Integrating Certifications into Your CTE Curriculum
There's nothing quite as impressive as being a high school student who already has professional certifications after his or her name. Not only do these credentials look good for potential employers and college recruiters, but they also allow you, the CTE educator, to assess your students' performance and see how they measure up against industry standards.
"Certifications allow us to see if students know programs like Microsoft Word from top to bottom, and provide an industry standard that we can measure against," says Erik Amerikaner, computer technology instructor at Oak Park High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Amerikaner, who implemented a Microsoft Office Specialist certification program at the school in 2009, has seen the benefits of helping to certify over 300 students at Oak Park, and at his previous school.
"Students are expected to graduate from high school with basic computer proficiency, and the Microsoft Office Specialist certification proves that," says Amerikaner. "Colleges are accepting certifications as proof that someone has a strong computer education foundation, and that he or she doesn't need a beginning computer class."
If you're considering certifications for your school's technology curriculum, here are three to check out: