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. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. 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