UNT earns 2019 Bobby G. Bizzell Innovative Achievement Award

The University of North Texas will be honored with the second place 2019 Bobby G. Bizzell Innovative Achievement Award for research and efforts involving Microsoft certifications in the classroom.

Presented by the Southwestern Business Dean’s Association (SWBDA), the annual Bizzell Awards recognize innovative excellence in management education.

The winning paper, submitted by Dr. Ted Farris and Dr. Jose Lineros, shared insight from their experiences in certifying more than 1,700 students in Microsoft Excel. Analyzing differing settings, course sizes, course levels and types of students, their research suggested that making certification required as a part of a course grade will increase student motivation to participate, prepare and succeed at the exam.

Furthermore, supplemental evidence suggested that including certification as part of students’ curriculum can increase degree values.

They found that students with Microsoft certifications were five times more likely to get hired, because of the relevance and importance of Microsoft Office in the workplace. Research also suggests that an entry-level employee could potentially earn up to $16,000 more, annually, if they hold a Microsoft certification.

According to their analysis, Farris and Lineros found that the lowest cost per student certified at UNT was $19.52, concluding that it was a sound investment on their students’ careers.

Both Farris and Lineros have been invited to attend the annual SWBDA meeting this month to present their findings to other SWBDA members and formally accept the award.