Helping America's heroes secure their futures by preparing for and transitioning to high-skilled technology careers. 

The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA)

The MSSA program is a full-time, 16-week program that includes academic and technical training, certification testing and practical exercises aligned to meet urgent industry needs for Information Technology professionals. Successful completion of the MSSA program results in a Certificate in Computer Science from Saint Martin's University and a job interview with Microsoft. The MSSA is currently open to both veterans and active duty military service members with a separation or retirement date 180 days or less from the class start date.

More about the program

  • MSSA Opportunities

    MSSA program starts new cohorts three times per year, Spring (January), Summer (May), and Fall (Sep), important dates for the upcoming cohorts:

    Fall 2017 Cohort (Server & Cloud Administrator and Database Administrator & Business Intelligence)

    Application Deadline: 10 Aug 17

    Orientation Date: 29 Aug 17 Server & Cloud Administrator, 30 Aug 17 Database Administrator & Business Intelligence

    Start Date: 5 Sep 17

    Graduation Date: 20 Dec 17


    Spring 2018 Cohort (Server & Cloud Administrator and Database Administrator & Business Intelligence)

    Application Deadline: 15 Dec 17

    Orientation Date: 9 Jan 18 Server & Cloud Administrator, 10 Jan 18 Database Administrator & Business Intelligence

    Start Date: 16 Jan 18

    Graduation Date: 11 May 18


  • Application Requirements

    Thank you for your interest in the MSSA Program. The next steps are to complete the MSSA online application, meet the math prerequisite, and pass the Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) exam. These prerequisites must be met before you can be accepted into a cohort. Additionally, if you are still on Active Duty, you must contact the Career Skills Program.


    Career Skills Program on JBLM:

    If you are still on Active Duty the first step is to attend the CSP briefing held every Monday at 12:00 in the Hawk Transition Center auditorium located on Lewis North. For questions regarding the CSP program contact Sojourner Thomas  at or 253-477-4748.


    MSSA Online Application: 

    Apply Now Online


    Math Prerequisite:

    Saint Martin University's Math 101 Intermediate Algebra is the prerequisite. If you have taken an equivalent college math classes in the past you may meet the math prerequisite, attach an unofficial copy of your transcripts during the application process. If you have not taken college math classes or your previous math class does not meet the prerequisite you must take our math placement exam.  You will receive instructions via email to take the online math placement exam after you complete the online application.


    Email Account:

    You will need a Microsoft email account to register for the MTA and for the MSSA program. This email address must identify you by your name, something like first.last@. Also, it must be a Microsoft email account, one that ends in,, or If you do not have an email account that meets these requirements, please go to and create one e.g. firstname.lastname


    Which MTA exam:

    Server and Cloud Administrator cohort: MTA 98-366 - Network Fundamentals.

    Database Administration and Business Intelligence: MTA 98-364 - Database Fundamentals.


    How to Register for the MTA Exam:

    Once you meet the math prerequisite and are ready to take the MTA exam, email, we will send you a voucher and instructions for taking the exam.


  • Prepare for Math Placement and Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) exams

    Math Placement Exam: has excellent tutorials that can help you prepare, start with the Algebra basics course.


    Which MTA exam:

    Server and Cloud Administrator cohort: MTA 98-366 - Network Fundamentals.

    Database Administration and Business Intelligence: MTA 98-364 - Database Fundamentals.


    Preparing for the MTA exam:

    Microsoft Virtual Academy has free courses that are designed to be study courses for the MTA exams.

    Network Fundamentals:

    SQL Database Fundamentals:

    Additional Material can be found at this link:


  • Campus Locations and Schedule

    MSSA Campus Locations:

    The Microsoft Software System Academy (MSSA) has two Campuses, Stone Education Center, JBLM, WA 98433 and Saint Martin's University, 5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey, WA 98503. 


    MSSA applicants must be prepared to attend at the location specified by Saint Martin’s University. The location will be determined by Saint Martin’s University based on the MSSA cohort size and number of cohorts conducted during the semester.


    Both locations will conduct classes Tuesday through Friday 0800-1700. Some sessions may run later depending on class projects and assignments. Classrooms are also open on Mondays for students to work on labs.

  • Database Administration and Business Intelligence (BI) Learning Path

    Database systems are the information hub of all modern day computers systems — they are ubiquitous. If you use the internet, a database is running behind it. Most people are not even aware that they are using a database system when they are on their smart phone, reading on kindle or surfing the internet.

    Business intelligence consists of techniques and tools for collecting raw data and producing meaningful information used in business analysis. The goal of BI is to be able to display a huge amount of data in an easy-to-interpret way, enabling companies to identify new opportunities and implement an effective data-driven strategy. These tools provide businesses with a competitive market advantage. Analyzing large data is also used in research and medicine.

    This learning path prepares you to develop and manage databases and teaches you tools that represent the information visually. You also learn the structure, trends and relationships in the data that will provide valuable business insights, enabling managers to make effective and efficient decisions. Examples of large database systems used every day include: computerized library systems, health care networks, flight reservation systems, Amazon inventory systems.

    Database & BI Administrators will have some of the following responsibilities:

    • Monitoring database health, applications
    • Maintain database and BI infrastructure
    • Configure, update and/or install database software and applications
    • Governance, risk and compliance management
    • End user assistance/requests
  • Server & Cloud Administrator (Network Administrator) Learning Path

    A network administrator is responsible for the maintenance of computer hardware and software systems that make up a computer network in an organization. In recent years, cloud technology has been added to a network administrator’s required skill base. Cloud technology is used by everyone in one way or another, and rapidly growing within business and non-profit organizations. An example of a cloud service is Google, Azure, and Amazon. All three organizations store data in the cloud, make end user software available ‘in the cloud’, and provide storage space in the cloud for companies and individuals.

    Network /cloud administration will have some of the following responsibilities:

    • Set up, configure and maintain company networks and system infrastructure; generate system improvements based on business needs.
    • Develop and/or monitor security related policies and guidelines; monitor the implementation of a security infrastructure; install and implement security programs.
    • Deploy virtual systems and network resources according to specifications based on established guidelines.
    • Collaborate with other departments to troubleshoot and resolve network connectivity and stability issues; test networks for weakness
    • Monitor the needs for growths and/or updates.
    • Align server/cloud services, business and IT goals.