CITE Certified Chief Technology Officer Mentor Program (CTOM)

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Applications for the 2025 Cohort are open as of May 28, 2024. Application deadline is September 2, 2024.

2025 Application 2025 Nomination
To apply to the 2025 CTOM Program, please complete the application by September 2. You must also receive a nomination from your Superintendent or similar. Before applying, please read the following information in full to ensure you understand the expectations and requirements to participate.

A successful candidate for the CITE Certified Chief Technology Mentor Program should currently be involved in some facet of technology and employed by a public or private school, district, county or state organization. Ideally, the application would include a nomination from the candidate’s superintendent or other individual from the candidate’s organization that demonstrates organizational support for the candidate’s participation in the program. The successful candidate will have experience in a professional setting (a minimum of four (4) years is preferred), a demonstrated expertise in technology (such as programming, system installation and management, e-rate or network management) and have or show potential in the following areas:

  • Written communications, including being able to submit by the deadline a well written, complete application along with a resume and nomination form
  • Oral communications, including presentations at professional development events and/or school board meetings, etc.
  • Leadership, including experience as a department leader or project manager, or in another leadership role
    Human resource management, including experience supervising and evaluating staff
  • IT Customer Service: networking, servers, desktops, user support
  • Analytical abilities/logical thinking skills, including involvement with or management of large projects
  • Fiscal management, including experience developing or assisting with the development of a technology budget, experience with school finance or purchasing, categorical fund acquisition and/or contract procedures
  • Facilitation skills and people skills, including experience working with groups to engage them in activities such as planning, monitoring or problem-solving
  • Involvement in the K-12 community (CITE, CUE, CASBO, ACSA, CoSN, ISTE, etc.)

In addition, the candidate should have a career objective to become a fully qualified CTO in K-12. Continued employment in K-12 throughout the program is required.

Responsibilities

Each candidate must do all of the following to be successful:

  • Communicate consistently with your mentor
  • Complete all prerequisite assignments prior to each session
  • Attend all eight sessions and actively and constructively participate in class activities and discussions
  • Complete all assignments on time and receive a passing grade from the instructor
  • Complete class oral presentation as assigned
  • Complete the final oral presentation as assigned
  • Provide constructive feedback to the program
  • Follow professional norms in the CCCTO Code of Ethics
The CITE Certified Chief Technology Officer Mentor Program follows three learning strands: Technology, Education, and Leadership. The information covered in each strand is essential to participants with the ambition and potential to be technology leaders in executive positions for California's public schools as well as those who want to better support the leadership with a full understanding of the organization as a whole.
Technology
The Technology strand will cover four principles:
  • Security Fundamentals - including information security, information security assessment, business continuity, risk assessment and budgeting for security. 
  • Infrastructure - including data delivery and distribution and systems.
  • Technology Services - including hardware and software currency, planning for internal services and desktop support.
  • IT Knowledge - including standards development and technical concepts.

Education

The Education strand will cover five principles:

  • Student Centered Aspects - including privacy and confidentiality, student data, integrating with other departments, local, community, state, federal requirements. 
  • Staff Centered Aspects - including supporting Human Resources, classified/certificated aspects, the union environment, STRS/PERS and credentials.
  • Educational Technology - the tools and resources available to teachers as well as strategies for better learning.
  • Assessment and Accountability - including state assessments, defining accountability and local systems.
  • Finance Centered Aspects - including sources of funding, mandated items and categorical funds, purchasing, bidding and vendor relations, facilities funding, attendance and planning.

Leadership

The Leadership strand discusses seven principles:

  • Professional Development and Training - including aligning training to state and district standards, developing a scope and sequence for training, research and development for training models, personal professional development.
  • Vision and Technology Planning - including developing a vision for technology, assessing technology needs, involving stakeholders, developing a technology plan and assisting sites with technology plans, investigating future technology trends, designing sustainability models.
  • Communications and Public Relations - including advising on the use of technology, developing vendor projects, collaborating on joint projects, communications with the public and with the school board, site visits, customer service and initiating partnerships.
  • Personnel Management - including recruitment, interviewing and selection, orientation, team building, staff communications, performance and evaluation, motivation, managing conflict.
  • Organizational Management - including mission and goals, departmental organization, systems and solutions, managing change.
  • Fiscal Management - including building a budget, decision tools (TCO/ROI).
  • Project Management - including defining project management, using project management tools and projects and strategic planning.

The program consists of eight (8) classes held on Friday evenings (4:00-8:00 pm) and Saturday (8:00 am-4:00 pm). The initial kickoff session lasts the full day on Friday.

Tuition cost for the CITE Certified Chief Technology Officer Mentor Program is $4,500 in 2025, which includes three (3) years of initial certification upon meeting all program requirements.

CITE Certified CTOs must recertify annually by submitting evidence of 30 approved CEU hours and paying $25 recertification fee.

Participants are responsible to pay for their own travel and lodging to classes. Lunch is provided on Saturday. Tuition can be paid by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

We strongly encourage asking your employer to sponsor you - many past candidates have done this successfully. This program will benefit your employer by providing a first class professional development program. Some possible sources of funding include grants, other professional development funding or the general fund.

