Degrees & Classes

Degrees & Classes

Office Assistant

Office Assistant Certificate

Choose this program to train for a career as a receptionist or office assistant. Employers such as physician’s offices, law firms, temporary help agencies, and consulting firms are in need of skilled office staff. You could also work for manufacturing and industrial firms, telecommunications companies, and retail and wholesale organizations, plus many other businesses that need office clerical support.

Employment Information

$27,206 starting annual wage

$33,654 average annual wage

$40,706 potential annual wage

Employment and wage data sources


Gainful Employment

Program Costs, Financing, and Outcomes

Gainful Employment Information

Jobs & Employment

Employment opportunities for receptionists are expected to grow because so many receptionists work for firms in services industries – including physician’s offices, law firms, temporary help agencies, and consulting firms – that are expected to experience significant growth. Job openings should be plentiful due to the large size and high rate of turnover associated with this occupation.

The average annual wage in this field is $33,654, with an earning potential of about $40,706 per year.*

Courses

Use this tool to see this program's course offerings for upcoming quarters

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Courses are from the 2017-18 Catalog

  • Quarter 1
  • CAP 101Introduction to Computer Applications5 credits

    Students will use a personal computer to demonstrate basic skills in Windows, Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. Students will also identify hardware components, demonstrate effective internet usage, and use the tools within the BTC learning management system. For off-campus, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer score: 71 Reading.

    Future Offerings
    7/5-8/11MTWTh10:00a-12:00pPEDERSEN MOpenings: 21
    9/19-12/8Online WOLLENS JOpenings: 20
    9/19-12/8MWF12:30p-1:50pSTAFFOpenings: 24
    9/19-12/7TTh 1:10p-3:20pSTAFFOpenings: 24
  • CAP 105Computerized Touch Keyboarding2 credits

    A touch typing course for beginners as well as those needing to brush up on their keyboarding skills. Course covers learning to type alphabetical keys by touch using proper technique. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.


    Future Offerings
    7/5-7/18MTWTh 9:00a-9:50aPEDERSEN MOpenings: 17
    9/20-10/16Online MASSEY JOpenings: 23
    9/20-10/16MWF 8:30a-9:50aMASSEY JOpenings: 24
  • CAP 106Formatting with MSWord4 credits

    Provides skillbuilding, production typing, and Microsoft Word fundamentals at the beginning or review level. Students use MS Word to format letters, memos, reports, and tables. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    CAP 105; or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    7/19-8/11MTWTh 9:00a-9:50aPEDERSEN MOpenings: 20
    10/18-12/8Online MASSEY JOpenings: 21
    10/18-12/8MWF 8:30a-9:50aMASSEY JOpenings: 23
  • BUS 188Business English5 credits

    Business English focuses on the improvement of basic grammar and proofreading skills needed to effectively compose and edit written business documents. Specific tools include proofreading, parts of speech, sentence structure, capitalization, abbreviation, number usage, punctuation, and word choice. It is recommended that BUS 188 (Business English) be taken before BUS 171 (Technical Communications).

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Scores: 71 Reading or a C grade in RDG 085, 71 Sentence Skills or a C grade in ENGL 092; or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/20-12/8MWF10:10a-11:30aPEDERSEN MOpenings: 17
  • Required Courses for Program
  • Required Courses credits to TOTAL 53 Credits.

  • BUS 100Electronic Math Applications3 credits

    Focuses on the application of the electronic calculator to business transactions and accounting activities. Students will develop speed on the 10-key by touch method. Note: This course meets the computation general education requirements for the medical coding and billing program only.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 50 or MATH 090 with a C or better or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-10/27Online KENT DOpenings: 14
    10/25-12/8MWF12:30p-1:50pKENT DOpenings: 19
  • BUS 123Records Management3 credits

    Introduces students to basic terminology and the scope of records and information management, employment opportunities, and legal and ethical matters associated with records. The life cycle of non-electronic and electronic records are surveyed from creation to retention and destruction.


