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Our Next Normal

The Center for Testing and Career Certification (CTCC) welcomes you to the Fall 2021 semester! We are excited to walk with you throughout this new academic year in anticipation of what lies ahead. As part of the FIU community we are encouraged by the fact that, despite the pandemic, we have been able to make tremendous headway in our continuous efforts to provide you with both support and the most optimal testing experience possible. 

In CTCC’s pursuit of enrichment, our staff submitted a Technology Fee (TF) Proposal in mid-March. Each year FIU’s TF Advisory Council gives departments the opportunity to apply for funds that will “enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty,” per Florida Statute Section 1009.24(13). With you in mind, we methodically crafted our pitch around obtaining resources that are robust, secure, and best in class whether in a distraction-free environment on campus or via a remote/virtual setting. Additional focus was placed on offering test preparation tools and giving our student body the chance to test for various professional/career Information Technology certifications at our locations. As you might imagine, we were more than ecstatic and honored to receive the news near June’s end that our CTCC Enhancements for Hybrid Testing proposal was one of the approved. 

This endorsement means that we have so much in store for you in the coming months as we implement our initiatives and bring them to fruition. And now that we are back at full capacity, we look forward to safely engaging with many more of you at the center. Stay connected with CTCC as we unfold the future of testing and our next normal at FIU! 

CTCC Practices What it Preaches

Among certification and testing centers’ shared experiences, attending Certiport’s annual “Certified” conference must easily rank at the top for many practitioners. Like most industry conference gatherings, organizers use every opportunity to show off their wares and to highlight the best of what the affiliated industry has to offer. Certiport’s “Certified” conference is no different, and as the name implies, this global conference, in its essence, is always about uncovering the value of industry certifications and touting the positive role certs play in the lives of those who attain them. To the thousands of testing professionals, Certified is more than just a conference slogan; they practice what they preach. Year after year, Certiport offers conference attendees the opportunity to attempt, free of charge, any Certiport or affiliate industry certification exam. While others gorge on a full course breakfast for which Certiport is well known, willing participants on the other hand, who sign up to take an industry cert, are spirited away into full-fledged, make-shift testing rooms, complete with proctors, and stoic-faced invigilators characteristic of our no-nonsense industry. In 2021 like 2020, the Certified conference was forced to go remote; however, the virtual experience did nothing to diminish the quality and value attendees have all come to expect. In fact, here at FIU’s Center for Testing and Career Certification (CTCC), our Certified attendees took the opportunity to attempt various industry certifications of their choosing. They were all successful! 

Sophonie Morno (Communication Skills for Business CSB – Professional Communication);  Zakina Ogbourne (Adobe Certified Professional in Visual Design using Adobe Photoshop); Sinclair Daly (Microsoft Azure Fundamentals – AZ 900) and Yoldine Lormantus (Communication Skills for Business CSB – Professional Communication). ACS salutes its CTCC team-members, confirming once again that they practice what they preach. “If you know that you know it, certify it.” 

Dwight Nimblett, Program Director - CTCC 

The Social-Media Surge


There is no doubt that social media is playing a vital role in the transmission and reception of information in this digital age. According to the Pew Research Center, more than eight-in-ten Americans get news from digital devices. The Center for Testing and Career Certification (CTCC) understood the need to expand its reach on social media to relay the valuable information that CTCC wishes to share with the FIU Community. In less than two years, for example, CTCC has nearly doubled its Instagram followers and remains active on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.  

We interviewed our Social Media Director, Zakina Ogbourne who has been pivotal in the Center’s social media transformation. Zakina shared the tools that have made such a difference over time. With assistance and advice from the media and marketing personnel at Academic and Career Success (ACS), the Instagram page has transformed into what it is today. Some of these changes were time-consuming and strenuous while others seemed minute. However, every effort has made a strong impact. 

One of the most effective adjustments made was posting consistently. Zakina briefly explained that when you post more on Instagram, it affects the algorithm in a positive way to allow your posts to appear more frequently on others’ feeds. This consistency rises above just actively posting; it also means to regularly interact with other accounts. As the goal is to reach the FIU community and beyond, connecting with FIU accounts builds relationships amongst other departments on campus as well as within the community 

Another key implementation is a difference in what is being posted. Prior to November of 2019, only flyers and informational pieces were added. Successful social media pages are ones that are not just informational but are engaging and interactive. Some of the new pieces that CTCC has inserted include Instagram Lives and videos that display the heart and character of the Testing department. In addition, our Instagram accentuates staff members and incorporates “Instagram Highlights” that others can visit to view what has happened at the center in the recent past. Flyers are still set on the page, but the possibilities of content are now endless. 