2025: Northern California Cohort - Sunnyvale
  • Module 1: Kickoff
    • Date: Friday, February 7, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Hotel in Sunnyvale (location TBD)
  • Module 2: Strategic Leadership
    • Date: Saturday, February 8, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Hotel in Sunnyvale (location TBD)
  • Module 3: Ed Foundations Part 1
    • Date: Friday, March 7, 2025
    • Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 4: Personnel Leadership
    • Date: Saturday, March 8, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 5: Project and Team Leadership
    • Date: Friday, April 4, 2025
    • Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 6: Project and Team Leadership
    • Date: Saturday, April 5, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 7: Technology Management Part 1
    • Date: Friday, May 2, 2025
    • Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 8: Organizational Leadership & Management
    • Date: Saturday, May 3, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 9: Data Culture
    • Date: Friday, June 6, 2025
    • Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Location: Via Zoom
  • Module 10: Fiscal Leadership
    • Date: Saturday, June 7, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Via Zoom
  • Module 11: Professional Learning
    • Date: Friday, July 11, 2025
    • Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Location: Via Zoom
  • Module 12: Ed Foundations Part 2
    • Date: Saturday, July 12, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Via Zoom
  • Module 13: Technology Management Part 2
    • Date: Friday, September 5, 2025
    • Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 14: Cybersecurity Management
    • Date: Saturday, September 6, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 15: Technology Leadership Part 1
    • Date: Friday, October 3, 2025
    • Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 16: Technology Leadership Part 2
    • Date: Saturday, October 4, 2025
    • Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: Sunnyvale School District Office
  • Module 17: Final Regional Presentations
    • Date: November 5-7, 2025
    • Various Times
    • Regional Locations

Future Program Locations
  • 2026: Southern California
  • 2027: Northern California
  • 2028: Southern California
Why should I apply for the CITE CCTO Mentor Program?

The CITE CCTO Mentor Program will deliver a first class professional development curriculum that will enhance the knowledge of existing Chief Technology Officers and allow prospective Chief Technology Officers to become the technology leaders in their K-12 institutions. Instructors are qualified and experienced CTOs with a preferred minimum of 10 years experience in the education community. Participants will improve their understanding of fundamental issues that drive school technology policies in each major functional area, including: student systems and accountability, district technology, user support, budgeting and finance, contracts and procurement, risk management, and the importance of having strong effective leadership skills.

Whom should I ask to nominate me?

The nomination is an important part of the application and demonstrates organizational support. This support is critical as you will be required to interview cabinet members and complete assignments involving different departments. In addition, it is invaluable for your organization to understand the time commitment you are making to the program. We highly recommend securing a nomination from your Superintendent. In some large organizations this may not be possible; you may have a nomination submitted from an Assistant Superintendent or equivalent. Nominations from your director or the equivalent can also help provide additional context to your application but are not necessary (unless they are in the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent role). Nominations from colleagues will not be reviewed.

What is the cost once I am accepted to the program?

Tuition costs for the CITE CCTO Mentor Project are $4,500 in 2025. Participants are responsible to pay for their own travel and lodging to classes. Lunch is provided on Saturday.

What payment methods are accepted for the tuition?

Tuition can be paid by check (purchase orders accepted), money order, Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

Can I ask my employer to sponsor me?

Absolutely! This program will benefit your employer by providing a first class professional development program. Some possible sources of funding include grants, other professional development funding or the general fund.

How many classes are there?

The program consists of eight (8) classes held on Friday evenings and Saturday, all day. The initial kickoff session lasts the full day on Friday.

When and where do the classes take place?

Classes begin at 4:00 pm on Friday evening and end at 8:00 pm. Saturday class is from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Classes in June and July are held virtually to allow summer flexibility and there is no class in August. Attendance is mandatory for the eight weekend sessions, and failure to attend may result in being dropped from the program. You must also complete a live final presentation to a panel of peers in your regional area.

Do I have to renew the certificate once I have completed the project?

Yes. After completing the program, certified CTOs must submit 30 hours of continuing education credits. For more information, go to the Alumni Page.

What are the qualifications?

A successful candidate for the CITE CCTO Mentor Program should currently have or show potential in the following areas:

  • IT Customer Service: networking, servers, desktops, user support
  • Logical Thinking Skills, including involvement with or management of large projects
  • Analytical Abilities, including experience developing or assisting with the development of a technology budget or experience with school finance or purchasing
  • Facilitation Skills: engaging, informing, involving, planning
  • Leadership Skills
  • People Skills, ability to communicate well with others orally and in writing

In addition, the candidate should have a career objective to become a fully qualified CTO.

What if I miss a class?

We encourage you to attend every session to fully benefit from the program. Unavoidable absences will be discussed with the CITE Board and CITE CCTO Mentor Program Steering Committee and every attempt to develop and alternative for make up will be made. Absence from a session without explanation may result in being dropped from the program.

What if I miss one or more assignments?

Candidates must complete all prerequisites, homework assignments and any in-class assignments to be qualified for completion and certification.

Will my position and job title automatically change when I complete the program?

This program is highly regarded through the state of California and may support your career growth; however, it does not guarantee any career changes. The certification represents that you have completed the program and that the CTO Steering Committee, your instructors, and your mentor agree that you have the skills to become a CTO.

What if I change jobs during the program?

If you leave your current position during the program, the Steering Committee will determine whether or not it is feasible for you to continue. In most cases, moving from one district or COE to another should not be a problem. However, if you leave the K12 environment, you may be released from the program. Many of the assignments revolve around working with others in a school district or COE and not being exposed to that environment could make it difficult to successfully complete the program.

When can I apply?

The application process is open during the summer each year. All applicants will be notified of their status in min-October. Classes begin in early February of the following year and the program cohort officially ends in November of the same year.