With the start of school, we're reminded that reading, writing, and arithmetic are the foundations of basic skills-orientated education programs. But in the 21st century, there is a fourth component: information technology and digital literacy. And it's technology education that is at the center of the IT Academy Program and what makes today's announcement so exciting. 

Washington State Rolls Out Nation’s Largest Microsoft IT Academy Program

"Today, Microsoft and the State of Washington Office of Superintendent and Public Instruction (OSPI) announced that the Microsoft IT Academy will be available to all staff and students in public high schools, skills centers and tribal schools across Washington state. This deployment marks the largest statewide rollout of the Microsoft IT Academy program. Governor Bob McDonnell  of Virginia also announced a similar statewide rollout in furtherance of the state’s commitment to producing the most technology savvy and literate workforce in the world.

The Microsoft IT Academy will be available to over 300,000 Students and over 19,000 teachers  in over 700  public high schools, skills centers and tribal schools across Washington state, making the deployment the largest statewide Microsoft IT Academy program. By implementing the Microsoft IT Academy program, students in schools across Washington state and Virginia will have access to IT training and certification. Giving students this opportunity to develop IT skills has the potential to narrow the gap between the world of education and the world of work, while boosting the employability and global competitiveness of the future workforce.  Through the Microsoft IT Academy training, students can potentially earn college credits applicable in higher education or receive IT certification to enter the workforce better prepared for one of the most demanding fields in today’s economy.

Microsoft joined Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn in making the announcement during a press conference at Ingram High School in Seattle, WA. Governor Bob McDonnell announced the news in Virginia." 

Visit the Microsoft Learning Newsroom for details on today’s news and a video that provides perspectives from students and teachers who have participated in the joint Washington State and Microsoft IT Academy program.