Having The Ability To Work On Professional Development In High School Helps Me To Also Work Towards My Future Life Goals
By Emma Soto, Stride Student Advisor
One of the many benefits of joining Stride Career Prep is the opportunity to earn certifications through your school, after completing certain classes. I was so fortunate as to earn five certificates in only two semesters. When I first joined Stride Career Prep, I had decided to make the switch from a Business pathway over to the Information & Communication Technologies pathway. However, I had heard that some of the Business classes, like Microsoft Office Specialist 1 & 2, provided the opportunity to take an exam and earn certifications.
After settling into my new pathway, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), I had reached out to my guidance counselor, asking if I could take the Microsoft classes as well, because I had wanted to learn how to use the different applications. I had struggled to understand how PowerPoint worked, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity!
In the first class, we used project-based learning, to practice Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. In team projects, we put together short presentations, or documents, to show an understanding of the various tools included in the apps. The only downside was that as a group, we would not have the opportunity to study for the Outlook exam. So, our group prepared for two exams only. We studied hard on a separate app called GMetrix, which mimicked the actual exam. We could practice racing against the time and learning to understand the questions, as they would be written during the proctored exam. And, I will certainly never forget the way these exams brought a group of students scattered across the state of California together.
Before the exams, all of the students helped each other with a comprehensive review. Then, one by one, we said goodbye to each other, as we were given the greenlight to start the exam. To start the exam process, we each had to exit the virtual classroom. But, what was especially poignant to me was the post-exam mood. After we finished the exam and got our scores, we rejoined the classroom. And, one by one, again we greeted each other. Whether it was congratulations or consolations, we were a group of friends there to support each other, and when needed, help each other. Some of us even showed up to the retests of our peers for moral support, which I thought was the sweetest thing.
Our second class had much of the same studying processes. Group projects, independent studies, and a consistent class schedule… with a passionate teacher, who taught and answered any questions that surfaced along the way. This time the studying was for the “harder” applications, mainly Excel and Access.
Excel was, by far, the most interesting to me, though I am most proud of my Access certification. As it turns out, the Access exam we would be taking was for an Expert Access Certification. I remember by this time in the school year, I had been running low on extra scheduling space to study and practice for the exams. So, with barely enough time to pull one last practice run before starting the test, I had thought I wouldn’t pass. My worries proved to be unnecessary, because I luckily scored high enough to earn my first Expert Certification!
Overall, during these two semesters in Stride Career Prep, I had achieved what my goal was for the entire two-year program… earning professional certifications, while still in high school.
To read more about attending an online school, be sure to check out What I Learned From Doing Online School For 10 Years.
Stride also has an article to help students new to online high school, so make sure you read 5 Tips For New Online High School Students, too!
And, be sure to check out the 2022 Graduates Speak About Their Online Education podcast.
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