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Administrative Virtual Assistant Certificate

Last updated 4/1/2014

Certificate Code 5767

Program Contacts:
QC Campus

Amy Levens-Smith, 309-796-5329, smitha@bhc.edu

East Campus

Wendy Smith, 309-854-1713, smithw@bhc.edu


A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent entrepreneur providing administrative, creative, and/or technical services. Utilizing advanced technological modes of communication and data delivery, a professional VA assists clients in his/her area of expertise from his/her own office on a contractual basis. The Administrative Virtual Assistant Certificate has been designed for students who either have an Associate of Applied Science degree in Administrative Assisting or for students who have worked in an office setting as an administrative assistant, information processor, or similar capacities.

The Administrative Virtual Assistant Certificate prepares the student to work independently, on a contractual basis for private industry, non-profit organizations, and government offices. This online program will provide opportunities for students to gain entrepreneurial skills, attitudes, technology skills and related knowledge to adapt to providing office services virtually from their home offices.

Administrative Virtual Assistant Certificate
Certificate Code 5767
Course of Study Outline – Suggested Courses (Credit Hours)

First Semester
BE 161 — Introduction to Microsoft Windows (1)
BE 180 — Business Communications (4)
BE 248A — Desktop Publishing I - fall only (1)
BE 248B — Desktop Publishing II - fall only (1)
ACCT 121 — QuickBooks  or  (2)
ACCT 122 — Peach Tree
BA 121 — Small Business Management (3)
BA 245B — The Business Plan (1)
1Elective (3)

Second Semester
BE 171 — Web Software Development Tools - spring only (3)
BE 243 — Keyboarding III - spring only (3)
BE 247 — Advanced Information Processing - spring only (3)
BE 270 — Virtual Office Administration – spring only (2)
BE 275 — Virtual Assistant Internship - spring only (3)
BA 113 — Business Relations (1)
BA 245C — Financial Statement Analysis (1)

Minimum total hours required for certificate (32)

1 Elective from the following courses (or otherwise an approved elective from a BE professor):
BE 120 — Technology Tools  and  (2)
BE 248C — Desktop Publishing III (1)
NETW 120 — Basic Computer Networks (3)
COER 116 — Microcomputer Hardware (3)
BA 118 — Small Business Simulations (3)
BA 230 — Principles of Marketing (3)
BA 242 — Principles of Supervision (3)
BA 243 — Developing Team Skills (3)
BA 266 — Business Policy and Ethics (3)
BL 202 — Business Law II (3)
SPAN 101 — Elementary Spanish I (4)
SPEC 111 — Business and Professional Communication (3)
SPEC 290 — Leadership Development (3)

Courses for this program include: »

ACCT 121 Accounting with QuickBooks
2 cr. hrs.;
1 lecture hour; 2 lab hours per week.
A study of the procedures and uses of QuickBooks software to account for the transactions of a business.

ACCT 122 Accounting with Peachtree
2 cr. hrs.;
1 lecture hour; 2 lab hours per week.
A study of the procedures and uses of Peachtree software to account for the transactions of a business.

BA 113 Business Relations III
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
Provides an orientation to typical service projects conducted by contemporary businesses.

BA 118 Small Business Simulations
3 cr. hr.;
3 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
This course provides an online simulation for establishing or purchasing a small business or franchise. This course is appropriate for beginning and would-be entrepreneurs. Suggested co-requisites: BA 121, Small Business Management.

BA 121 Small Business Management
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Hands-on course designed to prepare the student for possible ownership of their own small business. Topics to be covered include market research, financing, organization structure, management skills, and marketing procedures. Also, skills and time requirements needed to own and operate your own business. Students will be provided an opportunity to produce a business plan that would fit their current or future business needs.

BA 230 Principles of Marketing
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
An in-depth analysis of major contemporary marketing concepts and practices. Covers marketing environments and trends, product development, pricing practices, distribution networks and relationships with advertising agencies and sales forces.

BA 242 Principles of Supervision
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Course deals with the responsibilities of the supervisor or leader in the industrial and administrative environment. Leadership qualities, human relations skills, motivation, communication, training techniques, and problem of the work group are discussed.

BA 243 Developing Team Skills
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
A basic course introducing the team dynamics such as the formation of teams, stages of team development, strengths and weaknesses of teams and the practical application to team skills.

