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Georgia Career Pathways: How To Meet Business & Technology Standards

"With AES we were able to get more MOS certifications this year than we did last year. We were number one in the state for most certifications... our students have been doing really awesome.

We also had the most Master Level certifications in the state. We were able to have students achieve a master in both suites. We are the only ones in the state to get Masters in both."

Do you want a fresh approach to addressing Georgia Career Pathways in your introduction to business and computer applications courses? At Shaw High School in Muscogee County, Lakesha Kirkland is meeting these standards and helping her students to succeed.

Following Georgia pathways and industry certification preparation are very important in her district. That is why Lakesha needed to find a resource that met both of those goals for her classroom.

Business&ITCenter21 has been a successful resource for Lakesha and others in Muscogee County. Not only does it meet her standards, it has also increased Microsoft Office Specialist certification pass rates. How are the students doing? In 2014, Shaw High School was number one in the state for most MOS certifications.

Overcoming Scheduling and Staffing Changes at Shaw High School

Introductory courses tend to be fairly high volume. And that’s certainly the case for Kirkland with six sections of 28 students each. Added to the challenge posed by pure numbers, Kirkland is facing a switch from block periods to the more traditional standard class periods. The switch allowed the school to manage the same number of students with fewer teachers.

“Students are only in here for 50 minutes, that’s going to be challenging. Although scheduling will be challenging, our administration is very supportive of our efforts in preparing students for MOS certifications so we will still be able to ensure student success in testing for these certifications. It has such a tremendous effect on students and teachers when you know that your principal is proud of our students’ accomplishments.

Mr. Michael Barden, does whatever he can to ensure all students at Shaw High School leave with as many tools as necessary to be productive citizens upon graduation. Also our district is very supportive of MOS certifications. They purchase software to help with student success in training and testing for the Microsoft Office Specialist certifications.

Currently our district is looking to purchase a district license for the Business&ITCenter21 so all of our teachers are able to utilize the tools within this software. Without such a supportive administrative team as well as the support from our Georgia Department of Education, our students would not have these opportunities.“

Meeting Employabilty Standards with Business&ITCenter21

Georgia has an intentional focus on employability standards. And so in each of Kirkland’s classes, there’s a common thread that supports that employability standard:

“I was able to use Business&ITCenter21 for that standard. I use the Professionalism module and the Job Seeking Skills module specifically to cover that standard. Students really enjoyed those two modules in that light. Then there are some entrepreneurship and financial literacy topics. There are some other things I can use in Business&ITCenter21. In the Business Technology class we were able to use the Access and Excel modules. The Word modules, I actually use that in all the classes.”

Preparing Students for Microsoft Office Certification Exams

When asked about preparing her students for certifications, Kirkland was ready to answer!

“I’m glad you asked about certifications because we were number one in the state for most certifications. Our kids have been doing really awesome here at Shaw.

Last year was my first year using Business&ITCenter21. We were able to get more certifications this year than we did last year. We also had the most Master Level certifications in the state. We were able to have students achieve a master in both suites. We are the only ones in the state to get Masters in both.”

We asked Lakesha why those certifications are so important for students in the state of Georgia. Here’s how she explained it:

“Here in Columbus, we have a lot of businesses that are looking for employees to have Microsoft Office certifications. One of my students interned at Aflac and they requested to see his transcript for his certifications. We also have one of the largest credit card processing centers here. They do billions of dollars of business here. They do all the Visa, MasterCard, and Wells Fargo transactions here, and they want their employees to have those certifications as well. So I want to ensure my students are leaving with essential tools as they are entering the workforce.

It is really important for our students to have those certifications so they can be competitive when they go out. Those companies are sending back some of the adults to get these skills, and some of them are really struggling with obtaining the certifications that my students are breezing through.

For our students, having those certifications gives them a leg up. I know some of the other states are doing the certifications, too. And we want to make sure that are students are competitive with those others as well.”

How Does Lakesha Kirkland Use the eLearning Curriculum?

Kirkland shared a bit about how she uses Business&ITCenter21 in her classroom… everyone does it a little differently. She requires students to get an 80% average or higher on a quiz to move forward.

“I don’t accept anything below an 80 because there’s no reason for you to make less than that at the end. Either you didn’t grab the concepts or you weren’t listening. There’s a PowerPoint that goes with it, so you weren’t listening to me either when I was sharing the information in class and going over the handouts.”

Students are able to work at their own speed. Kirkland does an introduction and gives them some things to look for while doing the module in the system. She also shows them some new things in the software. Then, students sign on and start working through the module. At the end, Kirkland does a review with the class and then they take the test. They get just one try on the tests.

How Does Business&ITCenter21 Help a Teacher?

Of course resources that are worth the investment have to not only help students learn, but also make it worthwhile for the teacher. Kirkland describes how Business&ITCenter21 helps her:

“It is able to grade the tests for students. It shows me which students mastered concepts and which students need more help. That allows me to plan teaching as needed to work with those students more one on one.”

Do you need help meeting standards and preparing your students for MOS Certification?
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