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Administrative Assistant Course and Class Descriptions

An administrative assistant needs proficiency in interpersonal skills, phone etiquette, computer applications, writing and common administration procedures. Courses in this discipline are usually part of a full certificate or degree program.

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Essential Information

Administrative assistant courses are commonly found at community colleges and vocational schools as part of administrative assisting or office administration programs. While both certificate and associate's degree programs cover the core skills administrative assistants need, like typing, spreadsheet management and scheduling, associate's degree programs add general education courses and electives.

Here are some common concepts associated with administrative assistant courses:

  • Business documents
  • Human resources
  • Organization
  • Mathematical operations
  • Quickbooks

List of Common Courses

Administrative Office Procedures

This introductory course covers general administrative support, problem solving and interpersonal communication. Students learn to work as part of a team and adapt to a changing office environment, complete projects and manage their work load. An array of administrative assistant tasks are introduced, including completing correspondence, keeping schedules, answering phones and typing.

Professional Communication Skills

Communication is a fundamental part of working in an office, and an administrative assistant must often be the liaison between a company and its clientele. Students learn basic communication skills including courtesy, interviewing skills and dealing with difficult clients. Coursework includes hands-on experience in making and receiving business phone calls. Fundamental writing skills are also introduced.

Business Writing

Basic business writing classes begin with proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, number styles and capitalization. After mastering these skills students learn the subtler points of effective written communication, enabling them to function in a high-tech business environment. Students learn proper business correspondence etiquette as it pertains to communication with the public, clients, other businesses and employees.

Typing and Computer Keyboarding Skills

This course, usually taken before learning software programs, emphasizes typing speed and accuracy. Students work on alphabet and numeric keyboards to develop basic typing skills. Drills and timed writing exercises increase proficiency. Letter, number and symbol typing are also emphasized.

Business Computer Software

This administrative assistant course focuses on the most commonly used computer programs, including those in the Microsoft Office Suite, such as Word, Access, PowerPoint and Excel. Specific skills include working with word processing, database and spreadsheet programs. Students learn file functions, printing, data manipulation, indexing, sorting and moving text. Curriculum also includes creating reports, resumes, invoices and business correspondence.

10-Key Calculation

Basic mathematics is a part of the business world and students in this course learn to solve typical business math problems, utilizing the 10-key touch system of calculators and computers. Focus is on gaining familiarity with fundamental business math concepts as well as the development of speed and accuracy using the 10-key touch system.

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