb Sawdon (she/her)
Program Advisor, Corporate Training & Workforce Development Programs
Direct: 403.220.7994.
For questions related to program delivery, logistics and schedule
Registrations and Logistics
403.220.2866 or 1.866.220.4992 (toll-free)
Fax: 403.284.9242
Program/course Registrations and Logistics

(Technical Support for registration and logistics)

Technical Support
IT contact centre support at UCalgary is provided by UService.

  • 403.210.9300
  • 1.888.342.3802
Online Learning platform support (D2L)


Outside of regular hours, please connect with the IT Support Centre. Be sure to identify yourself as a Continuing Education student. The IT team is available


Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. – noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

(closed over the lunch hour)


If you have any clarifying question related to the program, you can contact Corinne using the contact information above.

A full list of coursework is available below


Fundamentals of Governance

Hours: 3

School board trustees are governors of local school authorities in Alberta, and play a unique role in defining and sharing a vision for student achievement and successful learning. This course sets the stage for the program by outlining the unique role of school boards and trustees, clarifying the difference between governance and administration and how these roles intersect to lead to greater success. Participants will examine legislation pertaining to their role, explore fiduciary responsibility, the difference modes of governance, and how to build a successful board and superintendent relationship.

Financial Literacy

Hours: 7

This seminar introduces trustees to the basic components of financial literacy, and to the measures of financial health and value creation. The focus is on interpreting, understanding and projecting financial statements, and project valuations. Cases, exercises and real life examples will be used throughout this seminar. Course content is based on the assumption that students have some exposure to finance and accounting in the public sector.

Risk Management

Hours: 7

As school leadership projects become more complex, the challenges for decision-makers become greater. Discuss why current risk management practices can be ineffective. Explore practices for handling risk in your projects and determining who is responsible for doing it. Also learn how to prevent the risks you can avoid and minimize the ones that you can’t.

Strategic Thinking

Hours: 7

Strategic thinking is a critical skill for school board trustees. The ability to see how the bigger picture aligns with everyday actions is key for a successful school board. Explore strategic thinking concepts and processes, while learning why this competency is essential for an school board’s success when executing action plans to achieve big picture goals.

Systems Thinking

Hours: 7

Systems thinking is a holistic approach to problem solving. In practice, it means taking a step back to understand how different variables interact in our organization and using that information to design more meaningful solutions at work and in board roles. In today’s world where organizational restructuring, new technology implementations, social trends, process improvements and other big changes impact stakeholders at all levels, systems thinking has become an important concept and skill trustees should have to navigate complex situations. In this course, participants will recognize the different concepts tied to systems thinking and explore the advantages of being recognized as a systems thinker in their organization or board. Participants will also discuss the how having a systems thinking mindset might help to reduce frustration, confusion, and tension that arise due to organizational change.

Strategic Planning

Hours: 7

This well-known saying illustrates why organizations need strategic plans. Strategic plans guide and map the desired future for organizations. In this seminar, learn the basic concepts and processes involved in strategic planning, understand why strategic planning is essential for the success of an organization, and realize that the key to making the plan work is a commitment to implementation.

Change Foundations

Hours: 7

In the 21st century, organizations and workplaces experience constant change. In this introduction to change management course, the underlying human behaviour elements and organizational processes will be integral as the focus is on the people impacted by change and those experiencing the change. Participants will explore how these concepts align with the different types of changes within their organizations such as organizational restructuring, new technology implementations, social trends, process improvements and other big changes in the workplace can result in unforeseen problems for the business, as well as frustration, confusion, and tension among staff. Recognizing that change is an inevitable part of today's world, this seminar is an opportunity to discuss change and reflect Organizational Change. The focus will be on minimizing the negative effects of change and helping participants examine reasons for organizational change, while identifying frameworks, or tools to manage their projects during periods of change.

Conflict Management: Skills for Leaders

Hours: 7

How do we directly address conflict in a way that preserves or improves relationships, creates new opportunities, and increases productivity? This seminar provides a ten-step method for resolving conflict and provides a sound, logical roadmap for action. Conflict is inevitable: when people work together they bring differing perspectives, opinions, and motives that can lead to conflict. Conflict is not always bad: Many conflicts—when handled properly—can create an atmosphere of creativity and innovation. Conflict Management skills can be learned. While natural ability is helpful, we know these skills can be effectively developed and improved.

Digital Transformation: Building Capabilities for the Future

Hours: 7

Emerging technologies are structurally changing industries, requiring organizations to adapt strategically and operationally as both opportunities and threats emerge. As a result, organizations face challenges, risks, innovations, and questions which require new thinking and approaches to ensure successful navigation of an uncertain and changing industry context. This course will explore the various aspects of digital transformation within the context and from the perspective of industry as a whole, focusing on the intersection between technology and industry, impacts on strategy and operations.