Google certification helping students at PFW secure teaching jobs

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – A new partnership is providing education majors at Purdue University Fort Wayne an opportunity to earn a certification that becomes another tool in their toolbox as preservice teachers. In the rapidly changing landscape of pandemic-era education, it may even set them apart when competing for a teaching job.

The opportunity to receive a Google Classroom Certification is the result of a collaboration made up of representatives of Purdue Fort Wayne’s Rho Kappa chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education; the university’s Student Government Association; and the Region 8 Education Service Center.

PFW leaders released the following:

Last semester, members of KDP discussed ways in which the certification could be offered to Purdue Fort Wayne education majors without the students having to incur any further costs.

Ally Turner, KDP president at Purdue Fort Wayne, and Theo Thompson, its advocacy chair, put together a proposal to the SGA requesting funding for the project.

“We had to lay out in detail what the funds would be used for and why we felt the funding would benefit our education and the community” said Thompson. “Ally also made a presentation to the Student Government committee who would be deciding if we would receive funding. Thankfully, we received the full amount we requested!”

Thompson went on to add, “This meant that students in Kappa Delta Pi, Rho Kappa chapter, could take the courses and tests and become certified in Google Classroom with all costs covered. We received funding for 30 students, which we offered to KDP members first, and then extended the invitation to all other education students.”

The next step in making the certification process a reality was to partner with Region 8.

“Our mission is to provide the relevant products and services to empower our member schools to meet the ever-changing demands of Pre-K–12 education,” said Cindy KcKinney, with the Region 8 Education Service Center. “We service 15 counties in northeast Indiana with 33 public school districts and 18 private school members. So, when Brad Oliver, an associate professor of educational leadership at Purdue Fort Wayne, reached out to us about this opportunity, we immediately jumped at the chance to support preservice teachers who will someday be teaching in our member districts.”

The students completed the coursework and some took the exam to gain the Google Classroom Certification in late April; others have decided to wait to take the exam until after finals conclude this week.

“Thanks to the efforts of KDP student leaders, future educators who graduate from Purdue Fort Wayne with their Google Classroom Certification will possess critical knowledge and skills that will make them an ideal prospective teacher applicant,” said Oliver, adding, “particularly for the many schools who currently utilize the Google Classroom platform.”