High school students rarely get excited to use Microsoft Word or Power Point, but for more than 50 seniors at Northeast High School, their skills in the program are worth an entire celebration.
This Friday, the school will host a special assembly honoring the 57 students who will receive their national certification as Microsoft Office Specialists. This is the second year students underwent the 10-month program to achieve the certification.
“Whatever field the student plans to go into, this will be an asset they can add to their credential list on their resume,” said Dr. Charles Bolger, senior career teacher for the sports marketing small learning community who teaches the course.
“Eventually, you take your high school off of your resume as you gain more experience, but students will still keep this certification on there. It’s a lifetime credential,” he said. Having experience in business, Bolger said many businesses will look for general application knowledge such as this on a resume.
The course is offered to students in the school’s sports marketing SLC. About 90 percent of the students who took the course, which is taught through lectures and online, received their certification.
“I’ve been doing certification programs of this kind for many years, but it’s never been this successful,” Bolger said.
The course focuses mostly on teaching students skills with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Bolger uses learning and practice tool GMetrix, which provides lessons for skill-building with the programs.
He has 15 years of teaching at Northeast, but Bolger said teaching this program this year has been his favorite experience. He recounted a story a student told him about the student’s mother calling him to say he had mail, and it turned out to be his certificate.
“It was a tremendous experience for him and his family,” Bolger said.
The certified students include eight receiving double certifications, one receiving triple certifications and one student graduating with quadruple certifications in Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. Students were able to take their certification test right at the school due to its authorization as a Certiport Testing Center.
The certification can be used as college credits at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr.
Bolger said the program can be stressful for the students, and he admired their stress management and ability to learn the material. His inspiration manifested in a song he wrote for this students called “I’m Inspired By You.” It can be listened to at itunes.apple.com/album/1455881693?app=itunes&ls=1.