Being an Illinois native, I was excited to return to Chicago for the last week of April to join exceptional students and advisors from BPA at their National Leadership Conference (NLC). These students (and their unbelievably dedicated advisors) have been preparing throughout the year and competing at regional and state events to earn a spot to contend for the national awards at NLC.
In part, I attended NLC 2012 to present to BPA advisors about how to find funding to add certifications their CTE programs and why including certifications like MOS, MTA, IC3 and others will help students in their career, college, and high school academic pursuits.
Many asked for a copy of my slides to help justify their investment in certification programs or to share with their peers. If you want to take a look at them, I have included the links below.
How and Why to Offer Certs in the Classroom
Finding Funds for CTE & Student Credentials
Fellow Certiportians, Josh Sommer and Kim Richins joined me at NLC to administer our onsite certification lab, which provided BPA students and advisors the chance to compete in a national MTA and MOS competition. With the help of excellent volunteers like Diana Weber (pictured with Josh and Kim below), we provided 677 Microsoft MOS & MTA exams with hundreds of students passing. The best part about testing events is seeing teachers and students alight with the excitement of just passing an industry certification and then overhearing them brag to their peers about it (Teachers brag just as much as students).
During the Awards ceremony on Saturday night, we crowned three BPA National Champions in Microsoft Office, that all received a guaranteed place to compete in the WorldWide Competition on Microsoft Office and a $500 travel stipend from BPA.
The crowd erupted as we announced Corey Williams (MOS Word 2010), Nick Cousino (MOS Excel 2010), and Jacob Blacksten (PowerPoint 2010) as this year’s BPA National Champions in Microsoft Office. We’ll see them at the Bellagio in July!
Other students took home Xbox 360’s, Bose AE2 Headphones, and Kindle Touches as prizes for their performance on Microsoft Office Specialist exams.
As much as I enjoyed meeting with and presenting to the advisors throughout the conference, I must admit that I enjoyed recognizing and awarding these students for their hard work more than anything else in Chicago.
I look forward to another great year in partnership with BPA, and wish our three WWC competitors the best of luck as they prepare to compete in Las Vegas.