MICROSOFT IT ACADEMY
Microsoft IT Academy
North Carolina Public Schools is 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 a career. MSITA provides students, teachers, and staff members an opportunity to earn industry certifications. North Carolina is the largest IT Academy in the world.
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 ( http://nroc.careerforward.org/ ).
Credential and Certifications
IT Academy members' students, educators, and support staff are all eligible to earn Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications. 8,794 certifications were earned by students and teachers during the first year of the agreement (2010-11 academic year). Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and Microsoft Technology Specialist (MTS) are available through Business, Finance, and IT Education courses to students. Teachers have the option of earning the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) certification through the program. Certifications opportunities are offered by (Microsoft's partner) Certiport (http://www.certiport.com/portal/desktopdefault.aspx?TZ=-4).
E-Learning in Career and Technical Education
The IT Academy consists of web-based modules and instruction, which allow students to learn Microsoft computer programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, at their own pace. Because the academy is computer-based, students complete the programs at their own pace within the classroom and at home.
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.
Students involved in the IT Academy have access to Microsoft's e-Reference Library of more than 500 Microsoft Press books, the Microsoft Digital Literacy program, Career Forward, Microsoft's e-Learning Curriculum with more than 200 multimedia courses, and the Live@EDU program that offers free online Microsoft Office web applications. Students can access many of those programs wherever they have a computer.
Microsoft and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction provide a three-year subscription to MSDN AA Developer to all high schools. Details of the MSDNAA Developer AA program can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/academic/ .
- 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: