Middle-schoolers earn national certification, college credits in first year of IT program

CareerSource North Central Florida is a proud supporter of CAPE career academies in our community. CareerSource NCFL staff served on the Howard Bishop Middle School CAPE Information Technology Career Academy advisory council and helped in securing employer letters of support during the grant process. In 2012, Bradford Middle School was one of 15 schools selected for Phase I of the CAPE IT Career Academy Technical Assistance Project.

Learn more about the program:
Workforce of Tomorrow: Gainesville middle school is second in FloridaWorks region to start IT Career Academy

Middle School IT Career Academy Technical Assistance Project


For more information, contact: For Immediate Release
Nancy Iafrate//955-7631 June 9, 2014

Middle-schoolers earn national certification, college credits in first year of IT program

Local middle school students have now earned nearly 350 industry certifications related to information technology (IT) following the first year of operation for the new CAPE Information Technology Career Academy at Howard Bishop Middle School.

The academy is one of 25 established in middle schools throughout Florida thanks to a grant from CareerSource Florida and implemented by The Whetstone Group, a company specializing in workforce development. The creation of the academies was also supported by a variety of industry partners locally and statewide, including Grooveshark, InfoTech, GRU, the Council for Economic Outreach, Intermed, the Institute for Workforce Information, and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The goal is to train our students for certification in high-demand jobs,” said Nancy Iafrate with the district’s Career and Technical Education Office. “The state is looking to establish a sustainable supply of people with the IT skills that will be needed in the future.”

Students in the program at Howard Bishop have been working toward and successfully earning Microsoft Office certifications in Word, Excel and PowerPoint and Adobe certifications in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, and Dreamweaver. These national certifications are recognized by industry partners throughout the world.

A total of 343 industry certifications were earned this year by the 213 students in the Howard Bishop IT Academy program. All of the program’s 8th-graders earned at least one certification, more than two-thirds of the 7th-graders earned at least one certification and 65% of the 6th-graders earned at least one certification.

Under an articulation agreement with Santa Fe College, students who have earned a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification (which means they have passed Word, Excel and PowerPoint certifications) can earn 3 college credits in SFC’s Microsoft Office Applications course. This course may also be transferable to other colleges. Twenty-three of Howard Bishop’s students have already earned those credits.

Download the press release.