Highlands College has a new state-of-the-art testing center open to students and the general public.
The Pearson VUE Testing Center offers 170 Microsoft-credentialed exams for various certifications in a carefully controlled environment.
Access to such tests may pay off in higher salaries down the road, said Cory Woolverton, Highlands College network administrator.
“In today’s increasingly complex Internet and technology environment, a certification from Microsoft will help prove to employers that our students have the technical skills necessary to do the job,” Woolverton said.
He is one of the driving forces who helped secure the testing center for Highlands and Montana Tech.
“I’m amazed at what I’m seeing,” Woolverton added. “We get people from around the state.”
Graduate-student and medical technology certificate exams are among the long list of tests available.
“A lot of our test days are for emergency medical technicians,” he said. “Now they don’t have to travel to take the test.”
The new testing center saves gas money and travel time to other testing centers in Montana State University in Bozeman or the University of Montana in Missoula, for instance.
However, the big push to set up the testing center at Highlands was originally to accommodate Montana Tech engineering students.
Every year about 200 Tech students take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, a requirement for graduation, said Highlands Dean John Garic.
The lab serves as a national vendor for industry testing in many disciplines, so its use is multifunctional – and not only for college students.
“Anyone in the world can take tests here,” said Garic. “It is the gold standard for testing centers.”