499 GRCC students may take Microsoft Office Certification exam for free



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213


May 12, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College is offering 499 of its students the opportunity to take the Microsoft Office Certification exam for free!

The next 499 GRCC students who pass a Microsoft Office-related course may take the matching certification exam for free. The test, which is administered on campus, usually costs $100, creating a unique opportunity for those who wish earn this certification while saving money, according to Andrew Rozema, head of the Computer Information Systems Department. 

"Microsoft Office Specialist certifications give our students a competitive advantage by demonstrating their proficiency to potential employers," said Rozema.

Eligible courses include:

  • CIS 140 -- PowerPoint.
  • CIS 155 -- Word.
  • CIS 156 – Excel.
  • CIS 170 – Access Database I.

Jason Hansen, a professional tutor in GRCC's Computer Lab, passed the Microsoft Office Specialist test this spring.

"In order to help students with their classwork, we go through the same textbooks they use and do the same assignments," he said. "Since the goal of the Excel class that the students were taking was to help prepare them to take the Microsoft Specialist exam, I wanted to see how well the class prepared them for it.

"Anyone who takes the class will be more than prepared to take the Excel certification exam."

Rozema said the certification holders will have an edge in the workforce.

"The feedback that the Computer Information Systems Department received from our business advisory board and industry partners is that almost all of the jobs in clerical, administrative, technology, sales or management will involve using the Microsoft Office software at some point," he said. 

GRCC, which received test licenses from the state Department of Education, is able to offer the Microsoft Office Specialist certification because it became a Microsoft Imagine Academy in 2015. The college also offers Microsoft Technology Associate and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certifications through this partnership

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.