- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - Alcorn State University plans to locate an information technology program at its branch in Vicksburg.

The Vicksburg Post reports (http://bit.ly/1fzCMFt ) that Ivan W. Banks, Alcorn’s director of online education and initiatives, outlined the program for city officials this week.

Banks says the Vicksburg branch will be designated as a Microsoft IT Academy. The online training program offers students and teachers training from basic use of Microsoft programs like Excel and PowerPoint to more complex tasks like programming.

“With this designation, individuals can gain certification that can provide entry level positions and higher income careers, and increase the ability for persons already in those positions to advance,” Banks said.

Banks said the academy’s launch date depends on completion of agreements with Wilmington, Del.-based Knowledge Solutions International, Alcorn’s partner on the project. The company works with businesses, governments and schools on IT education and training.

The university also seeks to offer accelerated programs where a student can earn a degree sooner than the standard four years at the satellite campus.

Banks also said Alcorn officials plan to expand programs in Vicksburg with day, evening and weekend classes.

He said Alcorn will also be offering an executive master of business administration in casino and hospitality management through the school’s college of business.

Banks said Alcorn has worked with casino executives and employees on the online degree, expected to ready in a year.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com