New York City Schools with Executive Assistant Programs
Executive assistants, including those who work in administrative and secretarial positions, perform a variety of support functions for offices and senior-level professionals. Some of their responsibilities may involve preparing and reviewing documents and reports, conducting research, scheduling meetings and supervising clerical workers. The minimum requirements for obtaining a position as an executive assistant typically include a high school diploma and computer, English and office skills. The City University of New York (CUNY) has three community colleges that offer associate's degree programs in office management and technology. Applicants should be aware in advance that, depending on their performance on the ACT, SAT or New York State Regent's exams, they may be required to take the CUNY Assessment Tests and enroll in remedial courses as needed.
Below are summaries of the certificate and/or degree programs at each of the three colleges, as well as a comparison table with key school facts. A description of three other schools in the New York City area that provide training for executive assistants can be found after the table.
- CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College in downtown New York City is the sole community college in the borough and also the largest 2-year institution in the city university system. The college offers a certificate and an associate's degree in office automation, as well as an associate's degree in office operations.
- Located about 13 miles from New York City's downtown, CUNY Bronx Community College is situated on a 43-acre campus on the Harlem River. At the college, students can earn an associate's degree in office automation and technology.
- An associate's degree in office automation and technology is also available at CUNY Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, located 15.5 miles from downtown New York City. At the waterfront campus, aspiring executive assistants enjoy low student-teacher ratios and technologically up-to-date classrooms.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Administrative Assistant or Secretary
- Clerical and General Office
- Customer Service and Call Center Support
- Executive Assistant or Secretary
- Office Technology and Data Entry
- Warehousing and Inventory Management
Comparison of Schools
While the three city community colleges have similar tuition rates and offer open admissions, they differ in terms of student enrollment and graduation rates. Note that more than 75% of the first-time students at all three colleges receive some form of financial aid.
|CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College||CUNY Bronx Community College||CUNY Kingsborough Community College|
|School Type||2-year; public||2-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||26,606*||11,506*||17,758*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large city|
|Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)||$5,170 for in-state students; $8,050 for out-of-state students*||$5,206 for in-state students; $8,086 for out-of-state students*||$5,202 for in-state students; $8,082 for out-of-state students*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)||86%*||91%*||83%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014)||n/a (open admissions)*||n/a (open admissions)*||n/a (open admissions)*|
|Retention Rate (Fall 2013 to Fall 2014)||65% for full-time students; 54% for part-time students*||61% for full-time students; 50% for part-time students*||67% for full-time students; 47% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (students who enrolled in 2011)||16%*||11%*||23%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
At the Borough of Manhattan Community College, students can pursue career-oriented certificate or degree programs in a number of related areas, including business administration and management, office automation, office operations and small business entrepreneurship. In addition to the program, the department offers an annual Entrepreneurship Student Summit and the highly selective Goldman Sachs/Borough of Manhattan Community College Leadership Program.
Office Automation Certificate
Entry-level job seekers or experienced professionals may want to consider the department's 21-credit certificate program. The curriculum requirements include just one course in English composition and students do not need to take any classes in general business. However, they do receive skills-based training in keyboarding, text processing and office skills. The certificate credits can fold into the associate's degree program for the same specialization.
CUNY Bronx Community College
The Business and Information Systems Department at Bronx Community College offers a specialized Associate of Science program in business administration, as well as a number of Associate of Applied Science degrees in accounting, computer information systems, marketing, office administration and paralegal studies. Although the programs are similar, students who pursue an Associate of Applied Science may need to complete additional courses if they are interested in transferring to a 4-year college.
Associate of Applied Science in Office Administration and Technology
This program provides students with the background they need to obtain administrative assistant positions in a variety of office settings. The curriculum covers a breadth of office information systems, and instruction takes place in the most up-to-date facilities. Career-oriented students are taught how to work with a number of computer software programs, including those related to business and E-mail correspondence, multimedia projects and Web page applications. In contrast to the program at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, the core requirements include courses in composition and rhetoric, diction and interpersonal communication.
In addition to introductory topics in business and the Internet, students learn about administrative and supervisory procedures. Coursework for the major emphasizes document formatting and processing, and this gives future executive assistants a chance to obtain training in database and spreadsheet applications, keyboarding and transcription. As they become faster and more efficient, they can also learn how to produce more advanced documents and prepare business presentations. The program culminates in a cooperative work experience.
CUNY Kingsborough Community College
At the Department of Business, undergraduates can pursue transferable degree programs in areas such as business, office administration or accounting, as well as a certificate in entrepreneurial studies. Student services include a Career Development Center, where new job seekers can learn to write cover letters, resumes and thank you notes.
Associate of Applied Science in Office Administration and Technology
The 2-year program in office administration provides students with the opportunity to specialize in a variety of areas, including executive, legal, medical and office work or word processing. To fulfill the general education requirements, administrative majors can choose courses in the arts, behavioral science, language and literature, math, science or social science. General departmental requirements include three sequential courses in computer keyboarding, as well as those related to communication skills and office procedures.
Stenography majors who specialize in executive, legal or schoolwork also take courses in elementary and intermediate shorthand and advanced transcription. Those who concentrate on educational office support pursue special topics in school secretarial work, accounts and records. Non-stenography majors who focus on word or medical information processing receive training in the use of computer applications and electronic transcription. Students who specialize in medical word and information processing also learn about computer applications that are specific to this type of support.
Other School Options
In addition to the community colleges listed above, CUNY Queensborough Community College in Bayside, Queens, offers an Associate of Applied Science in Office Administration and Technology. In Manhattan, the Professional Business College of New York offers associate's degrees in business management and office technology. This is a 2-year, not-for-profit school that has been accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The Global Business Institute in Manhattan is another private, not-for-profit institution that has been approved by the same accrediting organization, and the school offers classes in MS Word and Excel, business speech, keyboarding and office procedures.