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From organizing daily business operations to streamlining processes and procedures to providing high-quality customer service, administrative support is the backbone of every organization.

An administrative assistant plays a central role in today’s workplace whether in-person or virtually. This competency-based online program allows you to work and learn at your own pace, while receiving practical and applied training in word processing, accounting, spreadsheets, database queries, office procedures, communications and business calculations.

This program is the definition of flexible. Build your workload and schedule around your professional and personal commitments. Study in the morning, during the day or evening, in the comfort of your home, workplace or favourite coffee shop and pay by the month rather than by the course. Have a schedule that allows you to tackle more at once? Get your certification quickly and economically. Need to take your time and fit your learning into a longer trajectory? Not a problem! We’ll be here for as long as you need.

Learn basic accounting, customer service and organizational skills. Use Microsoft software, create marketing material and prepare presentations and documents. Grow your written and verbal communication to become a well-rounded and significant asset to any organization. Featuring a work practicum, this program will have you not only learning new skills but applying them in a real-life situation.

Use your new-found knowledge to secure employment in office settings as an administrative assistant, virtual assistant, office manager, personal assistant, data entry clerk or general office clerk.


  • A complete Manitoba Grade 12 or equivalent
  • English 40G/40S or equivalent
  • Consumer/Essential Mathematics 40S or equivalent

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list are expected to meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. 

If you don’t meet these admission requirements please visit our adult learning page for more information on assessment of special circumstances.

Next Step

Apply online by visiting the Apply to a Program page. Choose “On-Campus and Distance Education programs for domestic students”. Create an account and select Administrative Assistant and preferred start date in your program choice.

Careers & Connections

Career Opportunities

Graduates may find work as virtual assistants or office managers, data entry clerks, general office clerks or administrative assistants among many other career opportunities. Tasks may include preparing correspondence, reports, statements and other material, operating office equipment, filing, answering phones, managing multiple schedules and other general clerical duties.


Students graduating from the Assistant Administrative program may apply to Assiniboine’s Legal Administration, Medical Administration or Office Management diploma programs, and receive credit for year one. Students must apply for and commence studies with Assiniboine within five years of completing the Administrative Assistant Program.


Tools & Supplies

2023-24 Lists:


Visit the Bookstore’s website to learn more.

Technology Requirements

Programs at Assiniboine have certain technology requirements. Students require access to computer devices at home and may be required to bring these on campus when instructed. Refer to assiniboine.net/tech  for more detailed information about the requirements for this program. 

Courses & Costs

To receive an Administrative Assistant certificate, students must successfully complete 60 academic credits and 3 practical credits.

Tuition, fees, and Students’ Association fees total $550/month. Students admitted into the program are required to make a $550 tuition deposit that is credited towards the first month’s tuition. Estimated cost for books and supplies is approximately $2,300. All fees are estimated and are subject to change without notice.

Accepted students in the program can register for courses by completing the Registration Change form and emailing it to registration@assiniboine.net

Admin Assistant Accounting 1 (ACCT-0048) | 6 Credits

This is an introductory course in accounting with emphasis on basic bookkeeping for both service and merchandising types of businesses. The course includes journalizing and posting transactions, correcting entries, sales tax, special journals, refunds and discounts, remitting GST and HST, completing petty cash, and the payroll process.

Admin Assistant Accounting 2 (ACCT-0049) | 6 Credits

Prerequisite: ACCT-0048 Admin Assistant Accounting 1

This is a second level course for students not specializing in accounting theories, processes, and procedures. It expands on basic principles and delves into more specialized techniques in accounting for profit and control. A computerized accounting system is introduced and utilized exclusively for data entry.

Business Communications (COMM-0383) | 6 Credits

Prerequisite: COMM-0382 Business English and COMP-0593 Keyboarding and Document

This course is designed to introduce speech making as an art and technology and to enhance the student's ability to interact with employers, co-workers, clients, and public. The course includes impromptu speaking, prepared presentations, and other program specific assignments. In this course students organize and compose acceptable business correspondence in accordance with current business letter writing procedures. Emphasis is placed on sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and the editing of written material.

Business English (COMM-0382) | 6 Credits

Students learn to understand and apply the basic principles of grammar and develop the ability to edit written material.

Data Processing & Present (COMP-0596)

Prerequisite: COMP-0594 Introduction to Excel and COMP-0593 Keyboarding and Documents

Co-requisite: COMP-0595 Keyboarding Applications

This course allows students to integrate computer applications. Students will create presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint, incorporating fonts, graphics, and colours to create slides, overheads, printed documents, and on-screen slide shows. Students then have the opportunity to fully integrate an office suite by working through a comprehensive case project, requiring knowledge of Publisher, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word.

Introduction to Excel (COMP-0594) | 6 Credits

This course prepares the Administrative Assistant student to use electronic spreadsheets in today's offices.

Keyboarding & Documents (COMP-0593) | 6 Credits

This course combines keyboarding and document processing. In the keyboarding portion, the student gains mastery of the computer keyboard, learns proper keyboarding techniques, and keys letters, memos, tables, reports, and business forms. Increasing emphasis is placed on developing speed and accuracy. This hands-on course is designed to introduce Administrative Assistant students to word processing concepts and the production of routine business communication.

Keyboarding Applications (COMP-0595) | 6 Credits

Prerequisite: COMM-0382 Business English and COMP-0593 Keyboarding and Documents

This is a practical course that requires the application of effective writing skills and further develops good keyboarding techniques. It covers advanced features of word processing and desktop publishing. Speed and accuracy are emphasized for the production of office documents. This course is a continuation of Keyboarding and Documents and covers advanced features of word processing.

