- Monroe County School District
COMPUTES and SKILL$ INCENTIVES Reach $62,000
MCSD Students Earn 941 Certifications to Date
MCSD students continue to earn industry certifications in record numbers, according to Superintendent Theresa Axford, “Students in our Information Technology courses, as well as students from our various other Career and Technical Education programs have earned 941 industry certifications and $62,000 in cash incentives from <Monroe /> COMPUTES and <Monroe /> SKILL$ school year to date.”
“The incentives provided by <Monroe /> COMPUTES and <Monroe /> SKILL$ for earning these certifications, have led to the doubling of certifications earned compared with this time last year,” Axford said. Sugarloaf School is currently leading the way in middle school certifications with 253, while Key West High School has the most certifications of the county’s three high schools with 75.
The interest generated by <Monroe /> COMPUTES and <Monroe /> SKILL$ has also led to the expansion of industry certification programs throughout the entire school district. Career and Technical Education Coordinator, Sibba Mira, reports that new offerings, such as the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification (ESB) which prepares students to pursue additional postsecondary training or enter the small business sector immediately upon high school graduation, are now imbedded in a variety of classes such as marketing and financial literacy.
“Because entrepreneurship education teaches students to think outside the box and nurtures unconventional talents and skills, industry certifications are beneficial to students in all areas of study,” Mira said.
<Monroe /> COMPUTES and <Monroe /> SKILL$ incentives range from $50 to $500 depending on the difficulty of the certification exam. Golden Fleece, the foundation which sponsors the two programs, has pledged over $100,000 in incentives this year to students earning industry certifications in grades 4-12. The program has contributed to the exponential growth of students taking computer science courses in Monroe County for the past 7 years and recently expanded its incentives to include additional Career & Technical Education certifications, in fields such as culinary, marketing, and auto mechanics.
“These certifications are recognized nation-wide and are so valuable for every student exploring college or careers,” said John Padget, co-founder of the Golden Fleece Foundation which funds these incentive awards.