Photoshop certification a snap for Eagles Inc. students

Poinciana has certified the most students in the Adobe program ever this year.

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Photoshop certification a snap for Eagles Inc. students

The Eagles Ink classroom displays how many Poinciana students have completed Adobe Photoshop certification this year.

The Eagles Ink classroom displays how many Poinciana students have completed Adobe Photoshop certification this year.

The Eagles Ink classroom displays how many Poinciana students have completed Adobe Photoshop certification this year.

The Eagles Ink classroom displays how many Poinciana students have completed Adobe Photoshop certification this year.

Cecily Sparacino, Reporter

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Poinciana High offers a number of certification courses in its curriculum each year. One of those certifications is in Adobe Photoshop. This year, the number of officially certified students is the largest it’s ever been at PHS.
Christopher Pryor, who also runs the Eagles Ink T-Shirt-making shop, is the teacher involved in getting students certified in Photoshop. He sat down with The Point to discuss the success the students have had this year.
Q: How do you get certified?
A: “There’s a three-step process. Step one is training on a program called Gmetrix and a website called asatestprep.com where you can complete some projects. After training, you get to take a practice test and once you reach a threshold of a certain score or higher on two practice tests, then you’re qualified to take the actual exam. You can also take the real exam up to three times, so if you fail the first time, you have two more chances to take it with twenty days in between.”
Q: Explain the process of the testing. How do you know you’re ready for it?
A: “There is a practice simulation test online called Gmetrix.net and it’s almost word for word question for the question to the actual exam. There is something called training mode in Gmetrix.net. It literally gives you the answers step by step to all of the questions. After you’ve gone through the training a number of times you’ll get to a point where you know every single answer to every question. Then when you do testing mode it doesn’t give you the answers to all the questions so that’s why if you get a threshold of 800 out of a 1000 or higher, that typically tells you that you’re ready to take the real exam.
Q: Why are there more people passing this year than the previous year’s especially this quickly?
A: “This year the focus of the class is to prepare the students for the ASA Photoshop certification exam because at the end of the day when you leave high school you typically will leave with a diploma which is the goal but to have this adult certification from the industry leader of graphic design adobe gives the students a tremendous advantage when it comes to having something on their resume to stand out whether they’re getting a job or going to college. Also, it helps our school grade, it counts as an AP exam grade for our school, so that is another reason we’re focused on the exams this year.”
Q: After you pass, what happens?
A: “Well, our class is a model office class, Eagles Inc. We’ve been around since 2007, and each year because we sell our designs we produce materials in the class and we actually make sales and I’m not able to pay students actual cash money, but what I can give them I call it Eagle dollars. At the end of the year with all the money, we make a certain percentage and you can actually buy merchandise for an auction. If you pass your exam you get 10,000 eagle dollars that you can use towards the end of your auction.
You also get a daily salary of 10 points per day. Once you do pass the exam, you’ll get the 10,000 bonus points also. You can then do production work each day we have work to do and that’s worth 200 bonus points for each day that you’re working and designing posters and t-shirts, stocking shelves, anything that has to do with actual production work, you’re eligible to do it for 200 bonus points per day. Some students already have 30 days of production work they’ve made which is 6,000 bonus points on top of the 10,000 that they get for the certification and the salary that they get at the end of the year.”
Q: So can anyone get certified or do they have to be in the class?
A: “They have to be enrolled in the class. Not only do they have to be enrolled in the class but part of the academy. We’re in a marketing and business academy. We call our class Eagles Inc. because it’s the model office name we’ve adopted in 2007.”
Q: If the kids who are in the class don’t get certified by the end of the year, do they still pass the class?
A: “Yes. As long as you’re completing the projects and passing the quizzes, coming to school every day and doing your job essentially you will pass the class. The certification exam isn’t a deal breaker as far as passing or failing.”
Q: After you get certified do you get to take a certificate or some type of reward home with you?
A: “Yes. When you’re certified I’ll print out two certificates. I laminate one and hang it on the wall. I have a wall called The Wall of Champions. Then I’ll give you a copy of the certificate to take home with you as well.”
Talaya Cook, a certified student, also was interviewed about the exam and the process.
Q: Did you pass the first time that you took the exam?
Cook: “No, I passed the second time.”
Q: Is the test difficult?
Cook: “A lot of the questions on the test we went over in class, so the first time was pretty difficult because I went in blind. The second time was easier because I had more knowledge and they gave me 20 days to study again.”
Q: What do you plan on doing now that you’re certified?
Cook: “I’ve already worked on my design for my hoodie and I’ve printed it and now it’s mine. I’m also working on my design for my T-shirt. Since I’m certified I’m also able to work on the different things that we have. We just did basketball shirts so I get to work on certain projects like that.”
Q: Do you feel like the class is easier now that you’re certified?
Cook: “Yes. It is definitely easier because before you’re certified you have to complete a lot of tests and tutorials. Once you’re certified you can do pretty much anything you want when it comes to being creative. You don’t have to worry about the tutorials or tests anymore.”
Q: What advice can you give to the kids who haven’t gotten certified yet?
Cook: “I would say study Gmetrix and go to Pryor. He will help you out with any questions that you have. Honestly, it’s way easier than you think.”

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