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Office management program gives students new skills, new start

February 11, 2002

"I'll never forget the student who told me she came to our program because she didn't want to smell like leather anymore," said Dr. Sue Evans, data processing program manager at the Austin Peay Center @ Fort Campbell. "She had been standing in line at a bank when the man behind her commented that she must work at Acme Boot. When she asked him how he knew that, he said it was because she smelled like leather.

"Taking classes for her was about more than learning a new skill or getting a new job after the plant closed. It was about having an opportunity for a better life."

Courses in the secretarial procedures program, more commonly known as office management, lead to an associate of applied science degree in data processing.

Students learn a range of business communication and office systems skills such as document processing, desktop publishing and records management. They also are introduced to business law and human resources.

A major portion of class time takes place in the center's state-of-the-art computer lab, offering students instruction in the latest applications.

Additionally, students have the opportunity to receive hands-on training - and make job contacts - through internships in local offices.

Carol Winfield, a 1998 graduate of the office management program, was hired as a technical clerk at Austin Peay State University following an internship at the school.

"I started at the OshKosh B'Gosh factory in Dover. When it closed, I had to make a decision about what to do next," said Winfield. "I chose to advance myself and when I looked over the programs, I found the one that would get me where I wanted to go.

"Working in an office now, I've used everything I was taught in the program and even took extra Cisco and Internet networking classes. Once you get started, you want to learn more."

The Austin Peay Center @ Fort Campbell also offers data processing and computer science technology concentrations in the data processing program.

For more information, telephone 1437.