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Microsoft Certification FAQ’s

What Microsoft Certification training programs does El Centro College offer?

El Centro is a MICROSOFT IT ACADEMY offering courses to help prepare students to take the appropriate Microsoft Certified professional exams for MCSE, MCSA, MCDBA, MCSD, MCAD and various MCITP Certifications.

What do these initials stand for and what are the job duties?

MCSE = Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.
MCSE’s plan, implement, and support networks.

MCSA = Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator.
MCSA’s administer and support networks.

MCDBA = Microsoft Certified Database Administrator.
MCDBA’s plan, create, and maintain databases and their security

MCSD = Microsoft Certified Solution Developer.
MCSD’s design and develop custom business solutions; i.e. programmers.

MCAD = Microsoft Certified Application Developer.
MCAD’s build powerful applications using Microsoft Visual Studio.NET and web services.

MCPD = Microsoft Certified Professional Developer.
MCPD’s design, develop and deploy applications

MCTS = Microsoft Certified Technology Specialists.
MCTS’s target specific technologies and demonstrate in-
depth knowledge and expertise.

MCDST = Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician.
MCDST’s troubleshoot hardware and software operation
issues in Microsoft Windows environments.

MCITP = Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional
MCITP’s plan, deploy, support, maintain and optimize IT infrastructures.

Server Administrator, Enterprise Administrator and Enterprise Support Certificates available June 1, 2010.

Does El Centro College also offer a certificate and/or an Associate Degree which includes the Microsoft courses?

Yes, we offer certificate programs called Networking Support with various Microsoft specialization tracks, Visual Studio Developer, Solution Developer, Application Developer, and SQL Server.

Visual Studio Professional Developer and Visual Studio Enterprise Developer certificates will be available June 1, 2010.

We also offer an associate degree program called Network Administrator and Support with various Microsoft specialization tracks.

How long does each Microsoft course last and when do they meet?

Each evening, hybrid and online course lasts for 8 weeks.

Classes are offered during our Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions.
Many courses are offered online.

All classes are offered for credit and concurrent continuing education.

How can I get more information about these courses?

Pick up our Credit Class Schedule for actual times and locations. This information is also available at our website

How many Microsoft courses are required by Microsoft to prepare for various certifications?

MCSE requires you to complete 7 courses.
MCSA requires you to complete 4 courses.
MCDBA requires you to complete 4 courses.
MCSD requires you to complete 5 courses.
MCAD requires you to complete 3 courses.
MCITP – Server Administrator requires you to
complete 3 courses.
MCITP- Enterprise Administrator requires you to
complete 5 courses.
MCITP- Enterprise Support Technician requires you to
complete 2 courses.

How many Microsoft courses are required to complete El Centro’s Networking Support, the Visual Studio Developer, the Solution Developer (MCSD), the Application Developer (MCAD), the SQL Server (MCDBA) Certificates, and the Network Administrator and Support Associate degree?

The Networking Support Certificate requires:

MCSE track requires 6 courses
MCSA track requires 6 courses
MCDBA track requires 6 courses
MCITP track requires 6 courses

The Network Administrator and Support AAS requires:

A Primary Specialization Track selected from one of the tracks
listed below and a Secondary Specialization Track selected from
CCNA, CCNP, Convergence or UNIX/LINUX courses.

MCSE track requires 10 courses
MCSA track requires 10 courses
MCDBA track requires 10 courses
MCITP track requires 10 courses

In addition, PC Hardware and PC Operating Systems courses are required, plus five general education courses.

The SQL Server Certificate requires 7 courses

The Visual Studio Developer Certificate requires 7 courses

The Solution Developer Certificate requires 8 courses

The Application Developer Certificate requires 5 courses

Can I take more than one course per 8-week session?

We STRONGLY recommend that you take only ONE Microsoft class per 8 week session. You will need adequate study and lab time.

Are there any prerequisites for these programs?

For all tracks, a basic understanding of networking essentials, terminology and operating systems is required. If you lack this knowledge, you could take ITSC 1401, Introduction to Computers, BCIS 1405, Business Computer Applications, or COSC 1300 Computer Literacy.

Before attempting the Professional Developer certificates, you should be familiar with logic structures and have problem solving skills. These skills can be obtained in ITSE 1429 Programming Logic and Design.

We also recommend you take Microsoft Access, ITSW 1407 or ITSE 1346, before starting the MCDBA program if you lack database skills.

What are the classes like?

Classes are a combination of lecture and lab. You will have weekly lab assignments. The lab is open seven days a week during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, the lab is open Sunday through Friday. Online students are welcome to use the open lab on Friday evenings.

Who teaches these classes?

All instructors are Microsoft-certified in the course they are instructing. Several are Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs). Most work full-time in the networking industry.

How do I sign up?

Obtain a Credit Class Schedule from our campus or look online at www.elcentrocollege.edu for a class schedule, fill out an application form online or complete it and take it to the Admissions office. Admissions is open 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 4:30 p.m. Fridays. The telephone number is 214-860-2311.

Online registration is available for students who (1) have a TSI status of exempt, waived, or complete, (2) are in good standing, (3) have no active blocks on their student records and (4) have a valid email address. To register online, go to www.dcccd.edu and choose e-Connect from the “Current Student” menu.

What do I need to bring with me when I register?

Bring your application and proof of residency. This can be a driver’s license. If you have renewed your license this year, bring a utility bill sent to you at least one year ago. Also, bring transcripts for coursework completed outside the DCCCD.

Will I be required to take assessment tests before registering for Microsoft classes?

As long as you are taking classes that apply to the Networking Support, SQL Server, Visual Studio Developer, Solution Developer, or Application Developer Certificates, a TSI waiver will be provided and you will not have to take assessment tests. You will be required to take the assessment test before registering for any general education courses required in the AAS degree.

How much do the courses cost?

Effective Spring 2009, if you have been a Dallas County resident for the past 12 months, each 4 credit hour course will cost $164.00. Out-of-district tuition is $304.00 per course. Out-of-State or Out-of-Country tuition is $484.00 per course. The Board of Trustees may change these costs at any time.

Does El Centro College give me the certification after I complete classes?

No, El Centro will give you a grade for completing each course. Your designated Microsoft certification (e.g. MSCE, MCSA, MCDBA, MCSD, MCAD, MCITP) will come from Microsoft after you pass the appropriate test at an official testing site. You will receive a list of official testing sites at the end of each course.

How much does the certification test cost?

The cost varies from $60.00 to $125.00 per test without a voucher, but prices are subject to change.

For More Information visit our Website