New ! Office Administration certificates meet workforce needs

March 13, 2014

Want to manage a modern technology-based office but don’t have the needed skills and credentials? Check out the General Office Administration and Medical Office Administration Certificate programs at Greenfield Community College. Students in the General Office Administration program learn the wide range of skills needed to manage small business, non-profit, and other offices, including management, bookkeeping, computer systems, written communication, human resources, and more. New to GCC this fall will be a Medical Office Administration Certificate that includes courses in the record-keeping and office functions used in medical office settings, including medical coding, insurance, billing, and managing electronic medical records. Students studying toward a Medical Office Administration Certificate also develop a well-rounded background in medical terminology and a holistic understanding of medical procedures. After completing the sequence of courses required for the Medical Office Administration Certificate, students are prepared take the exams for private certification as a Medical Coder. Both Certificates are offered at night and are designed for those who are working. They are also “stackable,” meaning they count toward the requirements for an Associate of Science degree in CIS – Office Management.

Trista Perrea, 25, from Westhampton works full-time for VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson and is studying Medical Office Administration part-time at GCC. After high school, she started work in an oncology practice office and enjoyed interacting in an administrative role with patients in a medical setting. GCC classes have helped Trista understand the big picture of what she sees at work, including what happens in the background to make health care function. She’s learned about management, billing, coding, and accounting. Before studying at GCC, Trista had seen code numbers in patient bills. Now, those numbers make sense and she has a context for understanding what she and her coworkers are doing. Trista has also taken elective courses in psychology and sociology to learn more about the patients she deals with, many of whom have different beliefs and cultural traditions that impact their experience in health care settings.

Trista said, “Studying at GCC has been a great opportunity for me. It is really important to feel comfortable and be supported in a learning environment and I’ve gotten that support from professors and staff at GCC. Health care is growing so fast and there are so many more pieces to health care than the work of frontline clinical staff. GCC’s program really prepares you to work in a career with a future. I think I have the best of both worlds, working with patients and having the job security of being in a field with high demand.”

Thom Simmons, Co-Chair of GCC’s Business & Information Technology Department and Professor of Economics & Business, agrees with Trista. Thom said, “The Office Management concentration is one of our biggest Associate degree programs. The Medical Office Administration Certificate will be particularly valuable for people who want to work in health care settings. And, the medical coding system is changing. People with previous coding experience can learn about the new system in these courses. The General Office Administration and Medical Office Administration Certificates are quality programs for a growing job market in western Massachusetts.”

For information about the Office Administration programs, visit

By Mary McClintock, ’82

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