Administrative Office Assistant Certificate

Cerro Coso IWV campus

What can I do with this?

The BSOT Administrative Office Assistant Certificate

  • Equips the student with the range of skills necessary to perform the duties of an entry level administrative assistant in today's technological office.
  • Trains students in communication, bookkeeping, office skills, and an essential selection of intermediate computer applications for business.

You can use this to:

  • Enhance career opportunities in:
    • Office Assistant
    • Bookkeeper
    • Data Entry Operator
    • Filing Clerk
    • Inventory Clerk
    • Clerk I, II, III
    • Administrative Assistant
    • Receptionist
    • Front Office Professional
    • Payroll Clerk
    • Accounts Receivable Clerk
    • Accounts Payable Clerk
Stock Photo

What will I learn?

  • To display business standards for efficiency, time management, and quality of work while projecting a professional image including ethical standards with respect to privacy, confidentiality, and personal behavior both independently and in group situations.
  • To apply fundamental principles of spelling, grammar, and punctuation to a wide variety of business communication messages, documents, and reports appropriate for the intended audience.
  • To demonstrate intermediate skills and problem solving ability in the use of industry standard applications and technology such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint, to office related tasks.
  • To analyze and record a variety of business financial transactions such as petty cash, bank deposits, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.
  • To demonstrate active listening skills to accurately condense and record verbal information, instructions, and ideas.

Program Learning Outcome Assessments

While I was doing my job searching, I found that even with an entry-level, clerk position, many would have liked at least 6 months of office experience. Luckily for me I was accepted on the fact that I had been taking BSOT classes for a year prior to applying for the job.

—Theresa Guerrero, Student

What courses do I take?

Note: Some courses within the major may have a required prerequisite. If you feel you have equivalent knowledge and skills to those included in the prerequisite course through professional experience, licensure, or certification, you have the opportunity to submit a Prerequisite Challenge to be reviewed by the faculty chair. For the Prerequisite Challenge to be considered, you must submit documentation/verification to substantiate the basis for the challenge. Please consult a counselor for more information regarding Prerequisite Challenge.

Complete all of the following courses:

54 hours lecture. This course introduces practical mathematical applications for business information students. Topics include solving business problems using an electronic calculator, banking, payroll, invoicing, markups/markdowns, interest, present and future value, credit cards, student loans, types of insurance, installment buying, and mortgages. Learners are required to access a printing calculator with features including round off/up key, decimal selector for 0 through 6 plus float memory keys and 10-12 digit keyboard.

Advisory: BSOT C070

36 hours lecture/54 hours laboratory. This course covers basic accounting concepts and procedures that are required to complete the accounting cycle. Account types (assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, expenses) as well as procedures for bank reconciliations, petty cash, and payroll are introduced. Learners complete business transactions from day-to-day economic activities to closing entries, and prepare year end documents such as a balance sheet, income statement, and statement of owner's equity. Students must complete and prepare lab assignments which will reinforce the concepts of the course. An introduction to Quickbooks is also incorporated in this course as an automated software option.

Advisory: BSOT C075, ENGL C101

54 hours lecture. This course provides the learner with a survey of skills and topics covered in the Business Information Worker certificates and degree program. Business English, entry level office procedures, the role of a business information professional, the workplace environment, workplace communication, ethics, customer focus, and teamwork are covered. The focus is an introduction to skills that are relevant to success as an office clerk, administrative assistant, office manager, or other business information worker roles.

Advisory: BSOT C075, ENGL C101.

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This course introduces personal management software and use of Microsoft Outlook functions. Topics include management of e-mail, organization of contacts, creation and scheduling of events using the calendar, and creation and management of tasks for personal and business use. Customization of Outlook features is also covered.

Advisory: BSOT C131, ENGL C101

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This is an intermediate-level course that builds on a basic keyboarding foundation with correct touch-typing techniques, including alphabetic, numeric, and symbol keyboarding as well as 10-key numeric keypad. Skill-building includes introductory formatting of documents using Microsoft Word. Successful completion of this class results in minimum keyboarding speed of 30 net words per minute on a three-minute timed writing.

Advisory: BSOT C075, BSOT C131

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This course provides a basic understanding of Adobe Acrobat. Topics include creating portable document files (PDF), working with PDF files, annotating and editing files, plus interactive forms and problem solving. Management of PDFs is also covered.

Prerequisite: BSOT C121

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This course provides an intermediate understanding of word processing concepts. Learners create, edit, and format documents including business plans, form letters, and mailing labels, and learn how to collaborate with others on the creation of complex documents. Features of templates, outlines, mail merge, and online distribution of web-based documents are also included. This course continues preparation for the Microsoft Office Application Specialist certification exam for Microsoft Word.

Prerequisite: BSOT C123

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This course provides an intermediate understanding of Microsoft Excel, covering data analysis, multiple worksheets and functions, pivot tables, conflict resolution, change-tracking, data validation, chart formatting, template usage, and macro operation. Problem solving for Excel solutions is also emphasized. This course continues preparation for the Microsoft Office User Certification exam for Excel.

Prerequisite: BSOT C125

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This course provides an intermediate understanding of database design and management. Advanced queries, table design, custom forms, and reports as well as integration of Access with the Web and other programs is covered. This course continues preparation for the Microsoft Office User Specialist exam for MS Access.

Advisory: BSOT C121, ENGL C101

54 hours lecture. This course presents the principles and techniques of effective written and oral business communication. Students discuss, critique, and practice business-writing strategies to produce messages, letters, reports, and presentations, while developing critical thinking skills. Students are evaluated on their knowledge of grammar, writing skills, punctuation, and sentence structure.

Program Pathways

All classes needed for this certificate are available at the following campuses: CC Online

See Counseling for specific help with enrolling and completing this major.

How can I afford it?

This certificate requires 18.0 units and will likely take 2 semesters.

Approximate Total Costs

CA Residents

18.0 units

at $46 per unit

Equals $828 in tuition and fees

Plus approximately $1,080* for books and supplies

Total cost $1,908 for 2 semesters


18.0 units

at $388 per unit

Equals $6,984 in tuition and fees

Plus approximately $1,080* for books and supplies

Total cost $8,064 for 2 semesters

*This is an estimate. Actual costs will vary.

Need help? Financial Aid can help with fee waivers and scholarships and other aid. Make sure to fill out your FAFSA every January.