What Are Some Frequently Asked Questions?
What is an Administrative Assistant or Office Manager?
An administrative assistant combines skills in a number of areas to work in any industry or business. This support person needs to communicate well in writing, in person, and on the phone to accomplish tasks that keep a business running. The administrative assistant is a necessary component in the work team in any field or office. You can work in retail, hospitality, food service, government, sports, service, medicine, law, or many other places.
What will the program cost me?
The up-to-date information for tuition and course fees is located at http://www.mhcc.edu/tuition
Is financial aid available?
Yes. You can call them directly at 503.491.7262 or visit the MHCC website for the Office of Financial Aid. The helpful staff will be happy to guide you through the necessary paperwork. Contact them early in your admission process so that you will not miss any deadlines.
How long does this program take?
You may finish the OFFICE MANAGEMENT/ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT training in 18 months (six terms) if you are attending full-time (15 or more credits per term). Or you may complete parts of the training at your own pace with detailed advising.
If you have previous work experience or college credits, the training may be much shorter. MHCC offers several programs for accepting credits for prior coursework, credit for experience, or credit by exam. Together we will develop a plan that meets your individual needs. Contact one of the program advisors to get started on the process.
When can I start?
You can begin your training at any time, but you will find the beginning of a term (September, January, or March) most ideal. Before starting, contact one of the instructors, using your last name as a reference, to advise you…
What job opportunities might be available after graduation?
Possibilities are wide-ranging. Graduates from a two-year associate program are working in many different fields in positions that are full time, part time, or temporary. See the information provided later about positions that are available in the Portland Metropolitan area.
Graduates of the certificate and associate programs visit campus for the BT101 Business Career Survey course panel discussion that meets before fall quarter begins. You can find out about the training at MHCC, current employment opportunities, and the satisfaction graduates have with working in particular industries.
What is the earning potential in the Office Management field?
Salary and employment statistics for Oregon are provided by Oregon Labor Market Information System at www.olmis.org.
Will I get “job experience” in this program?
Yes! You can receive college credit while you earn. A structured cooperative work experience (internship) is recommended during your second year. Many of our graduates have made contacts during an internship that helped them gain full-time employment after their program was completed. Contact Robin Brush, Brenda Houchen, or Pam Shields for more information.
Will I receive a degree on completion of the program?
Yes. An Associate of Applied Science degree will be granted for students who complete 90 credits as outlined in the program of study (SEE Your Curriculum link) Several certificates may also be granted as you are working toward the two-year degree if you choose to take that option.
You may work with your program advisor to develop an education plan which will include which courses to take in which terms of the academic year.
Will the course credits I earn transfer to a four-year college?
Yes. Unlike business colleges or vocational trade schools, MHCC is an accredited college, so the credits you earn in the OFFICE MANAGEMENT/ ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT training program will prepare you for a place in either the job market or in a four-year college.
Several colleges offer special transfer agreements with MHCC. One program for completing a four-year or bachelor's degree is available on the MHCC campus through Eastern Oregon University and Oregon Institute of Technology-Portland Campus. You will not need to leave East County to transfer for further education.
Is there certification in this field?
After you complete the Office Management program, you may be interested in completing the International Association for Administrative Professionals certification. For information, contact Robin or Brenda.
Are these courses offered at night or online?
A few of the first year courses are offered at night, and several courses are available online. In addition, several courses are web-enhanced or hybrid courses that require less on campus attendance. This may help you obtain full-time employment before the actual completion of the 90 credit hours required for an associate degree.
Definitions of online or web-enhanced coursework as well as tips for taking an online course are provided as a link.
Are Office Administrative Assistants in demand?
Demand depends upon the need for support staff within different parts of the economy—whatever type of company or industry you are interested in working for. Placement from the program is good, and you may be able to work into a full-time position from one of the internship programs you find.
Though the job titles and duties vary and are constantly changing in the office field, support staff demand continues to be high and lucrative. See the career placement information provided on pages 8, 9, and 10 in this document.
How to I get started?
Contact Robin Brush, Brenda Houchen, or Pam Shields for the certificate programs or the Office Management/Administrative Assistant degree. Also, you may refer to the MHCC website for additional information: www.mhcc.edu.
One of the first steps to admission is completing a College Placement Test. Detailed information about the CPT and how to take it are offered as links.