Washington State Library Microsoft IT Academy
Through a partnership with Microsoft, the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, received funding from the legislature to offer the Microsoft IT Academy to community and technical college libraries, public libraries, and tribal libraries at no cost during the current biennium (July 2013 through June 2015). Funds from the legislature pay for the non-discounted portion and Microsoft has discounted the remaining cost of these courses by approximately 90%. Funding from the legislature will also cover the cost for the Washington State Library to partner with both libraries and Microsoft in the project.
Interactive map of participants
The Washington Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) will provide the people of Washington access without charge to a wide range of Microsoft online courses and learning resources through their local public, community college, or tribal libraries.
The IT Academy will also be available through the Washington State Library institutional branches. It is currently available through school districts, a project administered by the Office of Public Instruction. Course certification is also available but will need to be done by those taking the courses.
The ubiquity of libraries throughout the state, estimated at 472 outlets, and the recognized nature of libraries to connect to their communities to improve the lives of citizens, brings credence to this project model. The Washington State Library is a leader and facilitator among the library community and has decades of experience in managing statewide projects.
- In addition to offering the Microsoft IT Academy to their patrons, each participating location will receive up to 50 licenses for a current version of Microsoft Office (currently MS Office 2010 or MS Office 2013). If participating libraries cannot use all 50 licenses on their library computers, there may be an opportunity to share the licenses with other branches which have more than 50 computers and/or between libraries. More on this as information is available.
- The Washington State Library is in the process of obtaining a project manager to support participating libraries. This person will work closely with IT Academy staff to implement the program. They can help link libraries to resources, answer basic questions, refer library staff to IT Academy staff when needed, and troubleshoot if things aren't working as expected. We hope this additional point of contact will smooth the process as we move forward.
From the Microsoft IT Academy Website
Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) program provides industry-leading technology skills to help bridge the skills gap. With Microsoft IT Academy institutions get digital curriculum and certifications on fundamental technology skills—as well as courses critical for students to be successful in today's technologically evolving world—all at significantly reduced pricing for academic institutions and their educators, students, and staff.
- For Educators and staff: Professional development, a full curriculum for teaching technology courses, and learning tools.
- For Students: Technology skills and certifications to be college and career ready for today's technology-centered job market.
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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).