Office Assistant

The Office Assistant Certificate Program at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the preparation needed for entry-level positions in a variety of office settings.  Upon completion of the program, students will have the skills and competencies to begin a career in office management in a variety of sectors.

Office Assistant Certificate (OAC)

This program provides students with the skills necessary for entry-level positions in the professional office environment.

Year 1
ENG 101College Writing I 3
EOA 106Keyboarding 3
BUS 105Business Ethics 3
CIS 127Computer Technologies 3
EOA 107Word Processing Applications 3
CIS 121Spreadsheet Applications 3
BUS 125Communication For Business And Industry 3
Professional Elective (see list below)  3
 Total Credits: 24

A placement (proficiency) exam is offered. Proficiency exempts students from EOA 106 Keyboarding; credit is not awarded and another course must be taken. There is no charge for the placement exam.

Professional Electives

ACC 101Principles Of Accounting I3
BUS 112Introduction To Customer Relations3
CED 203Cooperative Education3
CIS 123Microcomputer Database Management3
LAW 101Introduction To Law (Formerly PLS 101)3

See the office assistant general information for technical standards.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special requirements

Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

For gainful employment information, please click here.

Technical Standards1 for OAC


For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering these programs must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Read from a computer screen.
  • Learn to operate a computer.
  • Possess manual dexterity to operate computer devices such as a keyboard and mouse.
  • Work at a computer for a minimum of two hours.

BUS Business Courses

BUS 105. Business Ethics. 3 Credits.

This course is designed for the student with an interest in organizational and business ethics. The focus is on how we act as individuals and how we contribute to group accountability. The class will provide each student with a framework for thinking in an ethical manner. In addition, the class will explore every-day ethical thinking. Most topics will be explored using the case study method. Although designed for the business student, this class is open to all students with an interest in exploring everyday ethical behavior on an individual and group level. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

BUS 108. Principles Of Real Estate. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to real estate. Topics include property rights, principles of land ownership, sale, financing and conveyance, contracts, liens, mortgage financing, mortgages or deeds of trust, deeds, recording, settlement concepts, condominiums and cooperatives, leasing, and other property concepts. Prerequisite: RDG 098, FYE 101 or placement.

BUS 112. Introduction To Customer Relations. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on practical information that will enable both the student and practicing customer service professional to enhance, hone, and refine their service skills. The course is designed to equip individuals with the strategic necessities to effectively interact with and deal with a multitude of customer-related service issues that are an integral part of the customer service job function. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

BUS 113. Business Etiquette And Protocol. 3 Credits.

This course prepares students to successfully enter the ever-changing workforce or to advance in their career by teaching the skills, attitudes, and behaviors demanded in today’s high performance workplace. This course is intended for the worker in career transition with discrete needs for grounding in business protocol. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

BUS 125. Communication For Business And Industry. 3 Credits.

Students are introduced to concepts relating to communicating in a diverse workplace. Emphasis is placed on nonverbal communication, the writing process, and email. Students learn how to write memos and letters and communicate with customers, research and use information, develop and use graphic and visual aids. Students prepare reports and presentations; develop skills to communicate through the application and interview process. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

BUS 201. International Business. 3 Credits.

Students will most likely work for a company that is either foreign owned, domestically owned but has some foreign operations, or domestically owned but is affected by the global economy. Thus, this class will prepare students to be successful and productive in their careers based upon an understanding of the basics of why companies conduct business across borders. Since even small businesses are becoming more active in the international business environment through activities such as buying and supplying components, students who are planning to start their own businesses should also be cognizant of international business. This class will also stress the importance of cultural literacy and will help students develop the type of cultural literacy that will enable them to be conversant within the global economy and international marketplaces. Prerequisite: ENG 101.

BUS 211. Business Law I. 3 Credits.

This course covers business transactions and issues, with particular emphasis on contract law. Major topics include the nature of law and the judicial process, the concept of contract, and the law of sales. Currently emerging legal concepts will be included. The focus will be on studying the law regulating commercial activity in order to prepare students to conduct business in a dynamic world marketplace. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

BUS 212. Business Law II. 3 Credits.

This course is a continuation of BUS 211 Business Law I and introduces the student to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a uniform set of legal principles that facilitates intrastate and interstate commercial transactions. Topics include the law of sales, leases, secured transactions, and other commercial legal topics. Particular emphasis is placed on the UCC modification of common-law contract law, with particular reference to the sale of goods and special rules governing transactions by merchants. Prerequisite: BUS 211.

BUS 220. The Business Of Social Change. 3 Credits.

