As part of a university leadership project, Teresa Hale was given an assignment: Do something to improve her campus. After considering the possibilities, she decided to select an area in which the campus was already strong but could be made even stronger.
Anyone who visits the Richmond/Moorefield campus’ Facebook page or Moodle site, will quickly learn that professional certifications are heavily promoted. On most any day, photos are being posted of students and graduates who have passed a variety of certification exams.
“We like to honor their accomplishments,” says Campus Librarian Deborah Vroman, “but we also want to use their exam success to inspire others.”
“Ultimately, it creates a culture that celebrates the acquisition of professional certifications. And, as we know all too well, those certifications can make a big difference when you begin looking for a job.”
ECPI University stands out among other schools in that it provides both students and graduates vouchers to take professional certification exams – by IT providers such Cisco, CompTIA and Microsoft – right on campus at a fraction of the typical cost. While many do pass these exams on the first try, Teresa Hale decided to spearhead an effort to increase the pass rate.
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Her idea: A dedicated space with all the necessary resources to help these test-takers prepare for the big exam. The campus’ new certification center is now up and running and features dedicated computer workstations loaded with Transcenderâ, the leading software program available for certification exam preparation. Mentors have also been assigned to each student to make sure they stay on track.
The results will be monitored closely and adjustments made as needed. “Although her project is still in its infancy, we fully expect to see significantly increased numbers of students sitting for certification exams and a higher percentage of them passing each exam,” says Richmond/Moorefield Campus President Ron Tracey. “Teresa possesses acute critical thinking skills, and she has certainly applied them to this project.”