H.D. Woodson High School Students Find Inspiration Through Microsoft Certification
School implements a Microsoft IT Academy pilot program with great success
Along with Dr. Antoinette Mitchell at OSSE, H.D. Woodson High School Principal Dr. Thomas Whittle and Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) coordinator Aris Pangilinan spearheaded the initiative, identifying a need for technical skills for students and adult learners who were looking to join the workforce.
This is where Microsoft Office Specialist certification came in. As students began training for the certification exams, they began to realize the multitude of benefits that come along with being Microsoft certified; they had the opportunity to attain a credential that would, in addition to validating their skills, better their lives and send them on a path towards a successful future.
In one of the lowest income neighbourhoods in the district, H.D. Woodson was able to administer an extremely successful pilot program, with 85% of the high school student participants attaining a Microsoft Office Specialist certification.
On May 17th, Ta’Von Murphy, a high school junior, passed the Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2010 exam and became the first District of Columbia Public School student to graduate from H.D. Woodson High School’s Microsoft IT Academy Program. As part of this program, becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist entitled Ta’Von to receive a laptop computer. “But more importantly,” Ta’Von says, “I’ll have an edge on all of the competition in college when I go to apply for jobs.”
“It is a great feeling, a great honor,” H.D. Woodson High School junior Lapria Johnson said. “This is one of the great parts of being in a STEM school. We get the opportunity to get real-world experience and real-world credentials so we can have real-world success.”
Sophomore Terrence Richburg aspires to be a journalist and noted that “certification will give me a better chance at getting a job in journalism.” He now knows “how to create, manipulate, and send documents and information quickly. That’s important if I want to be successful as a reporter.” Terrence also explained the significant benefits of becoming certified, noting that “fifty-five percent of Hiring Managers consider employee certification as a criterion for hiring. Sixty-three percent of Hiring Managers feel that certified individuals are more productive than their counterparts. And there is a fifty percent time reduction on common tasks by companies using Microsoft Office certified personnel.”
For students looking to pursue any kind of post-secondary education or athletics, Microsoft Office Specialist certification will help them every step of the way, from completing high school to filling out college applications. “I plan on being a basketball player in college and now I have the skills to do my homework and study for things I need to do,” said student Najee’ Prince.
“It was a great pleasure to assist in the development and implementation of this pilot project and CCI could not have been more thrilled to see the wonderful success that it has had. We are extremely proud to have been a part of it,” said Malcolm Knox, President, CCI Learning Solutions.
“Our goal is to have all participating Woodson students certified by the end of this school year,” said Mr. Pangilinan. “I believe the Woodson certification program can be used as a model for creating certification curriculum throughout District of Columbia Public Schools and perhaps even throughout the nation.”
Upon completion of this pilot project, OSSE realized the success that students were having and initiated the implementation of the program at ten other high schools in the DC area. The program will begin rolling out at the start of the 2012/2013 school year.
Below is a video documentary about this initiative created by the students of H.D. Woodson High School’s Microsoft IT Academy Program:
Press Contact: Alanna Clark CCI Learning Solutions 1.800.668.1669 ext. 223 email@example.com