35 more students earn Microsoft Office Specialist certifications


Codi Bradstreet

Certificates line the 1300 hall in recognition of the Microsoft Office Specialists trained at Canyon High School.

Thirty-five students earned Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications in PowerPoint 2013 in the first round of testing as a result of their work in Business Information Management I (BIM I) classes.

The Business and Computer Education Department hosts an Certiport authorized testing center for all students and staff members. Dawn Welch and Lance Culbert incorporated the opportunity to earn certifications for Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Access, Excel, and Outlook into their Business Information Management I (BIM I) classes beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

There is a push in career and technology education toward industry certification, and this program is available and prominent for kids to earn certifications,” Culbert said. “A lot of people know what the program is so it is one we decided to go with. Basically, at the end of everything the students have to pass the test to earn the certification. “

Students can earn up to three levels of MOS certification: specialist, expert, and master. MOS certifications are industry recognized credentials, which can be listed on job, college and scholarship applications.

I became certified because of the opportunities being certified can open up in future jobs.

— Felicity Harrett, 10

“I became certified because of the opportunities being certified can open up in future jobs,” sophomore Felicity Harrett said. “We did a lot of training on the GMetrix software, which was a lot of practice tests and projects before we took the certification test. It is just a good skill to have in case the need comes up.”

The Business and Computer Education Department provides the opportunity to test at no cost to students. Each test typically costs as much as $100 in retail environments.

Our first round of testing was about nine weeks into the school year,” Culbert said. “Some people will be ready really quickly because they have a good mind for that kind of testing. We do our daily assignments, and we have a program called GMetrix, which basically mimics what the test is going to look like. GMetrix leads them into instruction a lot deeper than what we have time to go through in class. If you can pass the GMetrix test, you can pass the certification test.”

Since the start of the program, 115 students and staff members have earned 219 individual Microsoft Office Specialist certifications.

“I am only certified in PowerPoint right now, but I would love to be certified in all of Microsoft Office,” senior Katelyn Snell said. “When I signed up for BIM, I did not know I could become certified, but I am very glad I can be. With the certification you could get about $16,000 or more a year in a job. They are very easily applied to real world settings.”