Program Goal and Outcomes
Program Goal: To prepare students for an entry-level career as an administrative assistant.
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Understand how to maintain paper and electronic filing systems for records and messages as well as organize files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently
- Comprehend how to schedule appointments and make travel arrangements for executives and other staff
- Recognize how to answer phones, draft messages, write memos and email when communicating with managers, employees, and customers
- Comprehend how to support staff to conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives, committees, and boards of directors
- Understand how to read, analyze, route, distribute, and answer routine incoming memos, submissions, reports, mail and email to determine their significance and plan their distribution
- Communicate well with others in and out of the office
- Understand how fax machines, videoconferencing and phone systems, and other office equipment work
- Use computers to create spreadsheets, presentations, reports, compose messages, manage databases, and other applications
- Understand how to negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, manage stockrooms or corporate libraries, and get data from various sources
- Prepare reports, memos, letters, financial statements, and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, or presentation software
- Know how to greet visitors and determine whether they should be given access to specific individuals
- Recognize a professional image in an office environment
- Know how to manage stress and time in professional ways
Instruction Set 1
Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
The Administrative Professional
Introduction to the field; the administrative professional’s role in the workplace; necessary skills and abilities; workplace trends and opportunities; professional organizations.
Instruction Set 2
Your Professional Image
Components of a professional image; the link between a professional image and job success; identifying personal strengths and detecting areas for improvement.
Stress and Time Management
Importance of relaxation; developing coping strategies and a stress management program; value of time management; setting goals.
Instruction Set 3
The Global Workplace
Working with clients in countries other than the United States; working as an employee of a foreign firm operating in the U.S.; diversity, international business etiquette, international time zones, international travel.
Interpersonal Communication Skills
The importance of interpersonal skills; effective listening; traits for positive interpersonal relations; oral communication skills, articulation; enunciation and pronunciation; improving speech; interacting with others; non-verbal communication; respecting and working with others.
Instruction Set 4
Administrative Office Procedures
Responsibilities of the office professional; leadership tasks; project coordination; customer relations; business ethics; professionalism.
Travel and Meeting Planning
Using a business traveler profile; various ways of making travel arrangements; differentiating between classes of airfare; business traveler’s itinerary; planning online meetings; planning a convention.
Instruction Set 5
Filing according to the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA International); color-coded filing systems; electronic filing systems; alphabetic filing rules.
Handling records; classification of records; records control; electronic records management; archiving technologies.
Math for Office Professionals
Basic math; mean, median, mode, and range; figuring sales tax; markups and markdowns; loan amortization; metric system; foreign currency exchange.
Instruction Set 6
Technologies in the Workplace
Technologies used in today’s workplace; use of the Internet; the virtual office; security and ethical issues;
electronic communications; electronic communication systems.
Resources and References
Standard reference resources; using the Internet for research; mapping; manuals; using directories and libraries.
Features of the Web; navigating the Web; accessing and sending email; basic research tools and search engines.
Instruction Set 7
Business letters, forms, client records, and memos; organization, grammar, punctuation, and sentence and paragraph construction; coherent paragraphs, well-organized documents, and purpose-focused materials; accurate, attractive, and effective final copies.
Instruction Set 8
First Steps in Using a Personal Computer
The boot process; launching Microsoft® Windows®; developing mouse skills; Windows® accessories; Windows® programs.
Learning about Windows® XP, Windows Vista,® and Windows® 7; setting up the Windows® desktop; working with Windows® tools.
Keyboarding and Word Processing
Alphabetic and numeric keys; keying techniques; basic keyboarding skills; improving speed and accuracy.
Textbook: College Keyboarding & Document Processing
Software: College Keyboarding & Document Processing
Instruction Set 9
Advanced Word Processing
Formatting common business documents; basic and advanced word processing functions.
Textbook: Advanced Word Processing
Membership: Student Membership in the International Association of Administrative Professionals® (IAAP)
Instruction Set 10
Integrated Computer Applications
Integrating Microsoft® Word, PowerPoint,® and Excel® to create documents with text, charts and graphs, and clip art, lines, and borders.
Instruction Set 11
Operating income; operating expenses; travel expenses; using technology to handle office finances; banking procedures; maintaining inventory records; understanding financial reports; office finances and ethics.
Office planning and layout; selecting office staff; supervising employees; motivating employees; evaluating
employee performance; effective teams in the office; legal issues in office management.
Work Experience Option
Managing a Successful Job Search