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Highlands College Begins Microsoft IT Academy


Highlands College has developed a Microsoft Office IT Academy Program which will allow its students to obtain various industry-recognized credentials in addition to their academic degrees – all free of charge. This initiative was started through the leadership of Denise Elakovich, faculty member and Chair of the Department of General Studies at Highlands College.

“We utilized our Carl D. Perkins Grant monies to fund our Microsoft Office IT Academy,” said Ms. Elakovich. “It is our intention to offer our Microsoft Office IT Academy programs to both secondary and post-secondary students, faculty and staff, and our Big Sky Pathway partners – all free of charge.”

While the IT Academy is designed to offer numerous industry-recognized trainings and credentials in various Microsoft software areas, the Highlands College IT Academy is starting with the Microsoft Office software. Students will be able to earn three increasingly sophisticated industry credentials: Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Office Specialist Expert, and Microsoft Office Specialist Master.

 “We believe that these industry-recognized, technology credentials, with the imprimatur of Microsoft, could give our students the advantage in securing that first or next high-paying job,” said Dr. John M. Garic, Dean of Highlands College. “The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that more than 50% of today’s jobs require some degree of technology skills, and experts say that percentage will increase to 77% in the next decade.”

The Highlands College Microsoft IT Academy will help participants acquire skills on the latest technologies and further help them to become better collaborators, communicators, critical thinkers, innovators, problem solvers, and citizens of our global economy.

For any further information about the Highlands Microsoft IT Academy, please contact Mr. Brendan McDonough at 406-496-3737 or Dr. John M. Garic at 406-496-3714.