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This certificate is for individuals who wish to own or operate a small business. Emphasis is on the hands-on skills needed to operate a successful business enterprise. All of the courses can be applied toward an A.A.S. degree in Individual Studies. Many of the courses can be used in other business-related degree programs.

Goal 1 To prepare students to own or operate a small business

  • Graduates secure a job in the field of business.
  • Graduates seeking further education transfer to a degree program.

Goal 2 To prepare the students to interact effectively within a diverse business population

  • Students will interact effectively within a diverse student population by working collaboratively.

Goal 3 To prepare the student to communicate effectively

  • Students will communicate appropriately with instructors and peers through written or oral assignments.

Goal 4 To train students to solve business problems

  • Students will demonstrate the use of technology as a problem solving tool.
  • Students will understand basic bookkeeping practices and be able to calculate price margins, markups and business ratios.

Goal 5 To prepare students to gather, organize, manage, and interpret data

  • Students will demonstrate a knowledge of financial and market information and resources available to small business owners.

Goal 6 To prepare students to demonstrate information literacy

  • Students will use traditional and contemporary information technology.
  • Students will identify, access, and appropriately use authoritative sources of information.

Gainful Employment - follow the link below for gainful employment information.


Total Credit Hours: 30

Plan of Study:

This course is the first of a sequence that explores fundamental accounting principles, concepts, and practices as a basis for the preparation, understanding, and interpretation of accounting information. It covers the complete accounting cycle for service and merchandising businesses through the adjustment and closing of the books and the preparation of the income statement, the statement of owner equity, and the balance sheet. The details of accounting for cash, receivables, inventory, long-lived assets, and current liabilities are investigated.

This basic law course investigates the application of law to societal and business relationships through a study of the concept of commercial law and its sources, the law of contracts, the law of sales, and the law of negotiable instruments. Lecture, class discussion, and case study comprise the primary methods of instruction In the effort to develop awareness of the logic and application of the law.

This course emphasizes the basic practices, concepts, and activities involved in developing a successful marketing program. Topics include buyer behavior, market identification, product development, distribution, promotion, pricing, and the uncontrollable factors (economic, social, political, legal and technological) involved in the changing marketing environment of today.

This course reviews basic arithmetic processes to develop speed and accuracy in working with decimals, fractions, and percentages. Calculators are used to solve business problems, including simple and compound interest, discounting promissory notes, present value, installment purchases, and mortgages. Retail mathematics covers the areas of purchase and cash discounts, trade discounts, and markup of merchandise. Topics may also include the mathematics of sales and property taxes and payroll. Problem-solving exercises are completed through applications and exercises.

This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of entrepreneurship and the challenges of starting and operating a small business. Emphasis is placed on creating and successfully leading a business entity by developing a sustainable competitive advantage. Topics include self-assessment, planning, decision-making, legal forms of business, identifying and leveraging business opportunities, capital formation, start-up issues, the need for social responsibility and ethics, and how to develop long-term relationships with customers, suppliers, and employers. A major course requirement is the presentation of a realistic business plan.

This course provides knowledge of relevant computer skills and a solid foundation in the terminology and concepts of computer technology. Experience is provided with a variety of microcomputer software applications, including word processing, electronic spreadsheets, graphics, file management, and integrated software. Concepts and terms focus on preparing for a technologically oriented society and using the computer as a tool for productivity, research, and communication.

This course is the study of how individuals and groups act in organizations. It explores a systems approach in developing organizational and human resource objectives, as well as a holistic approach in examining relations among groups, individuals, and systems as they relate to the organization.

Any AC, BM (above 101), or IS course other than those already required in the program. BM294 Business Internship substitutes for two business electives.

This course introduces the functions involved with managing the human resources within an organization. Topics include job design and analysis, recruitment and selection, performance appraisals, training, compensation administration, benefits, and employee rights.

This course covers the essential skills to sell a product, service, or idea. Activities include the writing and preparing of a detailed presentation plan as well as the expository delivery of the plan.

This course covers the fundamental principles of effective business correspondence, report writing, and oral communications. These principles are applied first to sentences and paragraphs, and then to specific types of business communications. It includes a review of spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, grammar, and composition as necessary.

(a) Program Electives include: Any AC, BM (above 101), or IS course other than those already required in the program. BM294 Business Internship substitutes for two business electives. 

(b) Business Management Electives include: BM254 Human Resources Management OR BM264 Professional Selling.