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University launches graduate certificate program in e-government

June 16, 2010

Margaret Spillett
(315) 443-1069

The Syracuse University School of Information Studies and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs have established a new 12-credit certificate of advanced study in e-government management and leadership. The joint program brings together two No. 1-ranked specialties at SU—information systems and public affairs—into a world-class education for government leaders around the world.

The program provides mid-career managers with an understanding of how to manage and lead using information and communication technologies and how to oversee the technical design aspects of e-government in public organizations.

“The accelerating pace of technological change in the area of information and communication technology continues to affect the operations and management of all organizations, especially governments,” says iSchool Professor of Practice Scott Bernard, who was instrumental in developing the program. “Each new wave of technology forces organizations to rethink how they are structured and operate in order to take optimal advantage of these technological changes.”

For example, U.S. governments at all levels, as well as foreign governments, are grappling with how to make effective use of Web 2.0 applications, including social networking applications and peer production systems embedded in applications like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and blogs, Bernard says. “These changes continue to create a growing demand by governments for managers who both understand the technology and have strong leadership and management skills.”

The program consists of two required courses: IST 711, “Electronic Government: Concepts and Practice,” and PPA 895, “Executive Education Seminar: Managerial Leadership.” Students can select the remaining two from a full list of public administration (PPA) and information studies (IST) courses.

“While technical knowledge is necessary to effectively deploy new information and communications technology in government, it is by no means sufficient,” says Stuart Bretschneider, associate dean and professor of public administration at the Maxwell School. “This program also provides knowledge and skills about the unique context and problems faced by government as it attempts to better leverage new information technology in pursuit of the public interest. I see this program, possibly for the first time ever, providing students with a complete framework and set of strategies to succeed.”

The certificate is designed for individuals with strong academic records, a baccalaureate degree and seven or more years of responsible professional, managerial experience. All credits can be applied toward the executive master’s of public administration or the executive master’s in information management.

“The certificate program will also be used to promote best practice and facilitate research and practical application of our knowledge among public sector employees and the supporting private sector organizations such as consulting firms, technology firms, think tanks, and international non-governmental organizations in places such as Washington, D.C.,” Bernard says.

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