NWC News Desk

Classes for one-year administrative assistant certificate begin in January

Posted January 4, 2010

POWELL, Wyo. - In 2010 Northwest College will launch a short-track curriculum for individuals wanting to become administrative assistants. Classes for NWC's new one-year Administrative Assistant Skills Certificate begin Tuesday, Jan. 19.

"We did the research," said Carolyn White, the associate professor of business office technology who developed the certificate curriculum. "We checked with employers, and we kept track of the skills most requested in help-wanted ads. Then we designed a program that addressed those specific needs and added an internship component to ensure a comprehensive learning experience. The result is a great way to build confidence and become more employable without going through all the hoops and classes it takes to get a degree."

White said the certificate helps open the door to an entry-level office-management position. Students enrolled in the certificate program take a full load of credit classes in both spring and fall 2010 semesters, sandwiching a summer internship in between. The theory driving the schedule calls for equipping students with the basic skills they need in an office setting and then giving them an opportunity to apply those skills during the internship. When students come back for fall classes, they'll have the work experience to better understand how to use and apply the material covered in advanced classes.

The certificate classes meet Monday through Thursday. Most don't begin until 9 a.m. and all are over by 2:30 p.m. Some of the courses will also be available online.

"We were very deliberate in setting the times of these classes," White said. "This schedule allows young mothers to accommodate their children's schedules or maintain part-time jobs while attending classes. The NWC Child Care Center is available during these hours as well. The schedule is also ideal for those empty-nest mothers who are looking at re-entering the work world."

The spring course load includes classes in records management, accounting software, practical accounting, computer systems, business math, English composition and employment orientation. The fall lineup focuses on advanced classes in word processing, spreadsheet and database software, plus business communication, computer maintenance and Microsoft Outlook and OneNote.

"The class schedule was designed for students who want to make themselves employable within one calendar year," White said, "but it also works for those who want to take a part-time approach and aren't in a hurry to get their certificate in hand."

Students who enroll in the program as a first step toward earning a two-year associate's degree are eligible to apply for scholarships and financial aid, including the 2010 Spring Start Scholarship.

For more information, e-mail Carolyn White or call 307-754-6015.