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Administrative Assistant Skills Guide

Recommended High School Level Background Courses

  • *General Math
  • Bookkeeping
  • Keyboarding
  • Business Math
  • Office Practices
  • Computer Literacy
  • *Grammar

* Courses available in the Academic Achievement Center or the
High School Completion Center.

Basic Skills in the Program and on the Job


Texts used in first-semester courses are written at the college level. These texts are used as a central part of the coursework. Tests are based on a combination of texts and lectures.

In addition to their texts, students will also use standard office references such as the Gregg Reference Manual and resources available on the Internet. On the job they will also use company procedure manuals, computer software manuals, and the on-line help feature.

View more information about reading skills in the Administrative Assistant program.


Communication skills are an essential part of this program. In-class speaking activities include explanations of procedures, short oral reports, the use of presentation graphics software such as PowerPoint, and team projects. Interviewing, telephone techniques, and customer relations are taught in the program and used extensively on the job. Good listening skills are vital to success on the job, as many directions are presented orally.

Students are expected to possess strong English skills when they enter the program. In their first-term Business English course (ADM 157), they will review proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. These skills are applied as they compose business letters, memos, and reports in the Business Communication course (ADM 154) and on the job. They may be asked to compose their own material, and accuracy is essential.

View more information about language skills in the Administrative Assistant program.


Business Math(BUS 112) is taken in the first term. Strong arithmetic skills are essential for success in this course. In their Introduction to Computer Business Applications course (BCA212), students will be working with spreadsheets that will require them to create simple math formulas. In the program and on the job, they will use an office calculator. They may also be required to set up work schedules, calculate discounts, and check invoices, etc., for accuracy. Accounting coursework is included in this program.

View more information about math skills in the Administrative Assistant program.


Students must be able to follow logical sequences as they use computer software manuals and receive instructions from others. They must also be able to organize ideas logically when they explain procedures to coworkers. They must be able to work independently, knowing when to use their own problem-solving skills and when to ask for help.

View more information about learning skills in the Administrative Assistant program.


In their first-term Introduction to Computer Business Applications course (BCA212), students will be introduced to word processing, spreadsheet, graphics, desktop publishing, presentation and data base programs. In subsequent terms, they will develop proficiency and accuracy in using these applications. All of these applications will be used extensively on the job.

View more information about computer skills in the Administrative Assistant program.

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