New Benefits and Enhancements to Microsoft IT Academy Program Provide Greater Resources and Value for Participating Schools

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 3, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a host of new features, including improved curriculum delivery, an internship program and discounts on certification exams, through the Microsoft® IT Academy Program, the global information technology training program for academic institutions to help their faculty and students achieve certification in Microsoft technologies and accelerate their entry into the work force or advancement of their current career.

“The goal of the Microsoft IT Academy Program is to help education leaders around the world drive employment and a knowledge-based economy that makes their countries more competitive,” said Gerri Elliott, corporate vice president of Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft. “These extensive improvements to the program make the Microsoft IT Academy Program of even greater value to academic institutions worldwide, allowing them to better stimulate interest in computer science at the secondary school and college levels and to more rapidly advance the development of technology skills in their communities.”

New Microsoft IT Academy Program features include the following:

  • e-learning solutions enable a blended learning experience, catering to a wide variety of learning styles through flexible instructional methods and technologies that provide a more efficient, economical learning environment.

  • Faculty and student mentoring provides guidance from real-world IT professionals to help answer questions and provide insight on the current issues and technologies IT professionals must address.

  • Internship program facilitates internship opportunities for qualified Microsoft IT Academy-enrolled students through relationships with local businesses.

  • Discounted exam pricing promotions lower the cost of Microsoft Certified Professional and Microsoft Office Specialist exams to help enable broader access to Microsoft IT Academy students.

In addition, Microsoft IT Academy Program membership at the Microsoft Office Specialist level will include online faculty training and online instructor resources, and the IT Pro Platinum level will include access to the Microsoft IT Academy Program portal and discounts on TechNet Plus, Microsoft Official Academic Courses and Microsoft Certified Trainer memberships.

Starting today, academic institutions can go to to register, or contact Certiport Inc. at to learn more about the program. When an institution becomes a member of the Microsoft IT Academy Program, it immediately gains a consistent instruction and certification framework that includes a coordinated curriculum, courseware, online collaboration tools, a faculty training program, and marketing materials that help elevate community recognition and attract students. Students gain experience in the latest technologies and access to a wider range of career options, while communities increase their pool of available technology workers.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to create a work force with relevant technology skills,” said Lynedon Van Ness, Microsoft IT Academy Program instructor at Leilehua High School in Wahiawa, Hawaii. “The quality of the Microsoft IT Academy Program online content allows my students to grasp concepts better, which motivates them to choose a career in and excel in information and communication technology (ICT). In addition, knowing that Microsoft IT Academy Program provides certified teachers and job placement support will further encourage students to stay in or go back to school, improve skills or pursue a career in ICT skills, which will really give them a leg up in the 21st-century work force.”

Students and others interested in taking Microsoft technology courses should go to to find a participating academic institution near them. There are Microsoft IT Academies in North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Microsoft has made a comprehensive commitment to helping individuals, communities and nations gain access to the technology tools, skills and innovation they need to meet the demands of the digital age. The company is committed to helping promote digital literacy and support programs that provide IT skills training and the benefits of technology to students, teachers and community learners around the world.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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