This course will explore the theory of social entrepreneurism and how social entrepreneurs create systemic social change. Through case studies and readings, students will analyze how social entrepreneurs use their management skills in business planning, marketing, and leadership to work with the for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors to achieve their goals. The course will also explore how successful social entrepreneurs use creative thinking, strong leadership, and business skills to create purposeful organizations that grow and thrive. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

BUS 224. Introduction To Grant Writing. 3 Credits.

This course provides beginner or intermediate-level grant writers with the skills and knowledge needed to obtain public and private grants. Working with sample proposals, students will learn to create a successful grant. This will include finding funding organizations, responding to a request for proposal, planning a program, creating a budget, learning the essential elements of a grant proposal, and understanding how to partner with agencies. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

BUS 290. Business Analytics Fundamentals. 3 Credits.

This course is a foundation for students seeking to understand the core principles of business analytics. The course develops the fundamental knowledge and skills for applying for applying statistical and other analytical models/techniques to business decision making. Key measurement concepts, terminology and analysis techniques are explored. The course covers some analytics techniques such as: Hypothesis testing, T-test, correlation, ANOVA, Linear Regression Analysis, Decision Tree, and Cluster Analysis. It also covers fundamental concepts in model comparison and evaluation, current Business Analytics tools & technology and Business Analytics related ethical issues. Prerequisite: CIS 123, MAT 143, MGT 210, and MGT 250 with a grade of B- or higher or CIS 219 with a grade of B- or higher. Fall.

BUS 291. Data Visualization. 3 Credits.

This course is a hands-on introduction to the principles and techniques for data visualization. It will explore visual representation methods and techniques that increase our understanding of complex data. It introduces design principles for creating meaningful visual displays of quantitative and qualitative data for decision-making. In addition, it investigates visual representation methods and techniques that increase the understanding of complex data (time series, categorical, etc.) and models. Topics investigated include charts, tables, graphics, effective presentations, dashboard design (i.e.: Key Performance Indicators, Performance Dashboards & Balance Scorecards) and multimedia content. Examples and cases from a variety of industries will be used. Students actively participate with application assignments and project presentations. Prerequisites: CIS 123, MAT 143, MGT 210, and MGT 250 with a grade of B- or higher or CIS 219 with a grade of B- or higher. Fall.

BUS 292. Predictive Analytics. 3 Credits.

This course explores statistical and other predictive models as they are used in predictive analytics. Predictive analytics uses technology to learn from history (data) to predict the future behavior to better drive decisions. The course focuses on applying predictive models through business-focused cases studies in areas such as: digital marketing, consumer behavior, financial risk, business forecasting, and organizational efficiency. The course investigates linear models, (including traditional, multiple regression, and logistic regression models) along with other predictive model techniques (ie: stochastic processes). It addresses issues of model selection and specification, as well as best practices in developing models for business and other industries. Prerequisites: BUS 290 with a grade of C+ or higher; BUS 291 with a grade of C+ or higher. Spring.

BUS 293. Data Warehousing & Mining. 3 Credits.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of data warehousing together with data mining techniques. The development and use of data warehouses is covered with a focus on their architecture and infrastructure planning, design, programming, deployment, and ongoing maintenance issues. The course provides an understanding of data mining techniques for data extraction from source systems, data cleansing, data transformations, data testing and information delivery. Techniques for mining large data sources from areas such as social media, web advertising, and other business areas will be investigated. An emphasis is to develop the understanding the application of methods rather than on mathematical and computational foundations. The cases and applications are business-focused. Prerequisites: BUS 290 with a grade of C+ or higher; BUS 291 with a grade C+ or higher. Spring.

BUS 299. Business Analytics Capstone. 3 Credits.

This course is the capstone for business analytics certificate. Within the course, students develop a project that draws on the skills they developed in the areas of data management, predictive modeling, statistical analysis and data visualization to support fact-based data driven decision-making processes. The course completes the understanding for implementing a complete business analytics project. The project provides deeper insight into organizational decision-making in a functional area of business. Students actively participate with application cases and complete analytics project with a capstone presentation. Prerequisites: BUS 292 with a grade of C+ or higher; BUS 293 with a grade of C+ or higher. Summer.

CIS Computer Information Sys Courses

CIS 102. Computer Service And Repair. 1 Credit.

This course takes you from the just-a-user level to the I-can-fix-this level for the most common PC hardware and software concerns. Students will gain practical knowledge through a combination of troubleshooting techniques and hands-on lab assignments. Topics covered include hardware installation, configuration, and upgrading, along with diagnosing and troubleshooting PC problems. This course is a vocational skill course in that your knowledge and skill are best demonstrated by your ability to address a range of PC configuration and repair problems using knowledge acquired in class. Prerequisites: Basic understanding of DOS and familiarity with several applications.

