MOUS Program Helps With Computer Skills

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">Ani Asatryan
El Vaquero Staff Writer

The Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) program offered at Glendale Community College is a comprehensive certification program designed to train students in four Microsoft software programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.

The program is divided into seven options, tailored to student needs. One may concentrate on Word only, Word and Excel, or all four applications at once.

The idea behind the program started by Sheryl Van Patten in the spring, was to better prepare students for employment in the high-tech working world.

After Van Patten’s retirement, Diane K. Young, a Business Division instructor, took over as coordinator of the MOUS program.

Upon successful completion of the program, students receive certificates both from GCC and, by passing a test, from Microsoft, acknowledging that they are capable of using Microsoft Office programs. These certificates are recognized worldwide and verify Microsoft skills to employers.
“It’s proof to an employer that Microsoft says I took Excel and I am competent of the software,” said Young, who herself is MOUS certified. “More and more employers are recognizing this certificate and they are reimbursing their employees for the cost of tuition, books, and the test, to take the classes and be certified by Microsoft.”

Microsoft certificates are offered at two levels: Core and Expert. Core is a basic skills test; Expert demands more sophisticated knowledge of an application. The test is offered in Microsoft Office `97 as well as Microsoft Office 2000. Core and Expert level testing are offered for both programs.
Glendale Community College is an authorized test center for the MOUS testing. “One can also get a better deal here,” said Young. “The testing costs approximately $70, which is $30 less than at other testing centers.”

The classes are open to any registered GCC student.

“I had a doctor who was a teacher and took my class last semester who said “All my students know how to use a computer and I don’t,” said Young. “It’s open to everyone and many staff members here take it too.”

“I came back to re-educate myself,” said Ingrid Hassani, a second semester student at GCC. “I’ve taken beginning and advanced Word, beginning and advanced Excel, and the program covers almost everything you need to know for today’s business world.”

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Gohar Saakian, who is taking MOUS for her general business education. “I would recommend it to other people.”

For information on test taking, brochures are available at the assessment testing center or by calling Ext. 5329. For more information about MOUS visit the Web site www.mous.net.