MICROSOFT IT ACADEMY
Linda Lay, Business, Finance, and IT Education Consultant, CTE Division
Microsoft IT Academy
North Carolina Public Schools was the first state education agency in the country to enter into an agreement with Microsoft to pilot the Microsoft IT Academy (MSITA), which provides high school students with real-world technology skills they need to be successful in college and career. MSITA provides students, teachers, faculty and staff an opportunity to improve skills and earn industry certifications. North Carolina has paved the way for over ten new states that have come on board since North Carolina deployed the program in 2010.
Credentials and Certifications
Students, educators, and support staff are all eligible to earn Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications through the IT Academy program. Over 100,000 MOS certifications have been earned by students and teachers since the inception of the agreement in 2010 (2010-11 academic year). Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) are available through Business, Finance, and IT Education courses to students. Teachers also have the option of earning the Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) certifications through the program. Certification licenses are offered by (Microsoft's partner) Certiport.
Technology Skills in Career and Technical Education
The IT Academy consists of a software and curriculum package that provides schools with the most up to date technology and curriculum resources to teach on the latest technology. Curriculum includes Microsoft Official Academic Course (MOAC) eBooks (digital textbooks), e-Learning courses - web-based modules and instruction, which allow students to learn Microsoft computer programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and much more at their own pace, test banks, projects and exam review kit are also available to provide teachers with ample resources to prepare their students for certification.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has implemented a professional development plan for staff members statewide in over 200 e-Learning courses including, but not limited to, Windows 7, SharePoint, Exchange, and Office applications. These courses will further the knowledge of teachers and IT staff throughout the state.
IT Academy member schools have access to the very latest Microsoft tools, including training and resources to help teachers get started with their benefits. Students involved in the IT Academy have access to a multitude of resources including Microsoft Digital Literacy for those new to computing, Microsoft's e-Learning Curriculum with more than 200 multimedia courses, Career Forward, SkyDrive, Office 365, and other valuable Microsoft resources not available to the general public. Students can access many of those programs wherever they have a computer.
Microsoft and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction provide a DreamSpark subscription to all high schools, DreamSpark licenses your school to distribute development and design products across your school’s labs (using lab licenses) and to all students and faculty for installation on their personal PCs so that schools can engage and excite students with the latest technology. DreamSpark Premium is available to STEM schools. Details of the DreamSpark program can be found at https://www.dreamspark.com/.
Career Preparation in a Global Economy focuses on the skills middle and high school students need to take charge of their career path. Teachers and Career Development Coordinators across the state facilitate discussions on the importance of their education and motivate them to make smart choices in high school and/or college through the use of the Career Forward online resources.
- Microsoft and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction case study
- Microsoft IT Academy Program and video of Dr. June Atkinson and the Leesville Road High School pilot program
- IT Academy website
- Press Releases:
- Recent North Carolina teacher feature on ITA blog
- Microsoft Student Announcement
- Microsoft NC IT Academy Announcement
- NCDPI Biennial Reports:
- Various news outlets :
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