Introduction to Newswriting Student Earns 1,000th MOS Certification

CCPA students
Introduction to Newswriting students taking their MOS certification practice test.

Last spring, Sandra Duhé, Chair of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs (CCPA) reached out to OIT to learn how they could incorporate the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications in the classroom. As a result, two CCPA courses are requiring their students to get MOS certified this semester.

During last week’s testing, CCPA student and Senior, Matthew Brink, received the University’s 1,000th Microsoft Office Specialist Certification since the program’s inception.

Matthew is a student in Introduction to Newswriting (CCPA 2308). This class is designed to help students understand the working roles of a journalist and publicist/social media representative.  Each class also has a client internship where students analyze the company’s respective media plan.

Matthew Brink
Matthew Brink with his recent MOS Certification.

During the semester, students will be required to earn both Word and PowerPoint certifications. The semester kicked off with an introductory session by IT Training & Communications on how to access all the practice materials and work through the process to get certified. Matthew explained, “I really enjoyed the whole experience! I felt very well prepared and feel as if this will provide a meaningful contribution to my major!”

Chris Coats, Adjunct Professor shared, “Building marketable skills and real-life work experience is critical in giving our students a competitive edge. This certification proves just as important as their class internship experience in learning then highlighting valuable skills that market our students’ abilities even further with prospective employers, on resumes, and on networking tools like LinkedIn. The value of these certifications is priceless. I can already see the results – empowered students!”

For more information on how to participate in the Microsoft certification program, visit or contact IT Training at 214.768.1824 or

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is the IT Communications Specialist and Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He started at SMU in 1996 and, for much of his career at the University, had managed the SMU STAR Program before joining the Training & Communications Team in 2015. In his free time, Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family. You can see examples of when the two collide at