The business office systems and support program is one of many that can be completed 100% online at San Jacinto College.
BOSS includes three certificate levels before reaching the associate degree:
The executive administrative assistant Associate of Applied Science degree is 60 credit hours.
Students who want to enter the workforce immediately might benefit from pursuing a certificate program. While attending fully online offers more flexibility, students can still choose the face-to-face option or a mix of both.
"This path is for someone who is interested in getting a certificate or associate degree and getting out into the workforce quickly," said Gabriela Kisner, BOSS professor at the North Campus. "This is a great area. As many companies shift the workforce or even downsize, they always need this position across most industries."
Types of jobs for graduates
With the associate degree, a student qualifies to be an executive assistant or office manager, according to Kisner. Each level of the program designates the career level for which students will train.
"The curriculum for the associate degree has a vast range of classes to help students learn the basics for most areas of the office," Kisner said. "The courses teach skills from accounting and QuickBooks to PowerPoint and record retention."
Flexibility is the deal maker
All coursework can be completed online. One semester includes a practicum, similar to an internship, where the student trains at a job site, but the classwork is all online via Blackboard.
"Every class, online and in-person options, has a Blackboard site that is loaded with class information that includes everything from overall class information and textbook access to a schedule of assignments for the course," Kisner said.
Some classes meet via Zoom while others do not formally meet online at all. However, the instructor can be available via email, in person, or on Zoom to accommodate and answer student questions or offer help. Each class varies, and instructors control the method of learning, but a variety of options makes it flexible and convenient for students. The learning tools include interactive textbooks, online assignments, group assignments, Zoom classes, and helpful videos. Student who opt for fully online education also have access to tutoring and campus resources.
Remote yet hands-on
"The program includes in-person training called practicums," Kisner said. "This is completed in the final semester of the associate degree. Students must work 20 hours a week in a place of business assisting with the office work and special projects."
During this time, the student and professor touch base weekly, either by phone or Zoom.
Kisner explained that many students who are currently employed can get an approval to use their job for the practicum credit. For students who do not already have jobs, the program helps place them in local businesses. The practicum course is one full semester.
"Having a program that can be 100% online helps busy students who need to manage their time around family, jobs, and other commitments," Kisner said. "Assignments are always available for a few days, so students can look at their schedules and figure out when they can do their schoolwork in that time window. It offers the most flexibility while still allowing students to earn degrees."
San Jac offers online and in-person classes to meet your learning needs. Spring registration is open now, and classes start Jan. 17. Learn more about BOSS or San Jac Online at sanjac.edu.