Since the launch of Microsoft learning and certification programs a little more than 20 years ago, millions of students have learned new technical skills and earned industry credentials, from Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) to Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) to Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). These students have used their credentials to enhance entry-level prospects, embark on and advance careers, and boost college prospects. The program has become a proven model for students and graduates.
But what about the value of a globally recognized certification for educators? Indeed, it's an area that Microsoft has focused considerable attention. Our global partnership with UNESCO has led to design and creation of an industry-recognized technology in education certification for teachers: the Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE).
The MCE credential is uniquely designed for educators. It's a robust, industry certification aligned to a global education standard: the UNESCO global educator technology literacy competencies.
With this alignment, the MCE credential helps educators stand out among peers and potentially earn university credit. The credential can help schools around the globe distinguish themselves in their communities through the quality and qualifications of their staff and faculty.
The MCE certification is not about learning a particular technology or Microsoft skill. Rather, it's about providing a holistic focus on technology for educators, allowing them to demonstrate their understanding and proficiency with infusing technology into the teaching and learning process.
The content and certification of MCE is also intentionally targeted beyond educators who are teaching traditionally technical subject areas. Whether you're teaching social studies, science, business or any number of subjects and age groups, the objectives of the MCE credential and the accompanying Teaching with Technology (TwT) curriculum are applicable. Subject areas assessed on the exam include the following:
Curriculum & Assessment
Organization & Administration
Preparing for the MCE
The recommended certification preparation process starts with an online, self-assessment that identifies strengths as well as gaps, helping to better target learning and studies for the exam. Once you have completed your self-assessment, you can pursue the online, e-learning course comprised of six modules that map to the exam objectives and provide proper preparation for the exam. The MCE course prep content is available on the Microsoft Educator community and in the IT Academy portal for educators at ITA member institutions.
What educators are saying
Educators and administrators value the ease of access and the approach to attaining a globally recognized certification. "Microsoft Certified Educator complements our professional development program as it is based on the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework and uses scenarios that deal with the integration of ICT and development of 21st century skills in the classroom," says Miriam O'Donoghue, with the Curriculum Development Unit for the City of Dublin, Ireland.
One clear benefit of the MCE for educators is credibility. According to Tammy Dunbar, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) in the US, "Having the MCE certification enhances my credibility and proves the reliability of the information I am sharing with my fellow educators when I present at conferences and conduct trainings."
Other educators note that the MCE helps them stand out in a crowded education community. "Gaining the MCE qualification validates the information I am sharing with my colleagues, gives credibility to me as an educator, and is a great addition to my curriculum vitae (CV)," says Rachel Chisnall, an educator and MIE Expert at Taieri College in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Just as important, the MCE enhances the classroom experience educators are able to provide students. "I had recently taken the MCE exam and I wish to say that it gives a thorough insight on modern teaching pedagogies," says Srinivasan Sriram, a recent MCE holder and MIE Expert at Mayo College in Ajmer, India. "It was fun to take the exam as it was situation-based and therefore how you would react to a particular challenge is well-documented. It is a good step to evaluate yourself as an educator and a yardstick as to how much of modern teaching and learning strategies you adopt in your classroom."
A path to college credit
Another unique aspect of MCE is the opportunity for in-service teachers to be eligible for university-level academic credit. Through a partnership with Microsoft and Lamar University, educators from around the globe are able to apply their completion of the online prep course and attainment of the MCE credential for credits in the graduate school at Lamar University.
This partnership is designed to advance technology literacy for educators worldwide, while simultaneously providing a pathway to post-graduate certificate programs or a graduate degree in Digital Learning and Leading. To learn more about the opportunity to earn credit for MCE certification, visit the Lamar University College of Education and Human Development.
You can start preparing for the MCE exam by accessing Teaching with Technology (TwT) curriculum online at the Microsoft Educator community. Preparation time varies, but on average you should plan for about 15-20 hours of study in the online content, tutorials and assessments to adequately cover the material and prepare for the MCE exam itself. In many cases, you can also earn clock hours or continuing education units, as well as badges, for completing the online learning. Once you're ready to sit for the exam, find a test center in regions around the world at the Test Center Locator tool.
Microsoft is very interested in success stories from educators and learning about ways earning certification has made an impact for teaching and learning. Join the discussion thread topic posted for Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) in the Microsoft Educator Community to post your own results and insights with others in the global community about the MCE certification. Share your stories today: https://education.microsoft.com/Communities.