SMU’s Microsoft Office Certification pilot program, which was announced late September, has proved to be quite successful in a short period. In approximately ten weeks, 88 participants achieved 93 Microsoft Office Specialist certifications. Although December exams are still in flight, over 160 certifications have been issued to date with Microsoft Excel comprising 75% of the exams completed through November.
“I’m so excited to be overseeing this pilot program,” stated Laurene Klassen, manager of the IT Training & Communications team. “One of my greatest rewards this semester was to train a student in Excel before the program launch and then see her sit for the certification exam. When I met this student, she didn’t even realize that Excel was not on her computer. It’s not uncommon for a student to think that Numbers for Mac is the same as Microsoft Excel,” explained Laurene. While both programs have similar features, there are many key differences in the type of calculations the programs can handle. “This student had no familiarity with Excel and was planning on majoring in Business. It was great to see her build her skill-set in just a couple of months’ time. Now, she has an industry standard certification she can put on her resume and is more prepared for her studies in the business school.”
During the semester, the IT Training team has also worked closely with Cox School of Business Professor Allen Gwinn who heavily promoted Excel certifications during class. To date, over 85% of his class has achieved the Microsoft Office Excel Specialist certification with several students already studying for other Office certification exams.
Certification exams are held in Fondren Library East room 109 every Friday and at various times throughout the week. Additional testing times will be scheduled throughout January to accommodate those who want to study during the winter break. Visit smu.edu/mos for more information on the pilot program.