Administrative Support Technology Associate in applied science degree

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The administrative support technology program prepares you for a career in a variety of business settings including government, education, corporate settings, and health care. You will receive a foundation in computer software applications, business office procedures, and document preparation as well as opportunities to develop appropriate professional interpersonal and human relations skills. This program is available for qualified deaf and hard of hearing students. 

The administrative support technology program, offered by RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, provides students with opportunities to develop skills needed in processing information using a variety of integrated office software applications as well as appropriate professional interpersonal communication skills. Graduates will input, manipulate, and retrieve data; use interactive office software and e-mail; learn information processing skills for applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database; and perform other office duties.

The administrative support technology is available as an associate in applied science (AAS) degree or as an Associate+Bachelor’s Degree Program.

The AAS degree in administrative support technology is a career-focused degree program that leads to immediate entry into well-paying careers at the paraprofessional or technician level. 

The Associate+Bachelor’s Degree Program in administrative support technology prepares you to complete an RIT bachelor’s degree. In this option, upon successful completion of the AAS degree in administrative support technology, provided you maintain a 2.5 or higher grade point average in the program, you will enroll into RIT’s School of Individualized Study, where you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and science.

Learn more about the benefits of pursuing an Associate+Bachelor’s Degree Program.

Cooperative education

As a student in the administrative support technology program, you will be required to complete a cooperative (co-op) work experience prior to graduation. You may schedule your co-op after completing your second-year academic requirements.


  • Government (Local, State, Federal)

  • Non-Profit

  • Higher Education

  • Consumer Packaged Goods

  • Insurance

Typical Job Titles

Administrative Assistant Executive Assistant
General Office Assistant Word Processor
Software Applications Specialist

Curriculum for Administrative Support Technology AAS

Administrative Support Technology, AAS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
   Personal Finance
This course provides students with information and resources needed to understand the creation and implementation of a budget, use of credit and borrowing money responsibly, financial rights and ways to safeguard their money, and factors used to determine their readiness to buy a home or make other major purchases. Information on financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and savings and loan organizations will also be covered. This course will provide students with basic financial literacy so they can develop sound financial management of their personal income as well as an understanding of the economic events that can influence their financial well being and society as a whole.
   Accounting 1
Introduction to accounting principles for both accounting and nonaccounting students. Both service and merchandising (retail/wholesale) businesses are introduced. Areas covered include: analyzing and recording of business transactions using the double-entry accounting system; end-of-period adjustments; worksheet; financial statements; closing entries; and post-closing trial balance. Students complete a comprehensive "accounting cycle" project. Computerized spreadsheet applications are required.
   Essential Document Production
This course is for students with little or no knowledge of word processing software, limited keyboarding experience, and those that have a minimum of 20 net words per minute. Emphasis is on keyboarding skill development as well as an introduction to basic word processing skills. Students key and format business correspondence, reports, and tables. The expectation is to exit this course with a 30 net words per minute typing proficiency for five minutes.
   Advanced Document Production
This course focuses on effective management of document production activities by selecting an appropriate format or template, applying graphic enhancements as needed, and saving the document in an appropriate business format. Business correspondence, newsletters, tables, forms and reports will be produced using word processing software. Emphasis is on the mastery of basic skills and their application to a variety of realistic office document production projects. Typing skill development continues with an expected exit speed to 40+ net words per minute for five minutes.
   Fundamentals of Spreadsheet Applications
Emphasis will be on creating, formatting, and enhancing worksheets; creating and applying formulas and functions; building and formatting charts; using What-If analysis and creating templates. Upon completion, students will be able to design and enhance basic spreadsheets.
   Orientation to Business
This course introduces students to a broad overview of the form and structure of multinational organizations. It provides students with a basic knowledge of the history, organization and operation of business and its particular vocabulary.
   Freshman Seminar
The course provides entering NTID students with opportunities to develop/enhance academic skills, personal awareness, and community involvement in order to maximize their college experience. Students have opportunities to explore and navigate the college environment, develop/reinforce academic skills and participate in service learning opportunities. Students are encouraged to establish meaningful connections with faculty, staff and peers. The course promotes the development of plans for ongoing growth and involvement in class and in the RIT/NTID and/or broader community. Students must pass this course to earn an associates degree.
   General Education - Elective*
   General Education - Elective†
   General Education - Ethical Perspective*
   General Education - First Year Writing (WI)
Second Year
   Essentials of Business Communication
This is a course in the essentials of business communication for today's fast-paced global environment. Emphasis will be on the message and the modes of communication used in the business environment. Participants will engage in effective communication skills through writings (traditional and electronic), face-to-face interactions, and team presentations. Course content will also include emphasis on non-grammar language applications in business communication.
   Integrated Document Production
The course further develops student skills in integrated document formatting and applications using various types of word processing, spreadsheets, databases, slide presentations, and electronic office procedures. Through business simulations, students will have an opportunity to incorporate their speed/accuracy and production skills with communication, information, and file management skills. The expectation is to exit this course with a 50 net words per minute proficiency for a five-minute timing.
   Fundamentals of Database Applications
This course introduces the fundamental concepts of a database management system for creating, maintaining, manipulating, retrieving, and printing business data. Students will learn to create various forms and design reports for storing and displaying data. In addition, the student will create switchboard systems and allow users to view data in multiple dimensions. Students will also learn to save database objects in HTML format so they can be viewed by a browser and imported or exported in XML format.
   Fundamentals of Graphic Applications
This course provides students with a basic knowledge of graphics on a windows platform. Students will be introduced to basic design principles and develop the ability to choose, modify and effectively use appropriate graphics for a variety of communication formats. Students will be required to produce an e-portfolio to document the skills learned in the AST program.
   Administrative Support Technology Seminar
This course provides students with an opportunity to prepare for employment through a formal mentoring experience, team presentation, and guest presentations. Topics for discussion are project management, assertiveness training, leadership styles, effective one-on-one interpersonal and electronic communication, protocol for working with an interpreter, and lifelong learning as necessary for job success. Through weekly meetings with their mentors, students will share responsibility for interactions, establish a learning relationship, increase self-direction, and gain a greater understanding of the workplace.
   Co-op: Administrative Support Technology/Business Technology
Designed to give the student an opportunity to gain work experience, to apply what has been learned and to self-evaluate personal and communication skills. Placement assistance is provided to help the student find a job related to his/her field of study. One co-op experience is required for graduation.
   Applied Ethics
This course introduces ethical issues facing the workplace. Students will learn about common work-related ethical issues, and evaluate problems concerning professional conduct and moral conflict. Students will also learn what ethical behavior is, how to recognize ethical behavior, and how to model ethical behavior in the workplace. Individual, organizational and societal needs will be taken into consideration during the students’ decision-making process
   Fundamentals of Management
This course focuses on the management aspect of organizations. Students will learn a variety of methods management uses to stay organized, lead and motivate employees as well as how controls are established to ensure company goals are met. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the multi-faceted roles of leaders and managers in the workplace.
   General Education - Global Perspective*
   General Education - Social Perspective*
   General Education - Scientific Principles Perspective
Third Year
   Fundamentals of Desktop Publishing 
This course focuses on conceptual and technical approaches to desktop publishing and graphic design as applied to office communications. Emphasis is on the use of design principles related to color, space, text, and images in preparation of digital design layouts. Students will be required to enhance their AST e-portfolio using desktop publishing and web design skills acquired in this course.
   Essentials of Human Resource Management
This course acquaints students with the basic concepts of Human Resource Management. Exposure to the changing nature of Human Resources relates to employee retention, legality, EEO/Diversity, job analysis, recruitment, selection, training and development as well as performance management, compensation, benefits, employee relations and labor relations. An overview of the range of duties and levels of responsibilities found in this sector of the business environment will allow students to identify similarities between job function required of an administrative assistant and of a human resources assistant.
   Fundamentals of Marketing
This course introduces the field of marketing and its focus on how consumer behavior effects in the marketplace (domestically and internationally). Emphasis will be placed on understanding the marketing mix and its impact on the external market environment.
   Open Elective
   General Education - Artistic Perspective*
Total Semester Credit Hours

