WORTHINGTON Administrative professionals support organizations by utilizing a variety of knowledge, skills and abilities. They also go by many names: a receptionist, secretary, administrative assistant, executive assistant or office manager. Regardless of the title, organizations both large and small should not underestimate the value a skilled administrative professional can bring to a team.

Administrative professionals are multitaskers, planners and team players. Communication skills and attention to detail facilitate their ability to solve problems, provide customer service and perform office procedures. They are the hub of the organization and ensure everything runs smoothly.

The work environment of an administrative professional is constantly evolving. Adaptability and life-long learning are a must. Each change, however, offers the administrative support professional the unique opportunity to utilize their skills and abilities to grow professionally in order to help their organizations reach new efficiencies — thereby helping the organization reach its full potential. While the manner in which some tasks are completed has changed due to advancements in technology, the role of the administrative professional will never go away. There will always be the need to serve both the internal and external customers of an organization.

I began my journey as an administrative professional when I graduated with an associate of applied science degree from the Administrative Assistant Program at Minnesota West (then Southwestern Technical College) in 1995. One month after graduation, I began serving in my first role as an administrative assistant in the Customized Training/Continuing Education Department at the college. Throughout my years of service, I continued to develop my skill sets and further my education. Twenty-one years, several departmental transitions and a bachelor’s degree later, opportunity arose and a new door opened. I was hired as faculty at Minnesota West. I am now able to share my professional and online learning experiences with students enrolled in my courses. I recently completed my fifth year of instruction and advising at the college.

Minnesota West offers four degree options to produce skilled administrative professionals that will effectively support and assist the operations of organizations in our communities: Receptionist, Certificate (17 credits); Administrative Assistant, Diploma (35 credits); Administrative Assistant, AAS (60 credits); and the Office Management, AS (60 credits). The certificate, diploma and AAS degree options ladder, which means that if you take classes at the first-degree level (degree level one), then those classes will all meet the requirements for the next higher level degree. This degree ladder makes it easy to obtain a higher degree without having to start all over from square one. Explore the degree options further by viewing the program pages available at www.mnwest.edu.

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You may be asking, “Why should I choose to pursue an Administrative Support Program at Minnesota West?” First, the programs are offered in an online format providing the flexibility needed to fit into your busy schedule. Second, the programs allow for either a fall or spring start date, which allows you to get started on your educational journey when the time is right for you. You can achieve your personal goals at your pace by choosing between part-time or full-time status. Third, the programs incorporate current and emerging technologies in business office procedures and software applications, ensuring you are prepared for today’s technological work environment. Finally, Minnesota West offers an extraordinary education with small class sizes allowing focused and personalized attention, which will equip you with the knowledge and skill sets you need to be successful in your courses and in your professional work environment.

Choose to be a part of something special! Our programs have been nationally recognized. We were recognized as the #7 online Associate Administrative Assistant Program in the nation for 2020 by BestColleges.com. In 2021, we were also listed as one of the Best 24 Administrative Assistant Associate Degree Programs in the nation by BestValueSchools.org.

Communication is key to success. As a faculty member and program advisor, I pride myself in engaging with my students and assisting them from start to finish along their educational journey. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about the Administrative Support Programs at Minnesota West angela.hoffman@mnwest.edu or 372-3404.