Did you know that you can earn up to 6 college credits just by taking Microsoft Certificate Exams?
The American Council on Education is the organization that makes it possible. According to their website, the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT®) was established in 1974 to connect workplace learning with colleges and universities by helping students gain access to academic credit for formal training taken outside traditional degree programs. With over 35,000 programs reviewed, CREDIT is the national leader in the evaluation process for education and training obtained outside the classroom including courses, exams, apprenticeships, and other types of nontraditional forms of training.
There are three main steps involved in earning college credit for your certifications.
Step 1: Research Your School
The first step in earning college credit for your certifications is to contact your school's admissions department. You will need to find out whether or not the school adheres to the American Council on Education’s recommendations for providing college credit to those who have earned Microsoft certifications. The ACE has a list of schools who recognize their recommendations here.
Step 2: Determine Whether or Not Your Certification Qualifies
Search for your certification or test here to see if it qualifies. If so, you will need to determine whether or not the certifications that you have earned are eligible under the school’s program.
The college credit recommended for each exam varies depending on difficulty and topic. Remember that this is just a recommendation, and you will need to double check with your college or university for confirmation.
Step 3: Submit a Transcript
The third step in earning college credit for your certifications is to submit a transcript to your school. In order to provide the transcript that your school requires, you will have to enroll in the American Council on Education’s transcript service.
After you have registered with the transcript service, browse the American Council on Education course catalog and add the exams that you have passed to the course list. As you do, you will have to provide the date on which you received each certification.
After the American Council on Education has verified your certifications, use the American Council on Education website to submit a transcript request. There is a $20 fee that is charged for setting up your transcript account and that fee includes one transcript. If you decide later to submit transcripts to other schools, there is a $15 fee for each transcript.
Preparing for Certification
There are many online resources available to help prepare you for a Microsoft certification exam. However, these resources may not be accurate or thorough. If you want to make sure you receive all of the training and practice that you will need to be successful, you might consider taking an official Microsoft course. AEC offers Microsoft courses both online and on campus through Microsoft's Imagine Academy program. The benefit of taking a course through AEC is that our curriculum is written by Microsoft and the course is designed for the student to pass the certificate exam upon completion.
Another benefit to taking a Microsoft course with AEC is that we offer an exam discount for students, and testing is done here on campus. Courses are available both online and on campus, so you can choose the one that is right for you. For more information about our Microsoft courses, visit our website.
Getting Your Employer to Pay for Your Certification
Many employers offer a tuition reimbursement program. Some schools (like AEC) offer classes that will actually prepare you to take Microsoft certification exams. Therefore, it is theoretically possible to take such a class and the exam, and then have your employer reimburse you for it through their tuition reimbursement program.