They are certifiable!
IBM Partnership Provides Value-Add to Certification Program
Posted on 02/06/2018
Jordan Shook and Isaac CoppageSince 2006, Cristo Rey Kansas City (CRKC) has been dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty through education.  Changing America one student at a time.  Students graduate from CRKC with a list of impressive credentials.

Our students get up before dawn every day. They arrive on time and keep pace with a rigorous schedule - eight straight academic courses. One day per week, they are on the job at their work study assignments. This remarkable opportunity allows them to earn half of the cost of their own education and to begin to see their futures in a different light.   
 
  • 100% college acceptance starting with the first graduating class and each subsequent year

  •  College preparatory high school diploma – 30 credit hours required (9 more than their public school peers)

  • Resume with four years’ work experience

  • Over 80 hours of service to the community 

In its 10th year of a STEM initiative as directed by the strategic plan, Dr. Smitha Edulakanti, instructional technologist, knew that CRKC had to continue to provide 21st century learning opportunities to our students, Dr. Edulakanti dreamed of offering an industry recognized certification for the students.  After research she spearheaded the Microsoft Office Specialist certification program open to all students and faculty.  Strength of this certification program is due to our partnership with Beth F. Tracy, IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager who helped to make this next step a reality.  

Senior, Jordan Shook, and Junior, Isaac Coppage begin work on PowerPoint projects after earning certification in Word.   When asked why they wanted certification – Jordan responded, “I do it for my Corporate Work Study job where I use Microsoft programs to pull data and cite sources.  Isaac shared.“ I always like to take advantage of all opportunities that I can.”  

Funded by an IBM discretionary grant through Beth Tracy and IBM Corporate Citizenship, Cristo Rey Kansas City is improving individual productivity and raising employability success of its students.  After completing nine pre-tests and nine projects for each of the suite of programs, these students will cross the finish line with the personal satisfaction of reaching a goal and the certain knowledge that holding a MOS certification can earn an entry-level business employee as much as $16,000 more in annual salary than uncertified peers.  In this self-paced program, students are demonstrating life-long learning skills:  setting their own learning goals; crossing off specific projects, all the while keeping their eyes on the prize of earned certification.  

Through rigorous academics, coupled with real world work experience, Cristo Rey graduates are prepared for success in college and in life. Special appreciation to Beth F. Tracy, IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager, strategic partner and to the volunteer leadership and expertise of Scott Ferber, IBM Vice President, Commercial Sales North America; Kansas Senior State Executive.