North Carolina adds 25 new CeCTOs in schools

Twenty-three school technology directors in North Carolina along with two representatives from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) have successfully completed the 2012 Certified Educational Chief Technology Officer (CeCTO) program offered through a partnership between NCDPI, UNC School of Government’s Center for Public Technology, and MCNC. Now that the program has finished its third year, North Carolina currently has a total of 83 CeCTOs in action throughout the state.

CeCTO is one of the nation’s first technology-centered certification programs for educators and features two components – one for superintendents and one for technology directors.

Superintendents participate in the “Leaders for the 21st Century” program. Eighteen participants successfully completed this course in 2012, which is a 20-hour instructional track supplemented with required collaborative sessions with CeCTO candidates. CeCTO candidates participate in 240 hours of instruction spanning February to November. This 10-month track helps establish the core competencies needed for both roles in assessing and addressing some of the most critical issues facing IT leaders in school systems today.

The CeCTO program was added in 2010 as a new offering in the nationally-acclaimed Certified Government Chief Information Officers (CGCIO) series, which was pioneered by the UNC School of Government’s Center for Public Technology. The CGCIO program started in 2005 and was one of the first of its kind in the nation.

Superintendents and CeCTOs face unique challenges today. Technology is an integral component of a 21st century education, and requires school leaders to possess the knowledge and skills to ensure they are using it in the most effective and productive ways possible. Instruction for the CeCTO course covers topics such as strategic technology planning, communications, project management, emerging trends, risk assessment and management, acquisition management, change management, leadership, security, legal issues, and financial trends.

The overall reaction from participants this year and in years past remains positive, and most who complete the program hope to see a refresher course or a continuation of the program in the years to come.

Technology’s role is to support pedagogy. North Carolina is leading the nation by providing a model that amplifies the value technology directors and superintendents bring to the table in the 21st century. North Carolina is using technology as the tool to solve problems.

The CeCTO program gives school administrators the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively use and manage technology in schools and school districts.

If you’re interested in participating in a future CeCTO course, please contact Barry Pace at or Maurice Ferrell at

Click here to see the CeCTO Class of 2012 and learn more about this pioneering program for North Carolina.