For Immediate Release – September 14, 2011
Office of the Governor
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Virginia Department of Education
Contact: Charles B. Pyle
Phone: (804) 371-2420
RICHMOND – Governor 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, Governor 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 – science, technology, engineering and math. 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.
Sig Behrens, general manager for US Education, Microsoft Corp., commented, "For nearly three decades, Microsoft has been committed to contributing to education reform by developing technology and programs that help improve teaching and learning. 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
- 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
- Suffolk – Pruden Center for Industry and Technology (operated jointly with Isle of Wight County)
- 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.