CIO Council wants IT execs to learn skills in school

In the hopes of providing government information technology executives the skills to
oversee their multifaceted tasks, the Chief Information Officers Council is working to
create a virtual CIO University. Online classrooms will only be one element of the
CIO University, as the project has been named.


Program officials want to include a number of universities and colleges as well as the
public and private sector. Late this year, the CIO Council will issue a solicitation to
colleges and universities to develop a curriculum geared for IT executives. Classes could
begin as soon as next spring, program officials said.


The goal of the CIO University is to train CIOs and those on a CIO track in the core
competencies of the job, said Gloria R. Parker, CIO at the Housing and Urban Development
Department and chairman of the CIO Council’s Education and Training Committee.
“What we’re trying to do was figure out how to bring the core competencies to
all” IT executives, she said.


“We’re really focused on the challenges of the IT executive,” Parker
said.


The CIO University will be virtual, said Emory Miller, director of IT professional
development at the General Services Administration.


Although the term is generally synonymous with online, the CIO University will be using
existing, established institutions.


The classes will also be flexible, using weekend seminars, online training and night
classes.


Miller said the council understands that the program has to accommodate the students.


The concept is that colleges and universities will help the council put together a
curriculum, Parker said. The Education and Training Committee is in the process of
completing the final draft of the competencies which have been collected by interviewing
government IT executives.


Miller said he expects the CIO University will provide a flexible and comprehensive
program focused on different aspects of the core competencies.


Students can then select the courses that fit into their needs, he said.


“We’re looking for universities to help us develop the best method to design
this,” Miller said.


“We’re looking for creative, innovative ways [the courses] can be
delivered,” he said.


The CIO University will be a collaborative effort between the federal government and
the private sector—both academia and industry, Miller said.


It will also offer a cohesive curriculum that may incorporate a number of different
colleges and universities, he said.


Miller said he expects solicitations for the project will be out later this year.


The CIO Council is allocating $50,000 in funding for this year and another $50,000 for
next year.


The CIO Council plans to finalize the curriculum sometime this summer.  

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