The Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid favours the Microsoft IT Academy to provide the IT students at CUESA (the University Centre of Applied Social Studies) with the focused and effective training they
need to help them access the job market. The centre has also selected the Teaching with Technology curriculum, which is included in the IT Academy Program, to train future teachers. Thus, the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at the RJC University within
its Education courses is pioneering in offering these specific modules that will reach some 1,600 students, and include online training.
Needs of the centre
The University Centre of Applied Social Studies (CUESA) began nine years ago as a Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid centre with one key objective: to offer practical training courses in IT, personal and management skills, etc. offering applied teaching
that gives students training specific to the job market. “We often found that students recently graduated in Business administration, for instance, had never seen a delivery note or didn't know how to use an accounting program," explains Santiago Leguey, director
After investigating the type of training that would best adapt to the job needs of their students, the centre directors concluded at the end of 2008 that the best option was the Microsoft IT Academy Program. “It was clear to us that we needed specific courses
to support the training we were giving the students. We looked for IT certifications, and very soon we took on the Microsoft IT Academy Program. We saw that these courses were not excessively technical for the students and that they fit perfectly with their
needs”, he says.
In the 2009-2010 course year the centre ran a pilot test of some 450 students of IT subjects, that are part of the University's required curriculum in non-technical degrees. “The result was tremendously satisfactory given that, being a very interactive method,
the students realise that they learn day by day. When they begin studying IT, they all think they know how Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point work, but when you ask them to perform a concrete task they see that they have a lot to learn”, explains Leguey.
||I have no doubt that gaining Microsoft certification differentiates our students when it comes to finding a job
| Santiago Leguey
Director of CUESA
Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid
Given the categorical success that CUESA cites at higher than 90%, next course year it will implement MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certifications with a total of 70 groups, largely related to Law and Social Sciences. “In total, 2,500 students are going
to benefit from the Microsoft certifications”, he says. There will be certifications for Microsoft Office, with Excel and Word those with the highest demand followed by Power Point and Access.
“Our idea is, within the required curriculum, to explain to our students the importance of knowing Microsoft office applications, gaining one of the Office Specialist certifications and, over the course of the qualification process, they end up earning their
free choice credits and obtaining the certificate for the Microsoft Office Specialist Master”, he says.
For the director of CUESA, there is no doubt that one of the main benefits to be gained from Microsoft certifications is a competitive advantage for the students in gaining employment. “I have no doubt that earning a Microsoft certification will differentiate
a student over another person with the same degree but without these skills when they look for a job”, says Leguey. “Our expectations are very high, above all, because we keep in mind that the data confirms that at least 40% of the students who gain this certification
claim that it has been particularly useful to them to find and keep a job and get promoted”, concludes the director of CUESA.
IT Academy for educators
The Directors of Education at the RJC University are also supporting the implementation of Microsoft IT Academy, specifically the Teaching with Technology curriculum, online training aimed at the professional development of future educators, developed on
the basis of the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT-CFT). “At the end of last May, Microsoft gave a seminar which was a practical demonstration of the use of ICT tools and resources for education from which our students could benefit. Last,
we chose the Teaching with Technology e-learning courses in combination with practical sessions on tools and resources”, explains Piedad Tolmos, Coordinator of the RJC University Faculty of Education degree in Early Childhood Education.
The experience was highly satisfactory. Therefore, next year it will repeat the IT Academy training course and this time will include online students. “Our purpose is to offer the distance students the possibility to earn the required credits through the
complete Teaching with Technology course for teachers. They will be the main beneficiaries of the IT Academy modules. It has a twofold objective for them: to earn credits and, also, gain a diploma that adds value to their curricula”, he says.
A total of 1,600 students, between classroom and online students, whether in the Early Education and the Primary School Degrees, the Master for Training Secondary school teachers or Language Teachers, can benefit from this program which includes tools and
resources for future educators to gain the technical skills and experience they need to be able to gain employment. “This training is especially useful for them keeping in mind that in conventional training there is only one subject throughout the entire degree
program on ICTs applied to education. In addition, it is now essential with the growing implementation of technology in schools", Tolmos notes.
The specific training course that Microsoft offers educators (Teaching with Technology) is a response to the document published last November by UNESCO which makes a series of recommendations on the ICT skills set that teachers should have. “This type of
training is especially valuable for all those students who want to become teachers quickly. Also, it determines whether they will get a job over another student who doesn't have these skills”, he concludes.
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.