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Computer Software & Media Applications: Home

NH State Competencies: CSMA Program


This award-winning program has been organized into four courses outlined below. Please note that by taking all four courses, students are eligible for nine college credits (three courses) through the Running Start program. Students wishing to take any courses beyond Software Essentials (formerly ICT) must fill out a CTE application. Outlined below are the four classes that make up this exciting and worthwhile program:
Course# 955, Grades 9-12, 1/2 Credit, Quarter
This introductory course will familiarize you with the critical software applications skills necessary for success in high school, college, and throughout almost any career. This fun, self-paced, hands-on course will focus primarily on the ability to develop a powerful Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, complete with multimedia effects. Units on basic audio and video editing using YouTube content will be included in this fun, yet important unit. Other software essentials covered include: word processing with Microsoft Word, file management with the Windows OS, and spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel. Overall, this class is an opportunity to learn things you'll use right away in high school, when you get to college, and throughout your professional career.
Course# 716, Grades 10-12, 1 Credit (RS), Semester
Building on the basic principles covered in Software Essentials (formerly ICT), you will learn the advanced features of the Microsoft Office suite in a project-based environment. You have the opportunity to obtain the MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certifications which are currently required at many of the nation’s leading MBA (Masters in Business Administration) programs. You will be issued a laptop computer for use during the semester, both at school and at home. This class is part of a series of classes within the Computer Software & Media Applications program designed to provide the student with an impressive array of software applications skills useful in both college and careers.
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Software Essentials.
Course# 718, Grades 10-12, 1 Credit (RS), Semester
In this course, you will learn the essential elements of desktop publishing, page layout & design, the editing of images & photographs, and the creation of vector illustrations as the class covers InDesign, PhotoShop, and Illustrator. You will be issued a laptop computer for use during the semester loaded with Microsoft Office Professional and the Adobe Creative Cloud. The skills acquired in this course have proven to aid students in college since they are able to produce professional caliber printed and/or online type graphic materials for major college projects. These valuable skills will also help you advance in your professional career after college.
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Software Essentials. 
Course# 720, Grades 10-12, 1 Credit (RS), Semester 
In this course, you have the exciting opportunity to learn more advanced applications and skills such as video editing, DVD authoring, and web-page design in a fun, hands-on environment. Adobe Premiere and Dreamweaver will be the primary applications learned; however, you will also apply many of the skills learned in other courses. The skills acquired in this course will provide you with the opportunity to create unique and powerful presentations and projects in college and will help you in your career by rounding out an impressive array of software applications skills. Like the other computer courses, this class is an ideal way to prepare you for success in college.
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Adobe Creative Suite 1.

Instructor Profile

Curtis Killion 

In addition to teaching full time at Salem High School, Mr. Killion teaches industry computer applications classes and continues to work on the side as a private contractor performing desktop publishing, design\imaging, and even some computer-based video work.  He also teaches computer applications evening courses part time at several local colleges.

 Mr. Killion is a past president of the New England Business Educators Association, holds a bachelor of science in business administration, and holds a masters degree in secondary education.  Although his educational background is business, he has spent over 25 years working primarily with computer applications and related technologies.

Besides teaching, Mr. Killion enjoys spending time with his wife, two adult children, and his Welsh Terrier Mazie.  He also plays ice hockey in several recreational leagues as both a forward and occasionally goaltender, and has recently taken up golf improving his handicap to the high teens with his sights set on eventually getting down to the single digits.

His educational philosophy involves brief demonstrations followed by student activities that requires the student to think and use the software applications to accomplish specific outcomes (similar to the "real world"). He feels the students learn the most when they are actively engaged in problem solving and analytical thinking while using the software features reviewed during his demonstrations.  His classes are very "up-tempo" and have received rave reviews by those students who have taken the CSMA classes.

Program History:

Mr. Killion has been teaching the CSMA program since its inception in the fall of 1989.  The Computer Software & Media Applications CTE program is a powerful blend of Office Applications, Programming & Web Development, and Design & Visual Communications.  Students taking all the courses (known as a program completer) are ready to use the computer to take on a diverse array of challenges and problems.

The program originally covered the features of software applications such as Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3, Dbase, Harvard Graphics, and the DOS operating system.  In the early 1990’s Mr. Killion spearheaded a controversial effort to introduce Microsoft Windows (comments like “business will never go for that “Icon Sissy Stuff” were common in those days) and by the mid 1990’s the program had completely evolved and was recognized as a leader in technical\software application education.  In the late 1990’s a second level was introduced that covered graphical applications such as Aldus PageMaker, Adobe PhotoShop, Corel Draw, Macromedia DreamWeaver, and Adobe Premiere.  Since that time the program has continued to change with successive updates and industry developments.  Today, Mr. Killion’s classes focus on the latest versions of Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite, and there is also a programming option that focuses on web development with HTML & CSS.