Today's office settings are changing just as fast as the technology used within them. Administrative assistants are taking on larger, more integral roles within organizations and serving as more than just "gatekeepers" for department personnel.
Students in San Jacinto College's Business Office Systems and Support (BOSS) program develop competencies in office procedures, software applications, accounting skills, organizational skills, office management, and project management, as well as essential workplace soft skills that employers demand.
"This program was developed for students who are just beginning their educational journey as well as current professionals looking to advance their careers," said San Jacinto College business office technology and BOSS professor Louis Pitre. "The skills and training students receive in the BOSS program can be applied to almost any discipline. Many of our students work in offices before, during, and after they complete their associate degree or technical certificate, so this program will only help them advance their career goals."
The BOSS program provides students with the skills necessary to complete report abstracts, become familiar with accounting terminology and financial document preparation, filing procedures, and preparation of various types of business forms. In addition to strengthening students' oral and written communication skills, the program also enhances students' abilities to complete a variety of administrative duties such as planning meetings, scheduling appointments, preparing reports, greeting visitors, organizing an office, and resolving relational issues with people inside and outside of the organization.
San Jacinto College offers the BOSS program at its Central, North, and South Campuses, and the BOSS program is also taught off-site by some of the College's business faculty at several local high schools. Because the BOSS program's skills are so widely applicable to a variety of areas, faculty wanted to ensure the program was available in both face-to-face and online course options. Face-to-face courses are also available in day, night, and weekend options. Students are able to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree, business office assistant occupational certificate, business administrative assistant certificate of technology, and/or a business medical office support enhanced skills certificate.
"In addition to offering courses that are transferable to four-year universities, we are always open to community partnerships with businesses that want to enhance the professional and administrative skills of their employees who want to increase their potential at the company," said Chyrisse (Alvenetta) Wilson, San Jacinto College business office technology and BOSS professor.
Finally, Pitre adds that the BOSS program is capable of adding value to a number of other programs outside the academic business realm.
"Going forward, we hope the BOSS program will be seen as an important foundational program for a variety of technical and associate degree programs," Pitre said. "Because the skills it provides students are so essential to any organization, in the future we hope that it can be tailored to fit into any industry. Mastering these skills and operations can benefit those in administrative assistant roles as well as all office staff in any organization."