Please see the NTID General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing associate degrees are required to complete one Wellness course.

* An ASL-Deaf Cultural Studies (AASASLDCS) course is required for graduation. It can be taken in any semester and can be taken at NTID or another college of RIT. In order to fulfill this requirement as part of the credit hours in the program, it can be a course approved for both AASASLDCS and a General Education - Perspective or General Education - Elective or it can be used to fulfill an Open Elective.

† Any mathematics course numbered NMTH-140 or higher.

Admission Requirements

For the career-focused AAS Degree

  • 2 years of math required
  • 1 year of science required
  • English language skills as evidenced by application materials determine associate degree options.

For the AAS Degree Leading to Bachelor’s Degree (Associate+Bachelor’s Program)

  • 2 years of math required; students interested in engineering, math and science transfer programs should have three or more years of math.
  • 1 year of science required; students interested in engineering, math and science transfer programs should have two or more years of science.
  • Physics is recommended for students interested in engineering.
  • English language skills, as evidenced by application materials, determine associate degree options.

Specific Requirements

  • English: Placement into a First Year Writing course, such as FYW: Writing Seminar (UWRT-150). Students typically enter First Year Writing with reading scores equivalent to 130 or higher on the NTID Reading Test and writing scores of 67 or higher on the NTID Writing Test. However, students who complete AAS degrees typically enter NTID with reading scores above 98 on the NTID Reading Test and writing scores above 50 on the NTID Writing Test.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics course NMTH-120 or higher is required. Typically, students entering this program will have completed at least two years of high school mathematics.
  • Science: Typically, students entering this program will have completed at least two years of high school science.

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

Additional Info

Microsoft certification

The department operates an authorized testing center for Microsoft Office Specialist. Preparatory courses are offered for several exams each semester.