Value of the CETL®, Superintendents and EdTech Leaders

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The CETL® is the first-ever aspirational certification for education technology leaders. It is based on a body of knowledge defining the skill areas critical to today’s education technology leaders: leadership and vision; understanding the educational environment, and managing technology and support resources. Specifically, the CETL® is a rigorous exam that identifies those who have mastered the framework skills and knowledge needed to bring 21st-century skills to schools. The exam is a true measure of today’s education technology field. The CETL® program is also a professional development to enhance the knowledge of learning technologies.

To date, more than 500 education technology leaders, from large and small school systems nationwide, have passed this rigorous program and earned their certification, with more in the pipeline. More than half of CETL®-certified educational technology leaders hold district, cabinet-level positions. For the past couple of years, CoSN has worked closely with superintendents and district technology leaders to help them understand the value and importance of the CETL®. 

We have created an Administrators Guide with tips and information on how the CETL® program can help your district achieve its 21st-century technology goals. The CETL® certification exam is rigorous and is based on CoSN’s Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO.

Superintendents who have encouraged CETL® certification have reported that it has: 

  • Demonstrated to stakeholders that they are committed to the highest standards in their administration
  • Showed employees that they are committed to his/her professional growth
  • Helped them hire or promote the most skilled and knowledgeable education technology leaders
  • Ensured that their district is keeping current on the latest trends and best practices in education technology
  • Helped match the skills of their technology team to the job requirements of those positions

Additionally, CoSN has been actively promoting the value of the CETL® to State departments of education and education service agencies through the State Partnership Program. CETL® Partnerships allow states to provide scholarships to their educational technology leaders for preparing for and taking the CETL® exam. In exchange, these states show their commitment to 21st-century learning in their districts and are recognized for this forward-thinking commitment. CoSN also partners with educational service agencies to offer professional development and CETL® certification exam fees at reduced rates. In sum, the CETL® provides independent validation of the competencies necessary for success as an education technology leader, empowering employers to make informed decisions between candidates with diverse backgrounds.

Unique State Programs for Making the Digital Leap

Learn about how some states are making the digital leap by providing resources to districts in support of professional development and mentoring. CoSN hosted a webinar featuring efforts made in four different states. This interactive discussion focused on state education leaders who have thought about this problem and created an environment that is receptive to a Digital Leap. Read this blog post to learn how the State of Utah provided support to its edtech leaders.


Other CoSN Resources you may be interested in Superintendent Self-AssessmentDistrict Leadership Team Assessment, CETL Certification Flyer, CTO Evaluation Rubric, CTO Interview Questions, CTO Job Description, CTO Self-Assessment, and References & Resources.