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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Confirming an Industry Certification Examination as an Outcome Assessment for Information System Programs

Confirming an Industry Certification Examination as an Outcome Assessment for Information System Programs
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Author(s): Andrew Borchers (Kettering University, USA)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 3
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch332
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


Since the mid-1980’s educational institutions have been under increasing pressure to demonstrate measurable outcomes from academic programs (Marchese, 1998). At the same time a “parallel postsecondary universe” has evolved in a rich mosaic of industry certification programs in information technology (Adelman, 1998). This parallel world has “brought competency based education and performance assessment to a status they have never enjoyed within traditional higher education.” (Adelman, 1998). For IS educators these parallel worlds have created troubling questions of exactly what role each should play in preparing future IS professionals. At the same time, there is potential for the two worlds to work together. This paper examines one possible point of sharing in the use of certification exams to assess the outcomes of traditional academic programs. Some industry certifications are proprietary (such as Microsoft MCSE, Novell CCNA and Cisco CCNA). One certification, the Institute for the Certification of Computer Professionals (ICCP)’s Certified Computer Professional (CCP), however, is vendor neutral. The ICCP is backed by seven constituent societies, including AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals, formerly DPMA) and ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). Some 55,000 IS professionals have completed certification through the ICCP. The ICCP exam suite includes a core exam and a set of specialty exams. A review of the core exam reveals a broad coverage of IS topics that matches much of the course work in typical BS and MS programs in Information Systems. Review material from the core exam includes references from frequently used textbooks in IS programs (

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