Soldotna Prep student Sarina Wilkinson is almost a certified Microsoft Office Expert. Since starting her first year of high school this fall, she’s completed five out of the six certification courses.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District became a Microsoft Certification Testing Center two years ago, and as of this week the district has certified 243 students and teachers through the district’s distance learning program.
Students can earn up to six certifications through the program. Wilkinson has been certified in MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Outlook and MS Word Expert. She’s one test away from become a Microsoft Office Specialist Master. The trainings have allowed her to earn two high school credits and 12 college credits from University of Alaska Anchorage.
“I figured the programs would help me for when I want to go to college and get a job,” Wilkinson said. “I liked the classes and working at my own pace.”
She said the trainings have helped her in her schoolwork.
“I use it when I make power points for classes and type up essays for language arts,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson’s last test focuses on the most difficult parts of Microsoft Excel, and requires her to memorize several formulas.
“It’s a lot harder than the other tests,” she said.
Every high school student in the district is eligible for the trainings.
Emerald Miller, a Connections student in Homer, has earned her Microsoft Office Specialist Master certificate. She worked on the courses her junior and senior year.
“I love the opportunity that kids — no matter where they’re at, no matter what school they go to — have the same opportunities,” Darren Jones, distance learning technology teacher for the district, said. “I love the fact that kids get to work at their own pace.”