Pulaski County High School (PCHS) just began offering MOS certification this year, but they are already inspiring students and finding success.
Sydney, a sophomore at PCHS, said, “The first time I took the test I failed and cried. I have never failed anything before and this material has really challenged me. Yesterday, I retook the test and passed! I was relieved and at the same time it was fun to see my certificate go up on the wall. What Dr. Crowhurst has taught me is that the key is persistence. He also showed me that my ‘failure’ was a way to find out what I know and what I need to fix.”
Sydney’s testimonial indicated that Dr. Mike Crowhurst might have some advice to offer other schools implementing MOS, so Certiport asked him a few questions.
Certiport: What do you see as the benefits for students in earning MOS certification?
Dr. Crowhurst: The MOS certification is an industry-recognized certification that students can earn. When I say industry-recognized, I mean there are numerous job openings where MOS certification is a requirement for employment. Our students have a leg-up on other applicants because they have demonstrated ability to use Microsoft Office software.
Certiport: How do you prepare your students for MOS certification?
Dr. Crowhurst: First you start with the tested objectives. When Microsoft or any other vendor develops these kind of tests, they get subject matter experts to make a list of what people need to know to be proficient in a particular product or technology. Those become the published objectives for the test and should be the objectives for instruction. I have been a SME for one of the industry certification tests (not Microsoft) so I explain the process to students.
Second, we align the instructional materials to the objectives. We use Microsoft, and any other materials we can to learn those objectives. Third, we use the GMetrix practice tests. When the students finish those tests, they get a list of what they missed and we can go back to the objectives. Finally, when students can earn a 90% or better on practice tests, we let them take the MOS exams on one of our Certiport testing stations.
We celebrate success with a framed copy of their certificate on the Wall of Fame and try to make as big a deal out of it as possible.
Dr. Crowhurst: Our biggest thing is to go back to the objectives. They are the basis for the test, so we make them the basis for instruction. We go back and look at the Microsoft textbook (a PDF we receive access to as part of the Microsoft Imagine Academy) and we also look through the other Academy materials. Then we look at the tasks in the GMetrix practice tests and the tasks they simulate.
Keep up the great work PCHS!