BA 245B The Business Plan
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
This course provides preparation for decision making about purchasing a small business or franchise. Students will explore strategies for purchasing a small business or a franchise.

BA 245C Financial Statement Analysis
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
This course provides skills used to understand and apply accounting principles in a small business environment. Students will explore, compile, evaluate, and analyze financial statements. Students will learn to read and interpret annual reports.

BA 266 Business Policy and Ethics
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
An introduction to ethical decision making in business. Special attention is given to making informed ethical decisions on a daily basis. Models of ethical and unethical decision making are analyzed.

BE 120 Technology Tools
2 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
This course will allow students hands-on knowledge of technology tools and digital imaging currently used in the business.

BE 161 Introduction to Microsoft Windows
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
Includes the skills necessary to use the Windows operating system. Includes a working knowledge of the Windows environment.

BE 171 Web Software Development Tools
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
This course will provide the students with an understanding of HTML/XHTML code. It will also include the use of an HTML editor such as Adobe Dreamweaver and/or other current editing software. Students in this course will be able to design, post, and make changes to web sites using the software application.

BE 180 Business Communications
4 cr. hrs.;
4 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: See assessment and placement guide.
Techniques of effective written communications for business. This will include psychology of communicating with customer service emphasis, focus on international communications, and accuracy and conciseness needed for in-house e-mail.

BE 243 Computerized Keyboarding III
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: BE 142 “C” or better or instructor consent.
Skill building and integration of production work typically found in today’s offices.

BE 247 Advanced Information Processing Applications
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: BE 145 or BE 145A, B, and C or instructor consent.
Use of current software that can be integrated to perform applications which may include word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation programs.

BE 248A Desktop Publishing I
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: BE 145 “C” or better or BE 145A, B, and C or instructor consent.
Use of current software to produce a variety of documents incorporating desktop publishing features and principles of layout and design.

BE 248B Desktop Publishing II
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: BE 145 “C” or better or BE 145A, B and C or instructor consent.
Use of current software to produce a variety of documents incorporating desktop publishing features and principles of layout and design.

BE 248C Desktop Publishing III
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: BE 145 “C” or better or BE 145A, B and C or instructor consent.
Use of current software to produce a variety of documents incorporating desktop publishing features and principles of layout and design.

BE 270 Virtual Office Administration
2 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Identification and evaluation of various topics that should be addressed when creating a virtual office and providing/marketing virtual services.

BE 275 Virtual Assistant Internship
3 cr. hrs.;
0 lecture hours; 15 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: Instructor consent and student has met program requirements.
Supervised field program involving work experience in a virtual office setting for students enrolled in the administrative virtual assistant certificate.

BL 202 Business Law II
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: BL 201 recommended.
An intensive analysis of law as used in business. Topics include contract law, commercial paper, sales law, partnership and corporation law, and real property transfers.

COER 116 Microcomputer Hardware
3 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
This course is an introduction to microcomputer hardware components, from a technician’s perspective. Content includes motherboard, CPU, memory, storage devices, and I/O devices, etc. Emphasis is on installation and repair, as well as hardware/software interaction. Not an A+ Certification prep course, but provides a foundation for future pursuit of this credential.

NETW 120 Basic Computer Networks
3 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
An introductory course in networking for the technical student. Includes basic network hardware, software, troubleshooting, and maintenance.

SPAN 101 Elementary Spanish I
4 cr. hrs.;
4 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
First course of a two semester sequence in elementary Spanish with emphasis on speaking, listening comprehension, reading, writing and culture.

SPEC 111 Business and Professional Communication
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Promotes awareness and development needed to communicate competently within professional organizations. Focus is on interviewing, management styles, inter-office communication and professional presentations.

SPEC 290 Leadership Development
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
This course will provide a basic understanding of leadership. Students will develop a personal philosophy of leadership, an awareness of the moral and ethical responsibilities of leadership, and an awareness of their personal styles of leadership.


Gainful Employment

Gainful employment is one important measure that students and parents should pay attention to as they examine colleges and programs. All non-degree programs must be designed to lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation in order to be deemed eligible for federal student aid. These programs are generally less than 2 years in length and result in a certificate.

Administrative Virtual Assistant Certificate