The Microsoft IT Academy program provides technology courses leading to Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications, including certifications in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Designed to provide participants with college and career ready skills, the program gives schools access to an evolving online technology curriculum that includes lesson plans, student projects, and industry certified assessments. As part of the program, schools become Microsoft IT Academy members, enabling program participants, teachers, and others in the school community to access online instruction in and outside of the classroom and to take certification exams onsite. In addition, the program includes intensive managerial support to ensure fidelity to the IT Academy model.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education launched a pilot IT Academy program at Woodson High School. The Academy included two courses for students during the day and two courses for parents and others in the school community during the evenings. The University of the District of Columbia Community College provided instructors for the evening courses. Two teachers at Woodson earned certification and taught the courses for students. The pilot resulted in 81% of the students (22 of 27) and 37% of the adults (7 of 19) earning MOS certification. The OSSE plans to expand the Microsoft IT Academy to several schools throughout the district to increase accessibility to the program for students.
In addition to making the Microsoft IT Academy available to all high schools in the District of Columbia, OSSE will work to ensure that the Academy is available to adults in the school communities and to adult learners in general, by drawing on partnerships with other District government agencies and grants from other OSSE divisions.