NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: JULY 25, 2012


For anyone seeking computer whiz kids to explain the ins and outs of Microsoft Office programs, help might now be available at your nearest public high school. Thanks to the Microsoft IT Academy (MSITA), students and teachers earned a total of 43,630 general Microsoft Office Specialist certifications in 2011-12 and 80 North Carolina high school students and teachers have earned an industry-recognized Microsoft Master certification.

“Proficiency with Microsoft software is a valuable skill to have in the workplace today,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “Congratulations to these students who have taken this step toward career readiness and to all of the teachers who have used the MSITA to refresh and gain new technology skills.”

To achieve a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification, students must pass an exam based on a Microsoft program. Certifications are available for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, OneNote, and SharePoint. To earn a Master certification, students must pass the MOS exams for Word Expert, Excel Expert, PowerPoint, and any one of Outlook, Access, OneNote, and SharePoint.

The Microsoft IT Academy was formed in 2010 as a partnership between Microsoft and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to provide students with real-world technology skills necessary to be successful in college and in a career. The NCDPI was the first state education agency to enter into such a partnership, and North Carolina’s Microsoft academy is now the world’s largest. Since the MSITA began as a pilot program in 2010, 52,424 North Carolina students and teachers have earned certifications.

The schools in which students and teachers earned the most MOS certifications in 2011-12 were Charles B. Aycock High (Wayne County Schools), Apex High (Wake County Schools), and Fike High (Wilson County Schools). The schools in which students earned the most Master certifications were Southern Nash High (Nash-Rocky Mount Schools), Hoke County High (Hoke County Schools), and Spring Creek High (Wayne County Schools).

These schools and all students who earned the Master certification (a list is available here (xls, 30kb)) were recently honored at the NCDPI’s annual Career and Technical Education Summer Conference, held July 24-26 in Greensboro.

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.