As Microsoft Imagine Academy (MSIA) and Certiport certification near the end of a successful second year in Mississippi, it is an ideal time to reflect on the program’s growth. First funded by the state legislature for the 2016-2017 academic year, MSIA provides academic institutions across the state with productivity, computer science and IT curriculum as well as opportunities to earn industry-recognized certification. There are now 109 high schools and technology centers using MSIA curriculum that have earned close to 700 certifications. This is a large jump from the 274 certifications earned during the first year of the program.
Industry certification of skills is becoming an important metric in ensuring college and career readiness. In fact, in Mississippi during the month of February there were 1,436 job postings requiring Microsoft skills*. Microsoft Imagine Academy prepares leaners and educators to earn Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate and other advanced certifications that employers are looking for.
Debbie Burnham, MSIA teacher at Forest-Scott County Career & Technology Center in Forest Mississippi has had great success with helping her students earn industry-recognized Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification. She beams with pride when she explains that her students have “earned 51 separate certifications this year. That doesn’t include the re-certifications they have taken to up their scores or the three who have passed Word Expert level 1.” She also has “8 out of 9 seniors who are certified in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. One of my seniors has also earned certification in Word 16 and PowerPoint 16 even though I’m still teaching 13!” Since speaking with Ms. Burnham, all her students have earned at least one MOS certification.
One of those students, Destiny Carter, is a Microsoft Office Specialist in Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Due to her certification, she explains that she “never could have imagined how much the Imagine Academy would mean to me! This program has allowed me to take even bigger steps toward my future career and has made me stand out and make great progress with my current employers.” Destiny encourages all students “to take a stand, try something new, and follow their dreams to the fullest.”
To learn more about Microsoft Imagine Academy visit https://www.microsoft.com/imagineacademy
For questions about Microsoft Imagine Academy in Mississippi, contact Mike Mulvihill at the Mississippi Department of Education at MMulvihill@mdek12.org or 601-359-3090