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Bridging Education and Industry with Credentials

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Be sure to get this on your calendar for the 2021-22 school year! The Information Technology Grant* will again offer Wisconsin communities free educational services to implement a wide range of instructional curricula aligned to various certifications and will include the new Microsoft Fundamentals certification exams. The new set of certification exams will provide a pathway for Wisconsin students to pursue studies in artificial intelligence, data science, and cloud computing. Additionally, the grant program has expanded the number of potential sites in Wisconsin to support a statewide opportunity for all middle schools and high schools to participate.

During the 2020-21 school year, over a quarter million students in the United States completed a certification exam to earn a Microsoft Office Specialist credential. Every summer, the United States National Championship is held for students ages 13 to 22, giving individuals the opportunity to showcase the knowledge and skills that will provide them with one of their first achievements toward a successful career. Although Wisconsin did not have a national finalist, many schools produced top qualifiers. (See end of article for the list for winning schools.)

And participation in Wisconsin set records for credentials earned!

  • Office Specialist and Technology Associate certifications: 1,929 (a state record)
  • Total certification exams administered: 9,576 (a state record with 2,395 unique students)
  • Total certifications attained by teachers: 38

State participation in a test fest program called “Swing into Spring with Testing” encouraged and celebrated schools that delivered 30 or more certification exams between April 14 and May 30. More than 400 certification exams were administered during that window from 35 schools with these schools leading the way (and receiving an achievement pack of student recognition items!):

  • Dodgeland High School: 49
  • DC Everest Senior High School: 43
  • Laconia High School: 35
  • South Milwaukee High School: 30

Interested in learning more about the free educational services available in Wisconsin through the Information Technology Grant*? Visit one of the designated state deployment team members who are ready to help you get started today!

*Not to be confused with the Technical Incentive Grant.

Microsoft Excel (Microsoft 365 apps and Office 2019)

  1. University of Wisconsin
  2. Fort Atkinson High School
  3. University of Wisconsin

Microsoft PowerPoint (Microsoft 365 apps and Office 2019)

  1. Cameron High School+
  2. Eau Claire Memorial High School+
  3. Hortonville High School

Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 apps and Office 2019)

  1. Fort Atkinson High School
  2. Fort Atkinson High School
  3. Oak Creek High School

Microsoft Excel (Office 2016)

  1. Cedar Grove-Belgium High School+
  2. Hamilton High School
  3. Hamilton High School

Microsoft PowerPoint (Office 2016)

  1. Hamilton High School
  2. Franklin High School
  3. Mishicot Middle/High School+

Microsoft Word (Office 2016)

  1. Fennimore High School
  2. Hamilton High School
  3. Fennimore High School

+denotes a school that participated in the IT Education Grant that provides free Microsoft certifications

—Submitted by Dave Thomas, former Business and Information Technology Education Consultant, Wisconsin FBLA Advisor, Career and Technical Education, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction