• 34°

DCHS students earn technology credentials

Dallas High County High School business teacher Dorothy Moore, left, poses for the camera Tuesday next to six of the more than 30 students that have earned a Microsoft Office Specialist Certification as part of Alabama’s Microsoft IT Academy program. Pictured from left to right are Moore and Dallas High juniors Laquesha White, Hadiyyah Lane, Nicole Stewart, Kayla Graves, Alanna Salter and Emily Morgan. (Sarah Robinson | Times-Journal)

Dallas High County High School business teacher Dorothy Moore, left, poses for the camera Tuesday next to six of the more than 30 students that have earned a Microsoft Office Specialist Certification as part of Alabama’s Microsoft IT Academy program. Pictured from left to right are Moore and Dallas High juniors Laquesha White, Hadiyyah Lane, Nicole Stewart, Kayla Graves, Alanna Salter and Emily Morgan. (Sarah Robinson | Times-Journal)

Thanks to a statewide program, Dallas County High School students have earned professional technology credentials before graduation.

Led by Dallas County High School business teacher Dorothy Moore, the Alabama Microsoft Information Technology Academy at Dallas County allows students to receive training in Microsoft programs. Moore announced Tuesday that more than 30 students high school students received Microsoft Office Specialist certifications in various programs during the 2013-2014 school year.

“The overall benefit is the students are now ready to go off to college or to go into the workforce,” Moore said.

Introduced in November 2012, Alabama’s Microsoft IT Academy helps train 5,000 students across the state to become college and career ready through training in Microsoft programs, Moore said.

During the class, Dallas County students from grades 10 through 12 are exposed to lectures, demonstrations and utilization of the applications. After they are trained, those students are tested on their knowledge in the program.

Students earn a certification for each test they pass concerning a particular program. If students pass three tests on three different Microsoft programs, they earn three separate certifications.

Students who score an 80 percent or higher on the practice test become eligible to test for a Master Microsoft Office Specialist status, which one Dallas County High School student has obtained this 2013-2014 school year.

To reach the master level, a student must gain a proficient in the basic Microsoft Office programs along with the Microsoft Expert programs.

Dallas County junior Alanna Salter received a Master Microsoft Office Specialist certification based on her proficiency in Word Expert, Excel Expert, Outlook, Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010 and Excel 2010.

Salter said the class has helped prepare her for a career in technical business.

“It’ll come in handy when I have to make spreadsheets and more,” Salter said.

Dallas County student junior Kayla Graves has already proudly framed her certificate representing her Microsoft Office Specialist certifications in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

“I enjoyed being able to take many different things on the work documents and PowerPoint,” Graves said. “I enjoyed helping other people who didn’t quite know how to use those programs.”

Moore said she’s confident that the material that the students learned through the class will fully prepare them for the challenges the post-high school world will bring, such as job interviews.

“They’ll be able to use those particular skills that they’ve learned in this program and the Microsoft Office online program to perform those job functions,” Moore said. “I have no doubt about it.”