Academic Training Revamped
Microsoft no longer offers the Authorized Academic Training Provider (AATP) program as of this year; company replaces it with the Microsoft IT Academy.
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Starting at the beginning of this year, Microsoft no longer offers the
Authorized Academic Training Provider (AATP) program. It's been replaced
by the Microsoft IT Academy. Although the concept is the same—to
train students in an academic setting on Microsoft technologies—at
least one instructor believes the coming changes will force many schools
to discontinue their official affiliations with Microsoft.
Under the new structure, the fee has gone from free to $5,000 per school
at the post-secondary level (colleges, universities and trade schools)
and $1,500 per school at the high school level. (High schools may also
choose to pay the higher fee in exchange for a higher level of benefits.)
Schools with more than a single physical location must pay a fee for each
site where the program is in effect.
"The unfortunate thing is that a lot of schools aren't going to
[continue their affiliation] because of the money," said Michael
Rodgers, an MCT who has taught for Dyersburg State Community College and
Jackson State Community College, both in Tennessee. Rodgers says that
Dyersburg State has already dropped out of the program and he's unsure
about what Jackson State will decide. He predicts that fewer than half
of schools that joined the AATP program will continue to participate.
At the college level, the program requires that the courses be delivered
by instructors who have passed the corresponding certification exam. The
high school version only requires the teacher to pass the test before
giving the class a second time.
Rules specify that participating schools offer classes that last no longer
than 12 hours per week, including lab time.
Rodgers says that Dyersburg State will continue teaching its Microsoft-oriented
classes. "However, when we market ourselves, we can't use the word
'Microsoft' in our title. No more saying, 'Hey, come take our MCSE program.'"
Details are at www.microsoft.com/education/msitacademy.
Dian L. Schaffhauser is a freelance writer based in Northern California.