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Office, Developer Training Now Offered Through IT Academy

IT Academy rolls out training for Microsoft Office Specialist and Microsoft Certified Application Developer certifications to participating schools.

Microsoft has expanded the training offerings in its IT Academy program. As of this month, schools that participate in the IT Academy program will be able to offer desktop support and application development training, as well as server and network operating systems design and implementation training.

Microsoft's IT Academy isn't a new program. In fact, the program has been around since November 2001, says Diana Carew, Academic Workforce Development, Worldwide/Community College Relations for Microsoft Corp. In November 2002, Carew's group launched the program abroad, which is replacing the Authorized Academic Training Partner program that's still being implemented in some pockets of the world.

As the AATP's replacement, IT Academy furnishes participating academic institutions and vocational schools with desktop and network administration training, with many students obtaining Microsoft certification as a result.

"The program has been largely embraced by community colleges," Carew says, where, students who opt not to move on to higher education and join the IT workforce are "equipped with real-world skills." Her estimate is that of the 600 members, 60 percent are community colleges, with the other 40 percent being high schools and vocational schools.

Besides expanding worldwide, the IT Academy's goal is to expand its offerings, according to Carew. In December, the program pushed out desktop application training to its membership and, just this month, has added application developer training. The training maps directly to the Microsoft Office Specialist and Microsoft Certified Application Developer certifications, respectively.

Schools that want to join the IT Academy must meet some simple requirements: 1) Be an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; 2) Retain one trainer with an MCP credential and 3) Pay a yearly membership fee (Office Specialist is $550; IT Pro, $1,500; IT Pro Plus, $5,000). Carew encourages schools that don't have an MCP on staff to apply; an IT Pro-level membership includes faculty training and discounted faculty training that can be used while the application is pending.

To find out more about applying for membership into the IT Academy, go to http://www.microsoft.com/education/msitacademy/WorldWide/Default.asp. To find a local school offering training through IT Academy, contact your regional Microsoft office.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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