Desoto County NewsMississippi News

Northwest students in top 10 at Microsoft Office Specialist MS Word State Championship Spring Qualifier

Credit: Northwest Mississippi Community College

The winners of the 2024 Spring Qualifier Microsoft Office Specialist Mississippi State Championship have been announced by Certiport, the leading provider of performance-based IT certification exams that accelerate academic and career opportunities for learners.

Six students from Northwest earned Top 10 accolades in the Microsoft Office Specialist Word (Microsoft 365 Apps) category:

  • Selena Youngblood, 1st place
  • Dalton Buford, 2nd place
  • Kaylee Owens 4th place
  • Amaya Hoskins 6th place
  • Sommer Tyes 8th place
  • Abraizia Dorrough 10th place

These students competed against students from across Mississippi to earn this coveted placement. Due to their outstanding performance, Northwest was designated as a Champion of Excellence.

This past Spring, Brittney Smith and Sandra Smith, instructors in the Academic Business department, piloted the certification course within their Computer Applications classes. This pilot focused on Microsoft Office skills, but specifically on Microsoft Word certification. Students took the certification exam and over 90% of students passed the first round of testing! Both instructors were recognized as Outstanding Educators by the Certiport Exam team.

To compete in the Spring Qualifier, students aged 13 to 22 were eligible to participate in one of six competition tracks by submitting a qualified, passing score on the Microsoft Office Specialist Word, Excel, or PowerPoint certification exams by May 3.

“We have seen amazing results from the Microsoft Office Specialist program at our school as students learn and validate key workforce skills,” said Brittney and Sandra. “The Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship further motivates them to earn certification and we are proud of these students who have proven to be the best in our state. We know they will go on to make us proud at the U.S. National Championship in June.”

Selena Youngblood will get to represent Mississippi at the upcoming 2024 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship in Orlando, Florida. During this event, they will compete in their exam track, network with other top students from around the United States and be celebrated. One winner per track will be named the U.S. National Champion and earn a trip to represent the United States and compete in the 2024 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship in Anaheim, California.

“We’re impressed by these students – not only have they proven they are the best in their state at using Microsoft Office products effectively. They now have an important distinction to place on their resume that shows a desire to learn and validate in-demand skills,” said Craig Bushman, General Manager, Certiport. “The title ‘Microsoft Office Specialist Champion’ will serve them well in their academic and career pursuits.”