Degree Programs

Associate in Applied Science – Office Administration (032A)

This degree program trains students for office careers in business, education, or government. Students will learn traditional office skills alongside modern technology, focused through four areas of concentration. Students who choose the Office Administration AAS will complete the general Office Administration curriculum in addition to the Office Administration sub plan concentration of their choice listed below.

Office Administration Sub Plans

Administrative Assistant
Students who choose the Administrative Assistant option will explore office management principles and virtual office technologies in addition to basic office support and software packages.

Legal Office Specialist
Students who choose the Legal Office option will explore law office management principles and computer applications as well as business law or an introduction to paralegal studies.

Accounting Office Specialist
Students who choose the Accounting Specialist option will complete courses in managerial accounting and office management to develop the skills necessary to work in a financial support staff position.

Medical Office Specialist
Students who choose the Medical Office Specialist option will learn principles of biology and medical terminology to develop the skills necessary to work in the medical office support field.

Associate in Applied Science – Office Technology Specialist (0069)

In this degree program, you will study computers, specialized technology, electronic communications and electronic information systems. The program will provide you with a benchmark to measure your computer skills using Microsoft Office software. View cost sheet.

Accelerated Degree Option

Students with an associate or bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college may earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in OAT by completing at least 27 semester credit hours of program related course work. A plan of specific courses required for the degree must be obtained from the program coordinator and approved by the Dean of the Business Division and the Vice President for Instruction. Only those courses completed at Southwestern Illinois College, and not included as part of the requirements for a previously earned degree or certificate, can be considered for this option. Students must meet all institutional requirements for the Associate in Applied Science degree.

Certificate Programs

Administrative Office Support Certificate (0065)

This one-year program of concentrated secretarial work may be completed in two semesters. Courses also could apply toward the completion of the two-year OAT degree.

Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate (0064)

This curriculum is designed to prepare students to take the Microsoft Office Specialist test(s). The MOS certification is a globally recognized certification of skill in the use of Microsoft desktop business applications.

Office Support Technology Certificate (069A)

The certificate program provides the skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level office support positions in the automated office. Basic computer concepts and operation, basic word processing concepts and operation, and general office procedures are taught.

Office Technology Assistant I Certificate (033A)

This program emphasizes word processing and related office skills for entry level positions.

Office Technology Assistant II Certificate (0033)

This program is designed to give students additional skills after completing Office I. Upon completion of this certificate, a student may continue in one of the OAT degree programs.

Virtual Assistant Certificate (069B)

This certificate program is designed to prepare students to operate from a remote location to provide support services such as administrative, creative and/or technical solutions to individuals, business and organizations.

Career Opportunities

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Office Assistant
  • Word/Information Processor
  • Secretary
  • Legal Office Specialist
  • Accounting Office Specialist
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Information Processor
  • Software Specialist
  • Clerk Typist
  • General Office Clerk
  • General Office Assistant
  • Virtual Assistant in business, education and government
  • Secretary
  • Receptionist
  • Office Assistant

Employment Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2008 and 2018, the demand for accounting clerks is expected to grow by 10 percent, administrative assistants by 11 percent, general office clerks by 12 percent, legal secretaries by 28 percent, medical secretaries by 34 percent, medical transcriptionists by 11 percent and receptionists/information clerks by 15 percent.

The job prospects for administrative professionals are good because they provide a service that is integral to the office operation. Promotions of senior executive, clerical supervisor or office manager may be offered to experienced administrative assistants who increase their knowledge of their company’s venues and enhance their skills with additional education and training.

For more information about Career Opportunities, visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook website published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Visit our Career Activities and Employment Center.

Phi Beta Lambda - Abe Small Chapter

Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is a nonprofit educational association of students preparing for careers in business. All Southwestern Illinois College students are welcome to join. Contact the Business Division at 618-222-5313 for more information.