Louisiana Launches Microsoft IT Academy to Equip Students With 21st Century Skills for Success

Aug 22, 2012, 09:00 ET from Louisiana Department of Education

BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- State Superintendent, John White, in collaboration with Microsoft Corp., today announced that Louisiana is the fifth state in the nation to launch and implement the Microsoft IT Academy Program at all public high schools statewide. The Microsoft IT Academy Program provides students and teachers with real-world technology skills needed to thrive in the 21st century global economy. This announcement highlights Louisiana leadership's commitment to produce the most technology-savvy and literate workforce in the world. The adoption of the Microsoft IT Academy Program will help ensure equality of access to every public high school student across Louisiana, regardless of location, size or economic status.

"We must believe our students can achieve great things, but they need access to the right technology to do so. A student's success should not be determined by their zip code or their family's income level," said White. "As the needs of a 21st century workplace evolve, we need to ensure our students have the knowledge and skills necessary to compete from day one in a more global and technologically-based workforce."

The Microsoft IT Academy Program is a comprehensive program that supports ongoing technology education for students, teachers and other education professionals spanning computer basics to high-level programming, along with information and communications technology management. The program features access to online learning content, official Microsoft course materials, instructor resources and support materials, including lesson plans, software licenses, and professional, industry-recognized certifications. There are more than 10,000 Microsoft IT Academy Program members in over 160 countries.

"For nearly three decades, Microsoft has been committed to contributing to education reform by developing technology and programs that help improve teaching and learning," said Sig Behrens, general manager for U.S. Education at Microsoft. "An important part of that commitment is helping students develop the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. We are excited to work with Louisiana to help ensure students graduate from high school with Microsoft skills and certifications that are widely recognized by employers and can give students an edge in today's competitive job market."

The deployment of the Microsoft IT Academy Program and teacher-readiness plan is being managed through the Louisiana Department of Education. Phase I will begin with the following 21 districts across the state this fall, with the intent that all high schools participate by the end of the fall semester.

  • Ascension Parish
  • Caddo Parish
  • Calcasieu Parish
  • City of Bogalusa Schools
  • City of Monroe Schools
  • East Baton Rouge Parish
  • East Carroll Parish
  • Evangeline Parish
  • Jefferson Parish
  • Lincoln Parish
  • Pointe Coupee Parish
  • Richland Parish
  • St. Bernard Parish
  • St. Martin Parish
  • St. Mary Parish
  • St. Tammany Parish
  • Tangipahoa Parish
  • Vernon Parish
  • Webster Parish
  • West Carroll Parish
  • Winn Parish

Students are able to earn certifications, such as Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate or Microsoft Certified Professional, by completing the Microsoft IT Academy Program coursework and passing industry-recognized certification exams, giving them skills employers seek. By spring 2013, the Louisiana Department of Education will have provided all public high schools access to the Microsoft IT Academy Program curriculum in various career and technical education courses, such as the computer information systems course sequences.

More information on Microsoft's efforts in education is available at http://www.microsoft.com/education. Details on the Microsoft IT Academy Program are available at http://www.microsoftitacademy.com.

For more information regarding the Louisiana Department of Education and its implementation of the Microsoft IT Academy Program, visit www.louisianaschools.net or contact Mr. Barry Landry at barry.landry@la.gov or 1-877-453-2721.

SOURCE Louisiana Department of Education