    Future Offerings
    9/20-10/25MW10:10a-11:30aMASSEY JOpenings: 14
  • BUS 150Math for Business5 credits

    Students will apply math concepts to business applications in the areas of banking, business statistics, markup/markdown, payroll, debt, credit cards, investments, and insurance. It is recommended that students have a calculator with the exponent function.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 50 or MATH 090 with a "C" or better or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/8Online PEDERSEN MOpenings: 14
  • BUS 171Technical Communications5 credits

    This course introduces students to effective written and oral business communication. Students will learn to compose effective business writings including letters, memos, technical manuals, reports, and employment documents. Students will learn effective oral presentation, job interviewing skills, and use various forms of technology including email, online file sharing and live web conferencing. It is recommended that BUS 188 (Business English) be taken before BUS 171 (Technical Communications). NOTE: When this course is taught online, students will need access to a Windows-based computer, web cam, and be able to deliver and receive audio. CAP 106 is recommended prior to taking BUS 171.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer scores: 71 Reading or a C grade in RDG 085; 71 Sentence Skills or a C grade in ENGL 092; CAP 101 and CAP 105 with a C or better grade.

    Future Offerings
    9/20-12/8MWF 8:30a-9:50aPEDERSEN MOpenings: 12
  • BUS 188Business English5 credits

    Business English focuses on the improvement of basic grammar and proofreading skills needed to effectively compose and edit written business documents. Specific tools include proofreading, parts of speech, sentence structure, capitalization, abbreviation, number usage, punctuation, and word choice. It is recommended that BUS 188 (Business English) be taken before BUS 171 (Technical Communications).

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Scores: 71 Reading or a C grade in RDG 085, 71 Sentence Skills or a C grade in ENGL 092; or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/20-12/8MWF10:10a-11:30aPEDERSEN MOpenings: 17
  • BUS 281Assessment1 credits

    Administrative Assistant students will create a portfolio appropriate to their certificate or degree and complete an exit interview with their advisory. Assessment, required for a completion certificate or degree, will be assigned relative to the student's certificate or degree.

    Prerequisite:
    Instructor Permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/8ARRMASSEY JOpenings: 24
  • CAP 101Introduction to Computer Applications5 credits

    Students will use a personal computer to demonstrate basic skills in Windows, Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. Students will also identify hardware components, demonstrate effective internet usage, and use the tools within the BTC learning management system. For off-campus, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer score: 71 Reading.

    Future Offerings
    7/5-8/11MTWTh10:00a-12:00pPEDERSEN MOpenings: 21
    9/19-12/8Online WOLLENS JOpenings: 20
    9/19-12/8MWF12:30p-1:50pSTAFFOpenings: 24
    9/19-12/7TTh 1:10p-3:20pSTAFFOpenings: 24
  • CAP 105Computerized Touch Keyboarding2 credits

    A touch typing course for beginners as well as those needing to brush up on their keyboarding skills. Course covers learning to type alphabetical keys by touch using proper technique. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.


    Future Offerings
    7/5-7/18MTWTh 9:00a-9:50aPEDERSEN MOpenings: 17
    9/20-10/16Online MASSEY JOpenings: 23
    9/20-10/16MWF 8:30a-9:50aMASSEY JOpenings: 24
  • CAP 106Formatting with MSWord4 credits

    Provides skillbuilding, production typing, and Microsoft Word fundamentals at the beginning or review level. Students use MS Word to format letters, memos, reports, and tables. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    CAP 105; or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    7/19-8/11MTWTh 9:00a-9:50aPEDERSEN MOpenings: 20
    10/18-12/8Online MASSEY JOpenings: 21
    10/18-12/8MWF 8:30a-9:50aMASSEY JOpenings: 23
  • CAP 107Computerized Keyboard Skillbuilding I3 credits

    Designed to help students improve their speed and accuracy at the computer. Computerized lessons analyze areas of weakness and provide appropriate drills for improvement. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    CAP 106; or instructor permission.
  • CAP 114MS Outlook2 credits

    Students will use Microsoft Outlook to learn how to effectively manage settings, incoming and outgoing messages, schedules, and contacts. Students will research email etiquette and corporate email policies and apply email writing techniques to business scenarios.

