As we enter the twenty-first century, the organizational role of IS continues to expand and evolve at a dizzying pace. An understanding of and appreciation for that role is becoming mandatory for all managers and executives, not just IS professionals. This paper first determines a generally agreed upon high-level conceptualization of the strategic role IS plays in organizations. It then proceeds to develop and empirically test an instrument designed to measure college students' normative perception of that role. The contributions are twofold. First, the instrument can be used as an indicator of educational quality by assessing the extent to which a concept has crystallized within students (deep learning), as opposed to short-term retention and recall (surface learning). This has immediately applicable implications for designing MIS curricula and learning materials and, more widely, in e-Learning in general, where feedback loops allow interaction to be adjusted and refocused in process based on progress toward established goals like, in this case, the recognition of underlying principles. Second, the instrument can be used to help evaluate how well future business managers and executives truly understand and recognize the value of IS to the organization. This has long-term implications for organizational productivity.