If you haven’t taken advantage of SMU’s Microsoft Office Pilot Program, it may be time to take a closer look! Last year, OIT announced a one-year pilot program to gauge interest in Certiport’s Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications. During the pilot, Microsoft Office Specialist exam certifications in Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word have been offered for free to current SMU students, faculty, and staff. This industry-standard certification validates technical skills and speaks volumes to prospective employers. SMU students have quickly recognized this value as many who took this as a requirement for a course are returning to the labs to complete additional certifications.
The pilot was initially scheduled to conclude at the end of August allowing time for OIT to gauge interest from the University. We are pleased to announce that we will continue to offer Microsoft Office Specialist certifications through the 2018-2019 academic year. “When we first met to discuss our goals for the certification pilot program we were aiming for 250 certifications and ended up issuing twice as many. It’s exciting to partner with faculty and support them by leveraging prep materials and certification exams so they can focus on their core content while utilizing these resources for application instruction,” stated Rachel Mulry, OIT’s Executive Director for Customer Service. In total, 503 certifications were issued in the first year of the pilot program.
Of SMU’s eight colleges, six of them had both undergraduate and graduate representation. SMU student Maddie Nerard shared, “I had an interview with a company that asked specifically about my familiarity with Excel. They weren’t familiar with this certification process, but after explaining the process and testing, they were clearly impressed. I landed the internship at a large production studio…and feel more confident going into it with this skillset. I’m very thankful for the opportunity and push to get certified at SMU.” Maddie’s success along with OIT’s journey in having a successful program launch was featured at CERTIFIED, Certiport’s annual certification conference for educators. In addition, 20 staff members and one faculty member from nine departments on campus received one or more Microsoft Office certifications.
Currently, SMU has a 92% pass rate as OIT has purchased supplemental exam prep materials for certification candidates. For more information on how to obtain a Microsoft Office certification, visit smu.edu/mos.