    Prerequisite:

    Future Offerings
    10/25-12/4Online PEDERSEN MOpenings: 5
  • CAP 138WORD5 credits

    Students receive hands-on instruction using the commands and features of Word to create simple to complex business documents. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    CAP 101 and CAP 105 with a C or better grade in each course or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/7TTh 8:00a-10:10aSTAFFOpenings: 21
  • CAP 142Excel5 credits

    This course provides a practical hands-on approach to developing the skills to use the powerful spreadsheet application, Excel. Students will use Excel to organize and analyze data, perform numerical calculations, and illustrate relationships in numerical data by displaying charts. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    BUS100 or BUS150 or AMATH100 or MATH&107 or higher; and CAP101.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/7TTh10:30a-12:40pWOLLENS JOpenings: 3
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 credits

    Designed to introduce students to the application of basic interpersonal communication theory, with a focus on achieving success in the workplace. Topics explored include self-awareness, self-disclosure, conversation skills, relationship development and maintenance, assertiveness, teamwork and group dynamics, conflict management strategies, and diversity issues.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    7/5-8/10MTWTh 8:30a-10:50aSMITH MOpenings: 22
    7/5-8/10MTWTh12:30p-2:50pSMITH MOpenings: 21
    7/5-8/11Online BURNS JOpenings: 1
    7/5-8/11Online BURNS JOpenings: 18
    9/19-12/7TTh 8:00a-10:10aSTAFFOpenings: 27
    9/20-12/8MWF10:10a-11:30aSTAFFOpenings: 25
    9/20-12/6MW 2:10p-3:30pSMITH MOpenings: 26
    9/19-12/7TTh 5:30p-7:40pMUDD SOpenings: 28
    9/19-12/8Online SMITH MOpenings: 20
    9/19-12/8Online STAFFOpenings: 23
    9/19-12/8Online BURNS JOpenings: 19
  • Electives
  • Students may select five (5) credits of Electives from any course listed below.

  • ACCT 141Practical Accounting I5 credits

    Covers the accounting cycle through a study of sole proprietorship and the use of accounts, the general journal, and the general ledger.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 and Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 38 or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/20-12/8MWF 2:10p-3:30pKENT DOpenings: 8
  • ACCT& 201Principles of Accounting I5 credits

    This course is the first of a series of three accounting courses in the Business DTA sequence. It provides an introduction to financial accounting as an essential part of business decision-making. It includes the vocabulary and fundamental concepts of accounting as well as analysis of common business activities and interpretation primary financial statements.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Score: 75 in Algebra or a grade of C or higher in Math 098; or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/8Online KENT DOpenings: 20
  • ACCT& 202Principles of Accounting II5 credits

    This is the second of a series of three accounting courses in the Business DTA sequence and is a continuation of ACCT& 201. The emphasis of this class is on fixed assets, intangibles, investments and financing, stockholder’s equity, cash flow analysis and financial statement analysis.

    Prerequisite:
    ACCT&201 with a C or higher; or instructor permission.
  • ACCT& 203Principles of Accounting III5 credits

    This is the third course of the series of three accounting courses in the Business DTA sequence and is also a required course for the Accounting AAS and AAS-T degree students. This course introduces students to information needed by managers to carry out three essential functions in an organization: (1) planning operations, (2) controlling activities, and (3) making decisions. This course will show what kind of information is needed, where this information can be obtained, and how this information can be used by managers as they carry out their planning, control, and decision-making responsibilities.

    Prerequisite:
    ACCT& 202 or ACCT 243 with a "C" or better or instructor permission.
  • BUS 230Medical Office Procedures5 credits

    Medical Office Procedures is an introduction to healthcare administration. This course gives students transferable skills that will aid them in attaining employment within healthcare, as well as a global understanding of the differences within the various healthcare systems. A strong emphasis will be placed on interpersonal skills, appropriate communication and customer service skills when working in a diverse office team environment. The student will learn the duties in the medical office, computerized medical office procedures as well as exercises in judgment, independent action, and coping with interruptions. In addition to computerized appointment scheduling and billing, students learn about the major insurances with ICD and CPT coding. This course is designed to give an overview of the various areas within healthcare administration that most healthcare professionals will be expected to understand and know when seeking a job. Although healthcare operations may vary, a basic level of understanding in administration is vital for all healthcare professionals. (Note: this course meets the communications general education requirement for the medical coding and billing generalist program only).

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills score of 71 or higher.

