After serving as a Texas FFA state officer in 2018, Josh Witherspoon joined the iCEV team as a part-time employee for 3 years before taking on the role of content development specialist in 2022. Witherspoon holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University, in which his experience and proficiency in writing, marketing and CTE allow him to effectively communicate the successes of CTE educators and students and the value iCEV has to offer.
As one of the top qualities today’s employers are looking for in applicants, professional communication skills are a valuable and necessary asset in every industry. Regardless of the subject you teach as a CTE teacher, you may be looking for an opportunity to sharpen students' communication skills and give them a competitive advantage when applying for jobs.
As a dedicated provider of CTE curriculum and the host of several industry certifications, teachers often ask us how the Certiport and Southwest Airlines Professional Communications certifications compare. While Certiport and Southwest Airlines offer two unique approaches to industry certifications, one may provide more value than the other, depending on your classroom.
So how do Certiport and Southwest Airlines line up? What standards does each option cover, and which would fit your classroom best?
In this article, you’ll explore the differences between these two professional communication certifications including:
What Industry Standards Are Covered by Each Certification?
What Certification Preparation Materials Do Certiport and Southwest Airlines Offer?
Who Are These Certifications Intended For?
How Much Do Certiport and Southwest Airlines Certifications Cost?
After reading this article, you’ll better understand what each certification and provider offers to decide which would work best for your students.
1. What Industry Standards Are Covered by Each Certification?
When beginning your search for the best professional communication certification for your students, a great place to start is identifying what industry standards are covered by each certification. Knowing this information will give you a better idea of what students will walk away able to do after having earned the certification.
The certification assesses industry-recognized standards produced by Southwest Airlines including:
English Language Proficiencies
Interpersonal Communication Techniques
Workplace Communication Techniques
Written Communication Procedures
Verbal Communication Procedures
This certification addresses some of the most prominent topics in today’s workplace including time management, written and verbal communication, listening skills, and diversity in the workplace. Those who earn the certification are more qualified and prepared to enter any work environment, regardless of industry interest.
2. What Certification Preparation Materials Do Certiport and Southwest Airlines Offer?
Certification preparation materials include any materials designed to expose students to the industry standards tested for in a certification exam.
In your search for the best professional communications certification for your students, it’s important to have substantial preparation materials to support students as they work toward their certification. With the right preparation materials, you’ll be able to give students more flexibility in how they prepare as well as more opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills before the exam.
Certiport Certification Preparation Materials
Certiport recommends that individuals looking to earn the CSB Certification have 150 hours of instruction and hands-on experience in formal communication theory or English competence in an IT-related environment to best prepare for the exam. They also offer two different certification preparation products to support students as they prepare for the certification exam.
The first preparation material offered by Certiport is theBusiness & Professional Communications textbook(CSB). This fully CSB Certification-aligned textbook guides students in exploring valuable business communication topics. The book also includes end-of-chapter review activities designed to challenge students writing, technology, and communication skills.
The second certification preparation material offered is theLearnKey video courseware. This online, video-based course prepares candidates to take the CSB: Professional Communication certification exam and includes training videos, an online workbook, and quizzes. The course takes about 21 hours to complete.
These materials are organized into a playlist that includes a combination of video and PowerPoint lessons created in collaboration with Southwest Airlines. Each of the 19 lessons within the course playlist includes a pre-built lesson plan, interactive activities, projects as well as a review lesson all of which prepare students to be successful on the exam.
Due to its structure and flexibility, these materials can easily be implemented into the curriculum you are already teaching or serve as a primary curriculum.
In addition, there are optional pre-tests which allow instructors to show the growth of a learner by comparing pre-test outcomes to the final score of the certification exam.
3. Who Are These Certifications Intended For?
Understanding an industry certification’s intended audience is an important step in your search for the best professional communications certification for your students. Every industry certification is unique in its design and purpose. The goal for you is to find the certification that meets your students where they are academically while also challenging them.
Intended Audience of the Communications Skills for Business Certification
The CSB Certification is intended for use primarily in secondary and post-secondary academic settings, but it can also be used for candidates looking to gain skills to enter the workforce.
Certiport offers a supplemental approach to its certification in that the preparation materials offered aren’t robust enough to support an entire course. If you’re an educator looking to implement a certification but don’t need all the features and instructional materials associated with more comprehensive certification providers, the CSB Certification may be a solid option for your students.
Certiport’s CSB Certification may not be the best choice for an educator with tight budget restraints, as their products and preparation materials must be purchased individually for each student and they do not offer bundle pricing.
Intended Audience of the Professional Communications Certification
The Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification hosted on the iCEV Testing Platform is designed for learners at any stage of their education or career, ranging from high school through adult education programs.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive approach to a professional communications certification, the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification may be the right fit for your classroom. Preparation materials include pre-made lesson plans, videos, slideshows, activities, anda comprehensive review with two practice exams.
The Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification may also be a great choice for your students if you already implement iCEV curriculum as iCEV offers single-subscription access to its certification preparation materials.
4. How Much Do Certiport and Southwest Airlines Certifications Cost?
Cost is a substantial factor you must weigh into your decision-making when choosing the right professional communications certification for your students. In this section, you’ll explore the different pricing options for both certifications.
Cost of Certiport’s Communications Skills for Business Certification
Certiport offers a few different pricing options for their certification test vouchers and preparation materials.
For a single test voucher, educators can expect to spend $69.00 per one-time-use voucher or pay $79.00 for a test voucher and a retake voucher.
As for the preparation materials, the Business & Professional Communications textbook can be purchased through B.E. Publishers and will cost $94.95 for the print edition or $56.95 for a 5-year student license for the eTextbook.
In addition, educators can opt to purchase the Learnkey online courseware for the CSB certification for $225.00 from Certiport.
Cost of Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification
The cost of the iCEV curriculum for the Southwest Airlines Communications Certification varies based on the needs of your classroom.
Certification vouchers for learners to sit for the exam are $40 each. If you'd like a quote for the comprehensive certification prep materials and additional curriculum, click here.
Which Professional Communication Certification is Best For Your Students?
With all of the professional communication certification options out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which one will serve your students best. There are a lot of factors to consider from industry standards and preparation materials to the intended audience of each certification.
If you’re a teacher in search of a professional communications certification that offers a supplemental approach to its preparation materials, Certiport's Communications Skills for Business Certification may be a good choice for your classroom.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a comprehensive, flexible certification with preparation materials, then the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification may be a better choice for your students.
Does the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification sound like it might be a good fit for your students?Request more information to see how the certification might fit into your classroom!