Office Procedures 1 (OFAD-0025) | 6 Credits

This course offers an introduction to the world of business. Students gain practical experience in typical office environments and perform routine duties common to the majority of all office positions.

Office Procedures 2 (OFAD-0026) | 6 Credits

Prerequisite: OFAD-0025 Office Procedures 1

In this course, office procedure skills are developed to a higher level, and the importance and function of secretarial public relations are examined. Students are prepared further for their work practicum and the employment application process.

Practicum-ADMST (PRAC-0272) | 3 Credits

Prerequisite: Successful completion of all Administrative Assistant courses

This three week work placement with a business firm provides students with a realistic office experience.


Distance Education

The Administrative Assistant certificate program is available for study through distance education.

  • If you are not an active Assiniboine student in the Administrative Assistant program but wish to apply to the program, you may do so by applying online www.assiniboine.net/applynow
  • If you have been accepted into the program, select your course(s), complete the Registration Form and email it to registration@assiniboine.net. Please ensure you include the course number, course name and start date for each course you wish to add (see Courses and Costs tab for the full list of courses and course numbers).

Course are offered the 1st of every month. You have 4 months to complete the course from the start date of the course. The deadline to register is the 20th of the prior month however, you can register at any time - you don’t need to wait for the deadline. For example, for February 1st courses, the deadline to register is January 20th. 

Please ensure that you review our academic policies,  including policy A20: Registering, Adding and Dropping Courses, which explains the refund policy for distance education courses; and A10: Maintaining Active Student Status, which details how often you need to complete a course to remain active in your program. You have five years to complete a program.

Fast Facts

Approx. 8 months (depending on course load)
Program Start
Course Load
Program Details
Continuing Studies
Continuing Studies
800.862.6307 ext 6002 (toll free)
Program Information Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to apply to the Administrative Assistant program?

Apply online by visiting the Apply to a Program page. Choose “On-Campus and Distance Education programs for domestic students”. Create an account and select Administrative Assistant and preferred start date in your program choice.

When should I apply to the Administrative Assistant program?

It is suggested to apply no later than 6 weeks prior to your requested start date (courses begin on the 1st of the month with registration required by the 20th of the month prior), to ensure there is time to review your application, confirm acceptance, pay the tuition deposit and register in your first course(s).

How long does it take to complete the Administrative Assistant program?

Students typically complete the program in eight months, but can take more or less time depending on life and work schedules.

Is the Administrative Assistant program eligible for student aid?

Due to the Administrative Assistant program being part-time, and not meeting designation criteria, it is not eligible for government student aid or scholarships/bursaries.

Students can contact a bank/credit union to see if they qualify for a line of credit.

When is the monthly tuition due for the Administrative Assistant program and how to I make payment?

Students are charged a continuous monthly tuition ($550) for the program. Monthly program tuition is posted on MyACC by the 1st of every month. Payment is due by the 20th of the month. For example, program tuition for May is due by May 20.

Payment can be made by logging into MyACC. Failure to make payment by the 20th will result in a suspension of your Moodle course(s).

How do I register for my first course in the Administrative Assistant program?

Once you are accepted into the program, you will receive a letter outlining your next steps.

1) PAY a non-refundable $550 tuition deposit. Note - Fee is applied to first month tuition. Sponsorship Authorization is not accepted for this fee.

2) REGISTER by completing a Registration Change form and emailing it to registration@assiniboine.net. Refer to the Courses and Costs tab on this program page for the full list of course names and numbers you will need to complete this form. This step must be completed on or before the 20th of the month prior to your start date.

If you have any questions about course selection and sequencing, please CONTACT the Centre of Continuing Studies at continuingstudies@assiniboine.net to discuss.

3) If you are new to Assiniboine, you will get an email the next business day after you are registered, with your username and password, and how to log into your MyACC account.

How many courses should I take at a time in the Administrative Assistant program?

The number of courses a student takes at one time can vary from student to student, based on work/life commitments. It is suggested for new students that they start with no more than two courses to gauge the workload. Additional courses can be added monthly.

When do courses start for the Administrative Assistant program?

All courses start on the first of each month with a registration deadline of the 20th of the prior month.

Example: A course starting on May 1st must be registered for by April 20th.

Is there a specific order courses are required to be taken in the Administrative Assistant program?

No. Courses can be taken in the students preferred sequence, as long as prerequisites are met.

Reference the 'Courses & Costs' tab on this page for the list of courses and prerequisites.

How long do I have to complete a course in the Administrative Assistant program?

Students are given up to four (4) months to complete each course from the registered start date.

How can I track my progress in the program?

You can track progress in the program by visiting MYACC, logging into "My ACC for Students", and selecting "Program Evaluation" under "Academic Profile".

Are there academic and financial implications for dropping a Continuing Studies programs or course?

Academic and financial implications for dropping a Continuing Studies program or course varies based on course length.

For more information, reference policy A20 Registration Adding and Dropping Courses.

Am I responsible for securing my practicum location?

Yes, students are responsible for finding their practicum.

I have secured my practicum placement, now what do I need to do?

Please email continuingstudies@assiniboine.net to ensure course requirements have been met to start your practicum.

I've successfully completed all the required courses. How do I receive my credential?

Students that have successfully completed all the program requirements can complete an Application to Graduate form and email to registration@assiniboine.net to receive their credential.