    Future Offerings
    9/20-11/27MW12:00p-3:00pWALKER SOpenings: 18
  • BUS 232Office Procedures5 credits

    Prepares the student for the role of an office or administrative assistant and the broader role as a professional member of the management team. The class exposes the student to the growing influence of information technology, the expanding global marketplace, and the changes in the organizational structure of modern business.

    Prerequisite:
    CAP 106.
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 credits

    Students are introduced to the broad field of business and its organization, operation and management. Business opportunities, ownership, marketing, physical factors, human resource, finance, regulations and decision-making processes are emphasized. Other topics include problems of organization, strategic management and controls. Fulfills the social science requirements at Bellingham Technical College.

    Prerequisite:
    Recommend experience in Word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software.

    Future Offerings
    7/5-8/25Online WOLLENS JWaitlisted: 5
    9/19-12/8Online WOLLENS JOpenings: 16
  • BUS& 201Business Law5 credits

    This course introduces students to principles underlying the legal environment of business through lectures, classroom activities, and study of text. Students will be exposed to basic information relating business and personal aspects of law as set forth in the course outline.

    Prerequisite:
    71 Reading Accuplacer score.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/8Online STAFFOpenings: 15
  • CAP 109Computerized Keyboard Skill Building II3 credits

    Designed to help students to further improve their speed and accuracy at the computer. Computerized lessons analyze areas of weakness and provide appropriate drills for improvement. Time will also be spent on data entry fundamentals. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    CAP 107; or instructor permission.
  • CAP 143Adobe Acrobat & Electronic File Management5 credits

    Adobe Acrobat software enables business professionals to easily convert any electronic or paper document into a PDF file that can be reviewed by colleagues, clients and customers. This class covers transferring business documents such as policies, training materials, regulations, or other types of material into a secured PDF format that allows review but protects the material fr4om alteration or deletion. In this class, you will learn the basics of creating a PDF document; add headers and footers; render text searchable and able to edit; utilizing security functions to protect documents; creating and editing forms; and utilizing legal tools available. You will also develop expertise in electronic file management while creating folders and subfolders. Included in the file management portion will be how to find, view, open, copy, move, delete and rename files. Some basic computer and keyboarding skills are recommended.

  • CAP 148PowerPoint3 credits

    Presents an overview of a presentation graphics program. Students will create and present a slide show projected from their computer. For off-campus work, a Windows-based computer is required.

    Prerequisite:
    CAP 101; or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/8Online STAFFOpenings: 13
  • CIS 145Website Development5 credits

    An introduction to HTML, graphics, and other programming languages for use in web pages. Students will learn the use of programming editors, preparation of graphics, content development, and page layout.

    Prerequisite:
    CAP 101; or instructor permission.
  • LGL 132Legal Terminology5 credits

    This course is designed to help students learn the legal terminology, English skills, legal formatting skills, and guidelines needed in a law office.


    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/8Online STAFFOpenings: 18
  • MGMT 154Creating and Managing a Small Business5 credits

    This course examines the organization and operation of a small business. Topics include development of a business plan, failure factors in small businesses, sources of capital, record-keeping, financial statements, taxation, marketing, legal and regulatory issues, and best management practices.

  • MGMT 210Human Resource Management5 credits

    Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate office supervisory skills. Introduces students to the fundamentals of supervisory management. Through lectures, text, case studies, projects, and simulations students will develop an understanding of principles to be used as guides for supervision in an office.


    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/8Online STAFFOpenings: 19
  • PMP 100Project Management Fundamentals1 credits

    Learn the effective methods of planning and sequencing projects; complete them on schedule; list cost elements of the project budget; discuss ethical strategies for controlling the budget and schedule deviations; and identify communication methods and reporting tools that impact objectives. A manual is included with this course


    Future Offerings
    9/23Sa10:00a-4:30pABBOTT ROpenings: 19
  • PMP 120Project Management Prep3 credits

    A standards-based approach to project management across applications and industries; focusing on the standards recognized by the Project Management Institute; and assistance with preparing for the Project Management Professional Certification exam. Topics include: project life cycle; criteria for management; common reasons for project failure; risk management plans; and project team-building. Text required.


