Microsoft has modified its Authorized Technical Education Center (ATEC) program for 1998. Here's a summary of the ATEC98 guidelines:
- ATECs can now provide any one or more of the following services: hands-on training at the ATEC site, hands-on training at the client's site (onsite), and online training.
- Microsoft no longer requires ATECs to have a classroom if they offer only online or onsite training.
- In addition to the two Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPse.g., two MCSEs, two MCSDs, or one of each) that Microsoft has required ATECs to have as part of their Solution Provider certification, ATECs now must have two full-time Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) on staff.
- ATECs can let MCPs teach onsite classes with the client's approval. Public classes still require an MCT.
- Microsoft still recommends that ATECs use Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) courseware in their classes, but ATECs can now substitute Microsoft Press materials for MOC products.
- If a client considers one of its employees capable of teaching an MOC course, the employee can teach an onsite course, as long as the employee goes through an ATEC to obtain appropriate MOC books and other class materials. Microsoft does not require the employee to be an MCP.
- Each ATEC now must train at least 100 (reduced from 150) students per quarter.
- Microsoft lets ATECs specialize in subject areas such as Windows NT, BackOffice, and programming languages. Microsoft no longer requires specialized ATECs to teach the full range of MOC courses.