CeCTO program to change in 2014

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Freshened curriculum, collaborative environments, new dates, and
more specialized training – it’s CeCTO 2.0!

Offered through a partnership between the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, UNC School of Government’s Center for Public Technology and MCNC, the Certified Educational Chief Technology Officer (CeCTO) program is one of the nation’s first technology-centered certification programs for educational technology leaders.

Eighty-three CeCTOs and Leaders of the 21st Century have been added in North Carolina schools since 2010.The program kicked off its fourth cohort in February with 21 candidates currently participating. Graduation is in November.

"We still will have a CeCTO designation along with The Leaders of the 21st Century designation for this program; we are simply modifying the schedule and the size of the general sessions of the classes."
--Maurice Ferrell,
Instructor at the Center for Public Technology

Next year, CeCTO will start in August, with approximately 15 participants, and go through June 2015; for the last three years it has run February through November. Additional forthcoming changes will mean being able to share common content more easily as well as build more collaboration between CeCTO participants, candidates in the National Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO) program, university, and other groups.

Currently the Center for Public Technology offers several flavors of its CGCIO course, which entails different groups meeting on different weeks of the month. The new format will encourage and leverage collaborative opportunities for all groups (state and local government, higher education, and K-12) as they meet together for similar portions of their respective courses and then break into their designated subgroups for more specialized training.

“We feel like this will offer the opportunity for larger-scale collaborations as well as give us the opportunity to create other training opportunities for our alumni and specialty classes,” explained Maurice Ferrell, instructor at the Center for Public Technology. “We still will have a CeCTO designation along with The Leaders of the 21st Century designation for this program; we are simply modifying the schedule and the size of the general sessions of the classes.”

Instruction for CeCTO provides invaluable education and training for superintendents and technology directors to effectively use and manage technology in schools today. The program features two components – one designed for superintendents and the other for technology directors. Superintendents participate in The Leaders for the 21st Century track – a 20-hour instructional course supplemented with required collaborative sessions with CeCTO candidates. Technology directors participate in 240 hours of instruction.

What to learn more about the CeCTO program?
Stories about CeCTO since it's launch are also available on our website at www.mcnc.org/connections/cecto.

This 10-month program helps establish the core competencies IT leaders need in today’s education environment. Many look to gain additional knowledge and skills to ensure they are using technology in the most effective and productive ways possible in their schools and school districts while others seek better proficiencies in managing the constantly expanding role for IT in the educational landscape, protecting their educational enterprise from ever-increasing security threats, keeping up with the pace of new technology and its use in classrooms, organizational transformation, IT governance, project and risk management, and legal and regulatory issues.

Today’s superintendents and educational technology directors face increasing challenges to manage the constantly expanding role of IT in schools. This program was designed to help educators turn those challenges into opportunities.

Many participants of the program are happy to see a continuation of the program in the years to come.

Tom Frye of Harnett County Schools provided a unique perspective for the program since he was the first school leader to graduate as both a CeCTO and a Leader for the 21st Century. “One of the greatest things to come out of the class, other than the knowledge, is the networking opportunities we have been provided,” Frye said. “This really has been a sustained networking activity that has paid dividends for me and for many others participating in the class.”

CEUs will continue to be awarded for participation in this program. Registration for next year’s course will open in December. If you’re interested in learning more or participating in a CeCTO course, please contact Barry Pace at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction or Maurice Ferrell at UNC School of Government’s Center for Public Technology.