    Future Offerings
    9/26-11/28T 6:00p-9:00pABBOTT ROpenings: 24
  • PMP 130PMP Integration1 credits

    Capstone course in the Project Management Certificate program with completion of a project plan (individual's choice) utilizing knowledge, skills and methodologies learned in the certificate program; while teaming with other project managers to work through project simulations and case studies.

    Prerequisite:
    PMP 120.

    Future Offerings
    11/30-12/5TTh 6:00p-9:30pABBOTT ROpenings: 24
  • CAP 150Project - Level 11 credits

    Create a project plan file with information entries; develop a work breakdown structure with organizing and task setting relationships; assign resources; and finalize a project plan file. A manual is included with this course.


    Future Offerings
    10/14Sa 8:30a-4:30pNICOLE CHANOpenings: 23
  • CAP 151Project - Level 21 credits

    Exchange project plan data with other applications; update the plan; create custom reports and re-use existing projects plan information. A manual is included with this course.


    Future Offerings
    10/22Sa 8:30a-4:30pMIKE TILLEYOpenings: 23
  • BUS 127Social Media Marketing5 credits

    This course provides an introduction to social media marketing (SMM). Special emphasis is placed on creating a social media marketing plan which uses social media platforms to positively influence consumers toward a brand, product, or service. Explore and practice managing social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr as well as emerging platforms.

    Prerequisite:
    Basic understanding of web technologies and marketing concepts is expected.

    Future Offerings
    9/19-12/8Online STAFFOpenings: 19
  • BUS 128Search Engine Marketing5 credits

    Search Engine Marketing is the process of promoting a Web site, product or company through both search engine optimization and search advertising. This course examines ways to improve traffic to the Web site by improving the ranking in search engine results and paid advertising. Become familiar with different types of marketing data and learn to combine them to answer business questions. Develop a measurement plan for a marketing campaign, and learn to set up the plan so it generates actionable data.

    Prerequisite:
    Basic understanding of web technologies and marketing concepts is expected.
  • BUS 129Social Media Marketing Campaign5 credits

    Students will complete a social media marketing campaign for an organization. By identifying the organizations target market and the social media portals where the organization participates. Students will learn to set measurable goals; design innovative strategies and select appropriate social media portals, craft compelling content to attract and influence the intended audience, monitor and measure progress on a regular basis, and tune the social media marketing campaign to account for the ever changing nature of consumer tastes and the social Web.

    Prerequisite:
    Basic understanding of web technologies and marketing concepts is expected.
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS58 credits

Program Entry Information

The program typically starts in Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Quarters.

Testing Requirements

These requirements are for the Certificate.

  • Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.
  • Accuplacer score of 50 in Arithmetic or a grade of C or better in MATH 090

Program Outcomes

  • Graduates will be able to demonstrate competency in touch keyboarding at 40 wpm on a three minute timing with a three error limit.
  • Graduates will be able to demonstrate 73 percent competency in word processing, written business communication, business math, effective oral communication skills, office skills and procedures, and MS Windows.

Janell Massey - Instructor image

Janell Massey

Area of Instruction


Business & Computer Information Systems

Degrees and Certifications


M.Ed., Business Education, Western Washington University

B.A., Business Education, Western Washington University

Certificate, Microsoft Certified Application Specialist in Access, Excel, and Word 2007

Certificate, Microsoft Office Specialist: MS Word 2010 Core and Expert

Certificate, WA Professional Technical Certification

Contact Info


752-8410
jmassey@btc.edu
Campus Center (CC) - Room 213

 

Background


Profile
Janell Massey has been a Business Computer Information Systems (BCIS) instructor at Bellingham Technical College since 2007. Prior to that, she spent ...

    • Janell Massey has been a Business Computer Information Systems (BCIS) instructor at Bellingham Technical College since 2007. Prior to that, she spent 20 years as a high school business education teacher, work-based learning coordinator, career and technical education director, and career counselor. She graduated from Western Washington University with a master’s degree in Business Education (1991), and. while at BTC, she has earned tenure status and expanded her Microsoft certifications. Janell is currently the advisor for Administrative Assistant, Office Assistant, Receptionist and Data Entry Specialist degree and certificates. She is also an IAAP – International Association of Administrative Professionals member (since 2013); and a NBEA – National Business Education Association member (since 1987-2000/2013).