CTCC is very proud of the arduous work that has been put into building its social media platforms. The work is not finished and will continue to grow day in and day out.  

How Testing Impacts FIU (Performance Metrics)

Florida International University is #1! This isn’t biasness or favoritism; FIU is literally number 1. The State University System of Florida is a collective of twelve institutions, among the ranks of which are the University of South Florida, the University of Florida, and the recently added Florida Polytechnical University. A Performance-Based Funding Model, adopted in 2014 by the Board of Governors, uses a points system based on ten metrics that help to determine the allocation of funds to each institution. This year, our FIU earned 97 points, the highest score among the universities and made history by obtaining such a score since the application of the funding model.  

One of the ten metrics that FIU was able to make significant strides in is the Four-Year Graduation Rate. There was a 6.5% enhancement in this area. The Center for Testing and Career Certification (CTCC) would like to believe that, alongside all the other centers/departments/units in the university, we have contributed to this development and to the metric pertaining to Net Tuition & Fees. As you may already know, embedded in CTCC’s mission statement is its support of students’ cost-to-degree, time-to-degree, and time-to-employment. CTCC prides itself on offering credit-by-exam assessments such as the CLEP, DSST, and FLATS to our FIU community. These exams give our students the opportunity to test out of courses in which they have prior knowledge/expertise in, to possibly earn needed credits, and avoid the costs/time of being enrolled in such courses. Even in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, in 2020, CTCC was able to assist vast numbers of students with these very assessments to test out of a course(s). We get satisfaction in doing our utmost best in the role we play to help impact the success of our students and our FIU. So now in the literal sense and with enthusiasm let us say…Florida International University is #1! 

Best Tips Moving Forward

(Healthy Living Campaign and Testing Tips)

As the FIU campuses are repopulated with in-person classes, opened restaurants and regular day-to-day operations, the health and safety of the FIU Community remains just as important as it was during the height of COVID-19. In accordance with FIU’s “Healthy Living Campaign,” there are some best practices that will institute a more secured health environment if committed to.


The first thing that can be done is to stay home when feeling ill. It can be tempting to keep an appointment for an exam, come to class when there is a big lesson, or to come into work when there are plenty of tasks to finish. Staying home helps avoid the possibility of spreading illness to others around you. Search the possibility of learning or working remotely if the option is available when not feeling well.  

Another best practice is to wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer when the washing of hands is not an available option. Washing your hands for 20 seconds allows you to scrub in all areas including under the nails where germs can inhabit. As we touch many things throughout the day, we want to avoid touching our face, eyes, or mouth especially if we have not washed our hands yet. Alongside that, it is important that if you need to cough or sneeze that you do so into your elbow or sleeve. If you cough into your hands, you risk spreading germs as you touch things. If you happen to cough or sneeze into your hands, resort to washing your hands immediately or use hand sanitizer.  

Other good practices one could take part in is to consider wearing face coverings when indoors. Doing this can help prevent airborne illnesses. In addition, you can make sure that your vaccinations are up to date.  

At the Center for Testing and Career Certification, we are committed to the well-being of any candidate that comes into test. Masks and hand sanitizer are available upon request and test stations continue to be cleaned frequently with disinfecting products. In addition, the use of technology is used to its highest potential to reduce multiple person contact. The center is also maintaining the use of many disposable products to avoid the reuse of items frequently touched and used by others. In keeping with CTCC’s “low-touch high-tech" response to the pandemic, it has designed, built, and is operating a Virtual Remote Testing Center (vRTC) which allows students to take many of their assessments remotely. CTCC is dedicated to aligning with university standards that protect all our fellow Panthers. 

Bookmark This!

The FLATS is now available through CTCC both in-person and remotely for your testing needs. Please visit our website at to register and for any questions, email CTCC at or

Certify your skills by completing a Certiport exam with us at CTCC. Your degree will get you into the interview, but your certification will get you hired! Please visit our website at for details regarding the exams and how to register.

Center for Testing and Career Certification (CTCC)


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