The role of today’s IT executive within government has never been more fluid or more demanding. Making technology operations run smoothly doesn’t cut it as a job description when you’re responsible for leading an IT organization. With Pennsylvania local, county, and state governments spending billions of dollars on information technology annually, these executives are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of communications, finance, human resources, policy making, management practices, and how to effectively connect the technology to business needs.

Throw in the variable of an ever-changing technological landscape, and the public service IT leader’s job has never been tougher–nor more important to the success of government.

Harrisburg University’s Government Technology Institute is the only one of its kind in Pennsylvania and a leader in harnessing technology to make good government great. GTI connects government technology leaders with the expertise of Harrisburg University faculty and advisors for education, training, resources, and networking. Government technology professionals use GTI to explore and collaborate on successful, cost-effective technology solutions for Pennsylvania.

GTI’s signature initiative, Pennsylvania’s Chief Information Officer Certificate program, targets the unique challenges of public & private-sector IT executives. Today’s  CIOs require sophisticated skills sets in leadership, strategy, and management. CIO Certificate Program immerses them in comprehensive study of executive-level issues, including IT strategy and planning, governance, security, financing, and workforce development. Through the program, current and aspiring senior-level IT executives earn a recognized credential and learn to manage the demands of their increasingly complex roles.

Under the leadership of GTI Director, Charlie Gerhards, the GTI and its Centers of Excellence will support learning, IT innovation, entrepreneurship, and intergovernmental collaboration that enhances the technical, management, and leadership skills of the government workforce involved in information.

Harrisburg University is significantly supported in these initiatives by Computer Aid, Inc., Cisco, Unisys, Accenture, Comcast Business, Deloitte, KPMG, IBM, Microsoft, Symantec, SAS, Level (3), Acclaim Systems, VMWare, Verizon, i&i Software and Sigma Resources — partners collaborating on a vision of technology for the public good.

It’s this spirit of collaboration, vision, and promotion of technology for the public good that will make the Government Technology Institute a national standard.

The  Chief Information Officer Certificate Program (CIO)

The GTI offers a Chief Information Officer Certificate Program (CIO), which provides a comprehensive study of the executive-level issues such as IT strategy and planning, governance, security, financing, and workforce development.

Launched in Fall 2011, the CIO is a natural extension of the GTI. More than 75 Pennsylvania government CIOs have entered Harrisburg University’s program to collaborate, look at best practices, share ideas, and look at shared services as a way of dealing with increasingly difficult challenges such as budget cuts, higher service demands, and emerging technologies, including mobility and cloud computing. Instruction, provided by subject matter experts, many of whom are successful IT executives from public and private sector organizations, emphasizes leadership, strategy, and management, not necessarily technology.

The IT Manager Certificate Program (ITM)

The IT Manager Certificate Program is specifically designed for employees who currently serve or aspire to serve in positions focused on the management aspects of information technology and is designed to empower IT Managers with the business and interpersonal skills that are essential in managing the complexities of information technology. Additionally, the program provides information and tools to lead their organization strategically; manage their team effectively; and support the leadership in executing key objectives.

Led by program facilitators, individual seminars are presented by subject matter experts, and include guest speakers, panel discussions and interactive group exercises.

The curriculum consists of a combination of presentations, industry guest speakers, case studies and hands-on exercises. The key areas of focus are on the leadership and management techniques necessary to operationalize the CIO’s IT strategy, including contract management, personnel management, performance metrics, communications, problem solving, project management, leadership and more.

The Security Center of Excellence

The Harrisburg University Security Center of Excellence aims to be a strategic partner with organizations in their information security and cyber defense efforts by providing innovative and effective educational programs and community building services.

Click to learn more about the Security Center of Excellence.

Leadership Development Program for Senior Managers in State Government

This innovative leadership development program provides senior managers in PA state government the opportunity to further develop their leadership abilities and succeed at the highest levels of their profession. Developed through a collaboration of Alvernia University, Harrisburg University and the Governor’s Office of Pennsylvania, this unique program gives participants the opportunity to enhance their understanding of their work place culture as well as learning strategies, tactics, and management techniques applicable to the unique challenges government employees face. Our program offers:

  • Mentorship & networking opportunities
  • Discussions on real life issues and concerns
  • Leadership skills assessment

Course Format

Beginning March 20, 2017, the program is offered over a 4-month period. Classes meet every other Monday. Each Monday provides a full day of in classroom instruction. Some elements of the program may be delivered online. Classroom instruction takes place at Harrisburg University. Faculty from both Alvernia University and Harrisburg University lead classroom instruction.


The program curriculum is based around case studies, team projects, role playing and scenario planning. Classes offer a “safe space” for senior managers to discuss issues they may face in their position while promoting interagency collaboration. Participants can expect to take courses in the following subject areas:

  • Leadership versus Management
  • Management Innovation & Change
  • Data Driven Decision Making
  • Understanding and Working within the Constraints and Culture of State Government
  • Project Leadership and Project Management
  • Communications
  • Successful Negotiation Techniques and Conflict Resolution
  • Strategic Planning
  • Team Building and Motivating Employees
  • Budgeting, HR, Procurement in PA State Government
  • Implementing Continuous Improvement
  • Working with Millennials (and other generations)

Coaching & Mentoring

Program participants are divided in teams. Each team is assigned a mentor or coach. The mentor or coach meets with with the team at least once collectively and at least once with each program participant individually.

Program Cost

The cost of the program is $2000 per individual.

Get Started Today!

The first cohort began March 20, 2017. Apply for the second cohort beginning in the Fall of 2017.  It’s easy to get started!

  1. Download and complete the Registration Form.
  2. Submit your completed registration form via email to

Watch for more details on the special events and upcoming programs from the Government Technology Institute. For more information about GTI and its programs, or to become a sponsor, call 717.901.5190 or email for more information.