CIS 109. Introduction to Programming. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to fundamental problem-solving and programming concepts using the high-level language Python. Topics covered include data types, variables, constants, decision statements, repetition, functions, string processing and file I/O. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, (or placement).

CIS 115. Surveying Technology Via The Internet. 3 Credits.

Through selected readings and web research, this course examines contemporary computer and technology issues. Students explore topics such as changing technology, data privacy and security, global IT workforce, and impact of the Internet. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 118. Mobile and Web Development. 3 Credits.

This course will cover topics that include web servers, web development software such as Expression Web and Notepad++, web languages (HTML5/XHTML and CSS), as well as mobile and website development. Students will learn how information is transferred over the Internet, how to write HTML5 and CSS code, and how to create, maintain, and publish a website for both mobile and traditional desktop devices. Topics will include working with forms, tables (and when to substitute tables with other formatting in mobile), images, graphics, hyperlinks, media queries, viewports, page weigh, network load (and testing), emulator use, and a one web design approach. All students will be expected to create , maintain, and publish several websites on a college web server. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 119. Javascript For Web Designers. 3 Credits.

This is an introductory course to web programming using JavaScript for students with no previous programming experience, but with some familiarity with common HTML tags. Students will write scripts that use variables, operators, conditional logic, looping structures, functions, arrays, and objects. This course will develop programming skills that can be used to create interactive and dynamic websites including rollovers, cycling banners, form validation, slide shows, browser detection, plug-in detection, events, and cookies. The course provides a systematic hands-on approach to web programming. Prerequisites: GID 109 or CIS 118. Spring.

CIS 120. Microcomputer Applications. 3 Credits.

This course is designed for all students who are interested in using the microcomputer for business-related applications. The major topics will include the fundamentals of spreadsheet design and analysis and the fundamentals of database management systems. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 121. Spreadsheet Applications. 3 Credits.

Students should be comfortable with basic computer usage prior to enrolling in this course. Essential computer skills include utilizing web browsers and email as well as managing files and folders (save, locate, open, create, delete). This course is designed to develop spreadsheet skills, with an in-depth study of spreadsheet design and analysis as they relate to business applications. Topics include the fundamentals of spreadsheet design, coverage of business formulas and functions, linking multiple worksheets and files, proper layout and design, and an introduction to macros using the Visual BASIC for Applications (VBA) language. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 122. Microcomputer Graphic Applications. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to presentation graphics software used to create slide shows on the PC. Topics include creating text and numeric slides, the use of templates and layouts, the development of a slide show using transitions, builds, and animation, working with imported clipart and scanned graphics files, the use of OLE/DDE techniques, the use of hyperbuttons, and the effective use of text and color. All students will have the opportunity to create and present a computer generated slide show. Prerequisite: CIS 120 or permission of division dean.

CIS 123. Microcomputer Database Management. 3 Credits.

This course uses a database software package for a wide range of applications. Students create tables, construct queries, design forms, and generate reports. Students will also create calculated fields, use the update tables function, construct a switchboard, design forms with list, combo and group option boxes, and generate queries and reports using multiple tables. Prerequisites: MAT 092 or placement; CIS 120, 127, or 128; or permission of division dean.

CIS 127. Computer Technologies. 3 Credits.

This course is for students who are already familiar with computer use. Students must know how to use a word processor, web browsers, email and manage files and folders (save, locate, open, create, delete). A variety of computer applications will be used as tools to increase students’ productivity in school and in the workplace as well as enhance their problem solving ability. Students will use utilities to perform basic computer maintenance; evaluate computer hardware and devices for purchase based on need; identify and assess user habits in regard to security threats and vulnerabilities (including viruses, malware, spyware, firewalls, passwords, encryption, and privacy); locate, evaluate and use electronic information sources (including academic databases) to solve problems and enhance software skills; use a spreadsheet application to record data, perform calculations, create graphical representations, and interpret results; write and publish web pages using HTML tags (headings, paragraphs, lists, images, and links) and CSS (color, background, and font family); use Microsoft Access to create and execute queries (with Boolean terms and aggregate functions), as well as assess results; generate reports on tables and query results in Microsoft Access. The goal is for students to become independent users of information, computer technology, and library resources. Students will be expected to communicate and collaborate throughout the course as they present their projects and assignments.Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, (or placement).

CIS 128. Introduction to Information Systems. 3 Credits.

This course provides a broad overview of information systems and their components. Students will learn the basic concepts of systems, business and web services software, networks, data storage and management, information and systems security and the development of information systems. Word processing, spreadsheet and database applications are utilized throughout the course to apply concepts to real-world examples. Electronic communication, presentation, and collaboration applications are also utilized to develop essential computing skills. Prerequisite: ENG 098, RDG 098, FYE 101, or placement.

CIS 130. Programming For The Web. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on developing interactive, database-driven web pages. Students will develop web pages that retrieve information from the user, verify information, send information to a server, and interact with a database. Students are introduced to Active Server Pages.NET. Topics covered include web forms, HTML controls, web controls, validation controls, data list controls, intrinsic objects, data collections, file I/O, manipulating XML data, databases, and ADO.NET. Other topics may include COM and web services. Prerequisites: CIS 109, CIS 118, or permission of the division dean.

CIS 131. Linux Programming. 4 Credits.

This course provides students a solid foundation in the fundamentals of the Linux operation system. Students gain system level experience through problem solving exercises at the command line and in the graphical use interface. Students learn the essential command-line commands necessary to be accomplished users of their Linux workstations, as well as be able to use the GUI when appropriate. Prerequisite: CIS 140.

CIS 132. iOS (iPhone and iPad) App Development. 3 Credits.

Over 75 billion iOS apps have now been downloaded from the Apple Store. In addition to millions of other iPhones, iPods, and iPads previously sold, Apple sold an additional 10 million new iPhones within days of the introduction of iPhone 6! This course will teach you how to make your own iPhone and iPad apps as well as how to share them through the Apple Store. The course will utilize the Swift language within the xCode IDE on MAC computers. Students will not be required to purchase Apple computers to complete classwork; lab time will be scheduled for assignments. Additionally, open lab time will be available in the school’s MAC lab. Students will also be able to utilize the Apple University Developer’s License to share apps via the Apple Store for free. Topics covered will include: basic iOS, xCode and Interface Builder, xCode Playground, testing on the iOS Simulator, Storyboards, the Cocoa Touch Frameworks, UIKit, Controls, previous introduction to programming topics (i.e. – variables, control flow, functions, and arrays), classes, and security. Prerequisites: CIS 109 or permission from the instructor. Spring.

CIS 140. Microcomputer Networking Applications. 3 Credits.

This course provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform competently in the role of network administrator or system manager. Major topics include networking concepts, setting up user and group accounts, securing network resources, configuring and administering network printers, backup, auditing events, and monitoring network resources. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 141. Supporting Private Clouds. 3 Credits.

This course will instruct future network administrators how to effectively implement and maintain private clouds with a balance of conceptual expertise and hands-on skills. With a focus on server administration, this course will introduce working with Virtual Machines and prepares students to work with large providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, as well as implement smaller scale cloud computing solutions within their own network environments. Specific topic coverage includes: Introduction to the Private Cloud, Creating and Managing Virtual Machines, Configuring the Hyper-V Environment, Installing and Using Virtual Machine Manager, Installing and Using the Self-Service Portal Using the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Implementing High Availability in the Private Cloud, Managing High-Availability Clusters and Managing the Private Cloud with PowerShell. Prerequisite: CIS 140.

CIS 142. Web Server Management. 3 Credits.

This course teaches students how to support the various features of an Internet information server. Learn how to configure a server for Internet access and publishing, Internet connectivity options, compare Internet and Intranet implementations, install and configure a web server, and optimize server performance. Prerequisite: CIS 140.

CIS 143. Computer Service and Repair. 3 Credits.

This is a current and comprehensive course on configuring, diagnosing, and repairing microcomputers and associated technologies. (PC compatible units are used in this course.) Topics covered include how computers work, how software and hardware work together, the systems board, understanding and managing memory, floppy disk and hard disk drives, installing and supporting disk drives, troubleshooting fundamentals, supporting I/O devices, and multimedia technology. Completion of this course will assist the student in preparing to pass the A+ certification exams and succeed in the PC repair industry. No electronic experience is assumed or required. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 144. Network Security. 3 Credits.

This hands-on course is designed to prepare students for the security challenges they will face as a networking professional. Specific topic coverage includes designing a secure network framework, securing servers based on function, designing a secure public key infrastructure, securing the network management process, securing network services and protocols, securing Internet information services, securing VPN and extranet communications, securing active directory, securing network resources, and securing network clients. Prerequisite: CIS 140 or permission of division dean.

CIS 145. PC Repair & Support Certification. 4 Credits.

