As any educator can attest, time flies when you're heads down in the academic year.

Just three (short) academic years ago, Microsoft and the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction piloted the first-ever statewide Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) program. The year prior to that, twenty one students and teachers across three school districts achieved Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification. By the end of the first academic year--with high schools across the state enrolled in the ITA program--the number jumped to 8,794 certifications earned by students.  

This month, near the end of the program's third year, I am thrilled to share with you that North Carolina teachers and students are rapidly approaching 100,000 certifications in Microsoft technologies.  

We’ve had the opportunity to share some of the great individual success stories that are contributing to this milestone, and look forward to sharing more news as the state continues to prepare the next generation for technology-focused careers. Hats off to you North Carolina!

This week, North Carolina's PBS affiliate UNC-TV profiled the state's IT Academy program, providing insight into the approach and results at Green Hope High School.  Watch the segment on the UNC-TV website. 

Watch Tuesday, May 21, 2013 on PBS. See more from NC Now.

Learn more about North Carolina's IT Academy program: