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Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

Career Field: Technology

Adult Career Pathway: Business/General

Type: Certification exam prep

Prepares Students for: Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams in Excel, Word and PowerPoint; articulation agreement with local community/technical college may grant credit for passing the exam, upon entry into an IT or other program.

Target Student Population: TABE Reading 5.0

Access Curriculum: View Materials

Course Description: Students go through step-by- step tutorials and practice activities to master skills necessary to pass the official Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams for Microsoft 2013. Independent study approach in a school-based computer lab with instructor support.

Duration: Self-paced in an open enrollment class that runs 2.5 hours/day, 4 days/week

Curriculum Description: Includes 15 tasks in Word, 14 in Excel, and 8 in PowerPoint. Each task includes a starting document, a list of instructions for the task, and an “answer key” that shows what the completed task/document should look like. For each of the three software applications there are also objectives, overview of tasks, and student progress checklist. Word materials also include 3 projects of original writing (resume, biography and one other) that integrate all the skills learned; plus 15 practice sheets similar to items on the certification exam. Excel materials include video links with select skill tutorials.

Curriculum Pluses: Comprehensive, clear list of objectives for mastering each of the three software applications. Materials well-organized for easy use. Task sheets and projects provide extensive practice for mastery of skills. Online tutorials are very helpful teaching tools. Independent study approach develops self-management (transition) skills. Entire course promotes digital literacy skills.

Curriculum Drawbacks: No teaching / learning tools for vocabulary building or other reading skills necessary to handle the high level written materials. No student syllabus.


  • MOS certification exams: see information here. Exams are approximately $100 each. ISD 622 is a testing site; they have used grant funds to cover exam fees.
  • See overview of IT Careers offerings here.
  • Rationale for ABE-provided training – supports students in an individualized approach to learning, students can self-pace (vs. fast-paced fee-based training sessions elsewhere). ABE instructors have strong cross-language / cross-cultural sensibilities necessary for effective training of second-language learners.

Author: John Edmundson & Randee Edmundson, Harmony Learning Center

Published: 2016


John Edmundson
Harmony Learning Center, ABE Program
North St. Paul – Maplewood – Oakdale ISD 622
612-385- 1050 / [email protected]