This course provides foundation level knowledge and skills for a career in PC repair and support. Students will gain practical knowledge through a combination of troubleshooting techniques and hands-on lab assignments. Topics covered include hardware installation, configuration and upgrading along with diagnosing and troubleshooting PC problems. Using knowledge acquired in class, this course is a vocational skill course that will prepare take the CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220 – 802 exams. Additionally, it serves as a building block for other CompTIA certifications such as Security + and Network +. May not get credit for both CIS 143 and CIS 145. Prerequisite: MAT 092, RDG 098 or placement.

CIS 208. Mobile and Web Development 2. 3 Credits.

This course will cover topics that include web servers, web languages (HTML5/XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP), as well as mobile and website development. Students work with previous HTML5 and CSS skills while adding introductory level client and server side scripting. Students will also learn to move from multi-layout design to considering both layout and content for mobile devices. Topics will include Viewport, Media Queries, Modernizr, Frameworks and Libraries, Local and Session Storage with Appcache, Cache Manifest, Client Side Database use, Device Features, going offline, making your web app native, and submitting your app to iTunes. All students will be expected to create, maintain, and publish several websites on a college web server. Note: This class is not intended to provide in depth coverage of JavaScript or PHP. Prerequisites: CIS 109, CIS 118, or permission of division dean. Spring.

CIS 218. E-Commerce Systems. 3 Credits.

Students in this course develop and present solutions to a number of case studies involving network technologies, business software applications, and web application development. They integrate the case study material with previous course experiences and research of new technologies. They apply extensive critical thinking skills as well as teamwork, research, and writing skills. Students will present solutions using multimedia presentations. Prerequisite: Completion of 24 CIS credits or permission of division dean.

CIS 219. Principles Of Information Security. 3 Credits.

This course provides students with a broad overview of information security and serves as the capstone course for the Computer Information Systems degree program. The required networking, database and programming courses for the Information Systems degree program lays a solid foundation for learning information security terminology and measures that protect confidentiality, preserve integrity, and promote availability of data. Topics include security policies, security models, business continuity plans, computer crime and security laws, physical security, operations security, access control, cryptography, Internet security and application development security. Students will complete at least one major research and writing project, at least one oral class presentation, and work on at least one team project. Students should find the topics covered informative and useful for their career in the Information Technology field, and the topics serve as a foundation for advance studies in Information Security. Prerequisite: Completion of 24 CIS credits or permission of division dean.

CIS 224. Beginning Pl/Sql. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to teach students PL/SQL skills. Students will be able to define a well-structured relational database; use SQL, create tables, keys, and constraints; as well as work with insert and select statements, functions, procedures, and triggers. Prerequisites: CIS 109 and CIS 120, or CIS 127.

CIS 232. Programming C++. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to C++ as an object-oriented programming language. The fundamentals of data types, variables, access modifiers, scope, selection structures, repetition structures, functions, and arrays will be covered using C++ classes and objects. Key topics in object oriented program design include encapsulation, information hiding, member access control, constructors, destructors, software reusability, member functions, overloaded functions and operators, and dynamic memory allocation. All students will be expected to write programs in C++ to exercise these topics. Prerequisite: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 244. Internetworking. 3 Credits.

This course provides users with a basic understanding of networking technology with a focus on network hardware. Major topics include the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) reference model, bridges, switches, hubs, Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs), and 105 management commands. After completing the course, the student will be prepared for the Cisco CCNA Exam. Prerequisite: CIS 140.

CIS 245. Internetworking II. 4 Credits.

This course is a continuation of CIS 244 Internetworking I and introduces advanced router configurations, advanced LAN switching theory and design, VLANs, Novell IPX, and LAN and network segmentation with bridges, router, and switches. Additional topics include VLANs, WAN theory and design, WAN technology, PPP, Frame Relay, ISND, and the Spanning Tree protocol. Prerequisite: CIS 140.

CIS 290. Java I. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to object-oriented programming (OOP) using Java. Object-oriented programming enables the programmer to create flexible, modular programs and reuse code. Students learn what classes and objects are and how they interrelate to each other by writing programs in Java. The following topics will be covered: classes, objects, fundamental data types, control structures, repetition, operators, methods, strings, and arrays. Prerequisite: CIS 109 or comparable programming/course experience. Fall.

CIS 292. Java II. 3 Credits.

This course is a continuation of CIS 290 Java I. Students will write and present solutions to advanced Java applets and Windows applications using the graphic user interface (GUI) packages. Topics include inheritance, abstract classes, interfaces, packages, graphics, exceptions, files. A research paper is required to explore contemporary issues in software development of information systems. This course serves as a capstone course for CIT majors and as a CIS elective for CIS majors. Prerequisite: CIS 290, ENG 102. Spring.