RICHMOND, Va. — Sept. 14, 2011 — Gov. Bob McDonnell and Microsoft Corp. today announced that Virginia is the third state in the nation to launch and implement the Microsoft IT Academy Program at all public high schools statewide. The Microsoft IT Academy provides students and teachers with real-world technology skills needed to thrive in the 21st century global economy. The partnership highlights Virginia leadership’s commitment to produce the most technology-savvy and literate workforce in the world. The adoption of the Microsoft IT Academy Program will help ensure equality of access to every high school across Virginia, regardless of location, size or economic status.
Speaking about the Microsoft IT Academy Program in Virginia, McDonnell said, “In today’s global economy, it is essential that our students are prepared for the skilled and technical jobs that are driving job growth today and will continue to be important economic drivers in the future. Since taking office, this administration has been looking at ways to provide more innovation in our classrooms and better prepare our students in the STEM subjects. The Microsoft IT Academy brings greater technology to the classroom and ensures that students in every corner of the Commonwealth have access to a quality technology education.”
The Microsoft IT Academy is a comprehensive program that supports ongoing technology education for students, teachers and other education professionals spanning computer basics to high-level programming, along with information and communications technology management. The program features access to online learning content, official Microsoft course materials, instructor resources and support materials, including lesson plans, software licenses, and professional, industry-recognized certifications. There are more than 10,000 Microsoft IT Academy members in over 160 countries.
“For nearly three decades, Microsoft has been committed to contributing to education reform by developing technology and programs that help improve teaching and learning,” said Sig Behrens, general manager for U.S. Education, Microsoft. “An important part of that commitment is helping students develop the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. We are excited to partner with Virginia to help ensure students graduate from high school with Microsoft skills and certifications that are widely recognized by employers and can give students an edge in today’s competitive job market.”
The deployment of the Microsoft IT Academy Program and teacher-readiness plan is being managed through the Virginia Department of Education. Phase I will begin with the following 30 high schools and nine regional career and technical education centers this fall, with the intent that all high schools participate by the end of the school year.
Arlington County — Technical Education and Career Center, Washington and Lee High, Wakefield High and Yorktown High
Buena Vista — Parry McCluer High
Carroll County — Carroll County High
Chesapeake — Chesapeake Center for Science and Technology
Chesterfield County — Chesterfield Technical Center and Lloyd C. Bird High
Cumberland County — Cumberland High
Danville — Galileo Magnet High
Fairfax County — Edison High, Marshall High and Westfield High
Frederick County — Sherando High
Halifax County — Halifax County High
Hampton — Phoebus High
Hanover County — Hanover High
Henrico County — Deep Run High
Henry County — Magna Vista High
Isle of Wight County and Suffolk — Pruden Center for Industry and Technology
Loudoun County — C.S. Monroe Technology Center
Lynchburg — E.C. Glass High
Norfolk — Norfolk Technical Center
Prince William County — Battlefield High and Forest Park High
Richmond — Richmond Technical Center and Thomas Jefferson High
Roanoke — Patrick Henry High
Roanoke County — Burton Center for Arts and Technology
Russell County — Castlewood High and Lebanon High
Stafford County — Brooke Point High and Colonial Forge High
Tazewell County — Richlands High
Virginia Beach — Advanced Technology Center, Landstown High and Ocean Lakes High
York County — Grafton High
Students are able to earn certification, such as the Microsoft Office Specialist, the Microsoft Technology Associate or Microsoft Certified Professional, by completing the Microsoft IT Academy coursework and passing industry-recognized certification exams, giving them skills employers seek. By spring 2012, the Virginia Department of Education is recommending that all high schools use the Microsoft IT Academy curriculum in various career and technical education courses, such as the computer information systems course sequences.
More information on Microsoft’s efforts in education is available at http://www.microsoft.com/education. Details on the Microsoft IT Academy program are available at http://www.microsoftitacademy.com.
More information from the State of Virginia is available at http://www.governor.virginia.gov.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.