NDU's McCully promotes continuous learning for CIOs

Wednesday - 6/23/2010, 4:12pm EDT

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June 24, 2010 -- The National Defense University wants future chief information officers to be two things: critical thinkers and life-long learners.

That is why the ever-evolving CIO Certificate program run by NDU through its iCollege has shifted over the years to focus on policy, collaboration and communication.

Mary McCully, the chairwoman and a professor for the Information Strategies Department at the I-College at NDU, says courses focus as much on technology as on the relationships between CIOs and chief financial officers or CIOs and combatant commanders because technology has moved away from being a stove-pipe function of an organization.

NDU's program is open to Defense Department military and civilian employees at no cost, and for civilian agency and contractor employees for a fee.

McCully, who has been at the I-College for about a decade, says there is a growing number of non-DoD students coming to NDU.

To earn a CIO certificate, a student must take eight courses, and most take about two a year. McCully says students can finish the certificate and transfer the course hours to a university partner and apply those credits to a Master's or Ph.D degree. The partners include the University of Maryland, The Johns Hopkins University and George Mason University and many others around the country.

McCullly says NDU has petitioned the Education Department to be able to grant a Master's degree.