Moraine Park instructor writes training curriculum for Microsoft

by speitz10. March 2011 07:28

Last spring, a widespread call went out to thousands of Information Technology instructors across the United States, inviting them to apply for an opportunity to become a curriculum writer for a new Microsoft project. A few months later, Moraine Park Technical College Information Technology instructor Jeffrey Sonnleitner had his bags packed for Redmond, Wash., selected as one of three writers to create lesson plans, presentations and student activity documents for a Microsoft certification exam.

Each applicant was required to submit two sample lessons and descriptions as part of the application. Sonnleitner was selected for the project because of the quality of the description of the lesson plans in respect to creativity and effective teaching and learning strategies.

“I approached my time curriculum writing like I would teaching a class at Moraine Park,” said Sonnleitner. “I thought about making the curriculum effective by using hands-on learning that would pertain to the topic.”

Sonnleitner, who has been an instructor at Moraine Park almost ten years, is confident his unique experience at Microsoft will benefit the college. “Moraine Park now has a direct connection to Microsoft which will support our top-notch curriculum and information technology programs throughout the College,” he said.

“Jeff having the opportunity to work with Microsoft really shows the community and the college the high level of a Moraine Park education,” said Matthew Hurtienne, dean of information technology at Moraine Park, “The expertise Jeff shared with Microsoft is the same that he brings to his classroom.”

Because of Sonnleitner’s work on the project last summer, he was selected to be review the next Microsoft certification project this spring. He will be working with a writer to review and provide input on the new curriculum.

Sonnleitner’s experience at Microsoft might mean even bigger things for the College. Research is now in the works to turn Moraine Park into a regional CertiPort testing center. This would allow the College to administer Microsoft certification exams for graduating Moraine Park students and for current business and industry employees to help them stay competitive.

“We’re just investigating the CertiPort testing center for Moraine Park,” said Hurtienne. “Having a Microsoft testing center at Moraine Park would really add credibility to our graduates when they enter the workforce and help community businesses and industries maintain a skilled workforce.”

For more information on Moraine Park’s Information Technology program, visit