Typing Classes in NYC with Course Descriptions

Research typing classes in New York City, which has several schools within 20 miles of the downtown offering programs. Read an overview of courses and get info on admissions policies and program requirements for three of these schools to decide which program is right for you.

NYC Schools that Offer Typing Classes

The City University of New York (CUNY) has three community colleges that offer associate degree programs in office work, and each one includes courses in keyboarding or word processing. Find descriptions of the programs below, as well as a table with key college facts and a list of other area schools that provide training for typists.

  • The Borough of Manhattan Community College, located downtown, offers a variety of certificate and associate degree programs, including those in office automation and operations. It is the only community college in the borough, as well as the largest in the CUNY system.
  • LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City is only eight miles away from downtown New York City and is easily accessible by public transportation. The college offers a certificate program in word processing.
  • The least urban of the three schools, the 37-acre Queensborough Community College is located on the Long Island border, about 17 miles from downtown New York City. The college is accessible by way of several major bus routes and offers a 2-year degree in office administration and technology, along with certificates in word processing, Microsoft Office and school secretarial work.

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

The Department of Business Management offers certificate and associate degree programs in office automation and operations, as well as 2-year business degree programs in administration, entrepreneurship and management. Students who are enrolled in the formatting, keyboarding, office and transcription courses are provided with weekly lab time in which to complete their assignments.

Associate of Applied Science in Office Automation

This 2-year program is designed for individuals interested in obtaining positions as clerical or executive assistants in government offices or private businesses. To earn their degrees, students must complete general education courses in English, speech and statistical math. Additional requirements include business courses in accounting, communication skills and workplace organization.

The core coursework for the major provides hands-on training in word processing equipment and software, and students are expected to meet individual course standards for accuracy and speed. Through the course in keyboarding, beginning typists learn the correct techniques associated with touch-typing; assignments include envelopes, interoffice memos, letters and tables. In the first of three courses in word processing, students become familiar with all aspects of document production, including editing, formatting, printing and storing. As the sequence continues, they learn how to create multiple page documents, complex tables, footnotes and indexes. All students take a career-planning seminar and participate in a 15-hour-per-week internship that, depending on the employer, may include some form of financial reimbursement.

Office Automation Certificate

This is a 30-credit course of study that may be of interest to first-time job seekers or working professionals who wish to polish their skills. Aside from a single course in English composition, students are not required to enroll in any liberal arts or business courses. The rest of the curriculum is similar to that of the associate degree program and is devoted exclusively to topics in keyboarding, office operations and word processing.

Associate of Applied Science in Office Operations

The general education and business requirements for this degree are similar to those in the office automation program, and the curriculum also includes the career planning seminar and an internship. Students gain the skills they need to work as administrative assistants or as secretaries in businesses, law offices or schools, and coursework can be tailored to one of those areas. In particular, it is a useful course of study for those who are interested in obtaining positions as school secretaries and can help to prepare them for the New York City School Secretary exam.

The curriculum includes courses in keyboarding and word processing, advanced document formatting and transcription. Training outcomes emphasize efficiency and typing speed, and students learn about different types of letter writing styles and how to produce advanced tabulations. Students also participate in an internship.

CUNY LaGuardia Community College

The Department of Business and Technology offers more than a dozen related degree programs in business, computer, hospitality and office-related studies. The word processing program is the only certificate program offered by the department.

Word Processing Specialist Certificate

This 36-credit hour certificate program includes courses in English composition, public speaking and writing. The general business core also includes topics in computer fundamentals, communications, desktop publishing and office procedures. Students take two courses each in keyboarding and word processing. Through lecture and lab courses, they become familiar with commonly used software and learn how to format business letters, manuscripts and tables.

CUNY Queensborough Community College

The Business Department provides career-oriented students with an opportunity to pursue certificate and degree programs in, among other areas, accounting, administration, computer information systems, management and secretarial studies. The college's word processing and information processing facility is open weekdays, nights and weekends. Both the degree and the certificate programs described below include cooperative work opportunities. The college also offers job placement assistance.

Associate of Applied Science in Office Administration and Technology

This 2-year program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive background in the liberal arts and sciences, business and technology. The 23 credits of general education requirements include topics in English, economics, science and math. Core coursework for the program includes studies in Microsoft Windows and Word, business and information management and office organization. It also includes beginning, intermediate and advanced typing/keyboarding.

Students may choose from one of two specialization tracks. The administrative secretary track provides training in shorthand and advanced word processing. Students may take electives in desktop publishing, microcomputer software or medical office procedures. The concentration in word and information processing includes courses in desktop publishing, microcomputer applications and advanced word processing, and students may choose from electives in legal office procedures, school recordkeeping and spreadsheet applications.

Microsoft Office Applications Proficiency Preparation Certificate

This 30-credit program is designed to prepare career-oriented students for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification exams. The curriculum requires just one general education course in English composition or writing for electronic media. The core requirements provide students with comprehensive training in a variety of Microsoft applications, including Outlook, PowerPoint and Word. Depending on how well they type, they can also take one course in beginning or intermediate keyboarding. Final program requirements include a 3-credit business elective.

School Secretary Certificate

The department also offers a 30-credit secretarial program that includes courses in liberal studies and professional practices. It is designed to help students and working professionals acquire the training they need to take the school secretary civil service exam and obtain a permanent license from the Board of Education. All of the credits required for the certificate can be transferred to the A.A.S. in Office Administration and Technology.

Comparison of Schools

Students who interested in becoming professional typists can use the following table to compare enrollment, retention rates and graduation percentages at the three featured schools. Note that all three schools have open admissions policies and similar tuition.

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College CUNY LaGuardia Community College CUNY Queensborough Community College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2011) 24,463* 18,623* 16,837*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition and Fees (2011-2012) $3,918 for in-state students; $6,078 for out-of-state students* $3,942 for in-state students; $6,102 for out-of-state students* $3,940 for in-state students; $6,100 for out-of-state students*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 83%* 79%* 71%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A (open admissions)* N/A (open admissions)* N/A (open admissions)*
Retention Rate (2011) 64% for full-time students; 54% for part-time students* 68% for full-time students; 47% for part-time students* 72% for full-time students; 58% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (students who enrolled in 2008) 12% (21% transfer out rate)* 14% (14% transfer out rate)* 14% (22% transfer out rate)*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics

Other School Options

In addition to the community colleges listed above, CUNY Bronx Community College and CUNY Kingsborough Community College offer Associate of Applied Science degrees in office administration and technology. In Manhattan, there are also two private, not-for-profit schools that offer courses in keyboarding or programs in office technology. These are the Global Business Institute and the Professional Business College of New York. Both are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

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