E-gov graduate leads the way

NDU IRM College

The National Defense University graduated the first student from its new eGovernment Leadership Certificate Program.

Judith Oxman, chief of network services and operations contracting at the Defense Information Systems Agency, finished the eight required courses and received her certification April 11.

"The reason I did it is because technology is changing so fast," Oxman said. "One of the big initiatives in government is e-gov [and] getting information to citizens more quickly and accurately."

Oxman said the program presented how technology can be used and data can be protected "in ways we haven't thought of before." The program also "provides you with a network of other people in government and industry that you can collaborate with. We don't want to reinvent the wheel."

The university's Information Resources Management College began offering the masters-level program in September 2002 after announcing its creation in July. It now has more than 100 enrolled students — about 75 percent of whom come from the Defense Department, said Linda Massaro, a senior fellow at the university's IRM College.

Other students come from civilian agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Accounting Office, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Aviation Administration.

"We're really pleased the program has been so popular," Massaro said.

To receive the certification, students must complete, within four years, eight courses selected from 14 available courses. The school developed three new courses for this program: Transforming to eGovernment; Services Planning for Improved Government Performance; and Security, Privacy and Access Issues in eGovernment. In general, the program is designed to help senior executives manage programs that cut across organizational lines as they work to implement e-government in their agencies.

The college soon plans to announce partnerships with other universities that would allow a student who completes the eGovernment Leadership Certificate Program to apply those credits toward a graduate degree at another school, Massaro said.

The certificate program is free to DOD employees. Tuition for other employees is $900 per course. Military personnel must hold the rank of 0-5 or higher and civilians must be grade GS-13 or higher. Students can take a single class, however, "we encourage them to consider the program," Massaro said.

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