NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: JUNE 4, 2012


Over the past 18 months, North Carolina public high school students have earned 49,552 while teachers have earned 1,673 free professional, industry-recognized certifications in Microsoft computer applications thanks to North Carolina’s Microsoft IT Academy.

In November 2010, North Carolina became the first state in the nation to offer the Microsoft IT Academy Program through public high schools and since then, the program has been implemented in 98 school districts and 344 high schools statewide.

“The Microsoft IT Academy has enabled tens of thousands of students and teachers to gain relevant workplace skills and add valuable, industry-recognized certifications to their resumes,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “With these courses and credentials under their belts, our students will graduate better prepared to succeed in college and compete for a job in the global economy.”

The Microsoft IT Academy is a comprehensive program that supports the ongoing technology education for students, teachers and other education professionals. The program features access to eOnline learning content, official Microsoft course materials, instructor resources and support materials, including lesson plans, software licenses, and professional, industry-recognized certifications. Students are able to earn certification as a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) or a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) by completing the Microsoft IT Academy coursework and passing certification exams.

In addition, from August 2011 to May 2012, more than 250,000 United States students competed to demonstrate their proficiency in utilizing Microsoft desktop computing applications in the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office. Three North Carolina students earned a place among the six U.S. finalists that will travel to the World Championship to be held in Las Vegas, NV July 29 through Aug. 1.

The following North Carolina public school students will be competing in the World Championship in the corresponding categories:

Microsoft Office Word 2010
Dominick Cianfarra, Spring Creek High School (Wayne County Schools)

Microsoft Excel 2010
Alex Bainbridge, Green Hope High School (Wake County Public School System)

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
Rachel Velasco, Cuthbertson High School (Union County Public Schools)

In addition to these three finalists, the following North Carolina students were identified as U.S. Semi–Finalists for the 2012 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office:

Microsoft Office Word 2010
Michael Riley, Durham School of the Arts (Durham Public Schools)
Brame Morrison III, Hunt High School (Wilson County Schools)
Marley Price, Spring Creek High School (Wayne County Schools)

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
Miranda Hill, Spring Creek High School (Wayne County Schools)
Destiny Oakley, Havelock High School (Craven County Schools)

Students who enroll in the Microsoft Academy can take two courses, one in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Publisher, and one in Excel and Access. This fall, Microsoft IT Academy courses will replace Computer Applications I, which is currently the state’s largest elective. In the spring of 2013, the NCDPI Career and Technical Education Division will partner with the North Carolina Virtual Public School to pilot a new course in Microsoft Sharepoint and Outlook using Microsoft IT Academy e-learning.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.