Office Assistant I - Office Administration Certificate

Explore a career in office administration while building skills valued in almost every type of business and industry. Develop core computer skills, basic keyboarding, word processing, records management, organizational, teamwork and interpersonal communication skills to advance your career.

 This program is currently not available to international applicants.
Where: Online
Starts: Varies by course. Contact an educational advisor.
Length: 1 year
Delivery: Off-campus, Digital Unscheduled Class

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I have graduated and have no student debt. My education has opened a lot of doors for me and because of that I have found a job that I enjoy.

Jessica Macy, administration support/receptionist, Blue Ocean Dental Group

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Program Requirements

  • OAD-020 Online Learner Success
  • OAD-100 Introductory Keyboarding
  • OAD-101 Introduction to Computers & the Internet 
  • OAD-109 Human Relations for Career Success
  • OAD-110 Records Management
  • OAD-111 Administrative Procedures
  • OAD-116 Word Processing Level I
  • OAD-117 Word Processing Level II
  • OAD-147 Business Calculators & Mathematics
  • OAD-148 Business English
  • OAD-149 Business Communications

Completion Requirements

  • The keyboarding speed requirement for the Office Assistant I certificate is 40 words per minute with a maximum error rate of 3 errors in at least three 3-minute timings.
  • To be eligible to receive a certificate, students must achieve a minimum of a B- in each course listed for the certificate.

Admission Requirements

  1. C in one of Provincial English 12, English Studies 12, English First Peoples 12, ENG-096, or ENG-098; or C+ in ESL-092 and ESL-095; or English assessment; and
  2. C in one of Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics 10, Workplace Mathematics 10, Essentials Math 10, Foundations of Math 10, NIC MAT-033; or Math assessment.

Note: Students in University Studies may take up to two ABT courses per term in addition to ABT-020.

Upgrade with us to meet prerequisites

Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC’s supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more

Transfer Credit & Credit For Prior Learning

If you are transferring from other colleges or institutions, you may be given transfer credit for course work upon presentation of transcripts provided the course credit was awarded no more than three years prior to the application for transfer credit to a maximum of 50 per cent of the certificate's required courses. If you are a recent high school graduate, it is recommended that you meet with an educational advisor to determine if any of your high school credits are eligible for transfer credit. If you have prior office work experience and wish to enter a certificate program, contact the department chair to determine your eligibility and program planning needs.

To Be Successful

  • Contact an educational advisor to help to create an education plan that meets your goals within the available time needed to complete the program.
  • You will need access to a personal computer (a Mac computer is not recommended, nor is a mobile phone or tablet), the Internet and access to email. Office Administration programs require a minimum operating system of Windows 10 and Office 365, Office 2016 or Office 2019 (Note: Office 365 is available to NIC students through the Library Learning Commons. Additional software, supplies or equipment may be required for some courses.


Accessible Learning

Making education accessible for those with a documented disability is a key priority for NIC. We offer a wide range of services, supports and resources for students. For more information visit: Accessible Learning Services.

Richelle Gardiner-Hynds

Richelle Gardiner-Hynds

Department Chair, Faculty

Applied Business Technology, Humanities & Social Sciences

Master of Arts, Integrated Studies (Athabasca University)

Subjects: History, Women's Studies
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4159 | Location TYE - 214
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9707

Shirley Ackland

Shirley Ackland

Applied Business Technology
Port Hardy Campus 250-949-7912

Jeannette Gingras

Jeannette Gingras


Applied Business Technology

Bachelor of Science (University of Prince Edward Island)
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4810 | Location VLG - F06

Donna Ley

Donna Ley


Applied Business Technology

Bachelor of Management (Athabasca University)

Christian Madarasz

Christian Madarasz
Port Alberni Campus 250-724-8761 | Location NOR - 115A

Sabrina Van Hellemond

Sabrina Van Hellemond
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000

Program Highlights

The 11 online courses in the Office Assistant I certificate are offered throughout the year and provide you with the required knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform effectively in entry-level office support positions.

You begin by taking an Online Learner Success course which provides an essential introduction to the unique challenges of learning online. This course helps you maximize your online learning experience.

You will learn keyboarding skills by participating in skill-building activities which promote effective touch typing. A basic introduction to the Internet provides you with the essential terms, concepts and file management skills required in an office environment. Courses in word processing give you fundamental skills to formatting business documents and proficiency with advanced functions such as merging documents, applying graphics and creating tables, charts and reports.

You will learn essential skills in human relations, interpersonal skills, effective communication and client relations. You will learn administrative procedures and develop efficient office practices such as time management, safety and ergonomics, appointment scheduling and banking procedures. Records management is also explored.

The Business Calculators and Mathematics course provides you with the knowledge to complete computational functions. During Business English, you will receive a comprehensive review of grammar, punctuation, style, business spelling and vocabulary development. In Business Communication, you will learn how to best express yourself in a professional environment. All coursework is applied to current and best Canadian business practices and standards.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the Office Assistant I certificate, you will qualify for employment as a receptionist, office worker, office assistant, computer assistant, general office worker and more.

You may choose to continue your education by enrolling in the Administrative Assistant, Computing Accounting, Legal Administrative Assistant or Medical Office Assistant programs.

About Online Learning

Online learning is the most rapidly expanding mode of teaching and learning on the planet. Online is ideal for students who wish to learn in their own environment using the Internet. Online learning allows you to learn while also connecting with others. Office Administration (OAD) course materials are available through the BC Campus portal and the technology is used to communicate with peers and instructors and to submit assignments. The courses are delivered by a collaborative of North Island College and other post-secondary OAD instructors to students around the province.

Working in an online class in the Office Administration online program is much the same as working in a face-to-face class. Interacting with peers in class discussions, and completing course work are accomplished in your time and place. Online learning provides access to the best course content and to qualified online instructors. Flexibility in the time taken to complete online courses is important to learners. You can attend your virtual classes when and where it is most convenient for you.

Planning and managing your time are keys to success in online learning. It is important to decide how much time you want to spend online and on which days. You must dedicate the required hours per week, but you choose the time (anytime during the day or night - 24 hours a day, seven days a week) to participate in your online course and meet deadlines. If you are a self-motivated, self-disciplined, and organized person - online learning will offer many benefits.

Your online instructor is available to assist you with guiding your learning, reviewing course content and assisting with any learning difficulties. You have the course materials, online instructor resource, online course progress, online web tools and your online class peers available to you for learner-centred activities. Your online instructors are available to answer questions and assist you with assignments through the pager, LiveRoom Chat, discussion and e-mail components of every course. The OAD online courses include chat sessions, messaging, course mail, a public bulletin board for class discussions, calendars, study tips and online assistance, as well as web-based course materials, quizzes, glossaries and links to other websites and resources. Online learning and research enables learners to enhance employability and advancement as well as providing the opportunity to expand your educational experience to advance your career.

Tuition & Costs Estimate

Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit our tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Tuition $1,698
NISU Fees $70
Books $1,125
Learner Resource $92
Total $2,985

Book costs noted are estimates for planning purposes.  Accurate book costs are available by course through the NIC book search.

Find out if this program is eligible for Student Aid BC funding.

This program is tuition refund Category 1.