Administrative and Executive Assistant



You are More Than Your Job Title

Administrative and executive assistants support some of the largest, most profitable companies in Silicon Valley. The work you do behind the scenes can have a tremendous impact on the success of an organization. Our Administrative and Executive Assistant courses are designed to prepare you to communicate business needs, manage multiple projects and multiply your impact at work.

Pick up skills course by course or declare candidacy for a certificate to add a UC credential to your resume.

Silicon Valley Skills

Our courses are developed and taught by Silicon Valley veterans who have supported C-level executives at Cisco and Avaya.

100% Confidence Boost

The AEA program validates your hard work and offers problem-solving techniques that will empower you to take the lead.


"The top executive assistants in Silicon Valley created this program - it has a great reputation." –Jennifer Cass

The Profession

Behind Every Leader…Is An Assistant

From project management to business communications, event planning and meeting scheduling, administrative and executive assistants are the renaissance men and women of the corporate world. Our Administrative and Executive Assistant curriculum is designed to help you increase efficiency, navigate organizational change, and communicate business needs. Explore our courses to add a few skills to your quiver.

Average Earnings

The annual wage for executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants in the corporate world was $60,320 in May 2015. –Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Market Relevance

By 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for administrative assistants will grow by 3%. While there were more than 2.4 million administrative assistants in 2014, the BLS reports an additional 64,000 positions will need to be filled. –U.S. News & World Report

Job Prospects

In 2017, the average increase for starting salaries across the administrative field in the US is projected at 3.5%. Compensation for senior executive assistants is expected to increase by 4.3%. –Robert Half Administrative Salary Guide


“The program reinforced what I already knew, provided a refresher of what I’d forgotten, and gave me new ideas.” –Michelle North


Program Objectives

As a graduate of the Administrative and Executive Assistant certificate program, you’ll have the skills to:

  • Plan and lead effective meetings
  • Manage complex projects
  • Analyze and evaluate financial statements
  • Communicate business needs in writing and presentations
  • Collaborate with diverse teams


At UCSC Extension, courses are developed by program chairs and faculty according to the rigorous University of California standards and designed to meet the economic needs of each industry. Our instructors represent the best of both worlds.

Program Chair

BONNIE SAVAGE, a senior executive assistant with more than 25 years of experience in the high tech industry, has taught for UCSC Extension since 2007. She supports the president of the Life Sciences & Applies Markets Group at Agilent Technologies. As leader of administrative teams, she has the talent and ability to organize and set up C-suite offices for CEOs and executives. She provides resources and insight to improve overall company efficiency and teamwork. Previously, she supported the CEO of Avaya. She has held similar positions at JDSU Corp., Aspect Communications, and Skystream Corp., early-stage e-commerce and internet companies. Ms. Savage is a member of the Silicon Valley Catalyst Association, a group of executive assistants to Silicon Valley CEOs.

Bonnie Savage

Advisory Board

Bonnie Tokiwa-Savage, Senior Executive Assistant, Agilent Technologies

Debbie Gross, CEA Assistant, Cisco Systems

Sherry Parsons, Executive Administrative Manager, Avaya, Inc.


Program Format

UCSC Extension’s Administrative and Executive Assistant program is offered at UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus, a beautiful facility located on the corner of Scott and Bowers in Santa Clara. Some courses are also available online. Choose courses according to your interest or declare candidacy in the certificate for a more comprehensive overview of the field.

Certificate Requirements

Total: 14.5 units

Required: 9 units

Elective: 5.5 units

GPA: 3.0, with a C or better in all courses.

Timeline: To earn the certificate, you must complete all minimum requirements within 3 years of declaring candidacy.

Transferring courses from other institutions: Courses completed more than 5 years prior to the date of certificate issuance cannot be used to fulfill requirements. Learn more about transferring credit here.

Required Courses

There are 5 required courses:

  • Administrative and Executive Assistants’ Practicum, 2 units
  • Business and Professional Writing, 2 units
  • Communication Skills for Administrative and Executive Assistants, 2 units
  • Finance for the Business Professional, 1 units
  • Project Management for Administrative and Executive Assistants, 2 units


You must complete a minimum of 5.5 elective units to earn the certificate.

  • Adobe Illustrator, Introduction, 1.5 units
  • Adobe Photoshop, Introduction, 1.5 units
  • Business Communication, 2 units
  • Business Statistics I, 2.5 units
  • Business Statistics II, 2.5 units
  • Cross-Cultural Communication: Asian and Western Business Environments, 1.5 units
  • Cultural Proficiency, 2 units
  • Facilitation Skills, 2 units
  • Graphic Design Fundamentals, 2 units
  • HTML Fundamentals, 2 units
  • Interviewing for Success: Using Structured Interviewing Techniques, 0.5 units
  • Leading and Facilitating Productive Meetings, 0.5 units
  • Organizational Development and Change, Introduction, 2 units
  • Role of the Project Manager, 1.5 units

Also of Interest

  • Effective Employee Relations, 1.5 units
  • Project Leadership and Communication, 3 units
  • Principles of Marketing, 2 units


Want to learn more about our curriculum in person? Join us for a free Info Session to learn more about our courses, faculty, and program requirements. Learn more on our Events page.


The rough cost Administrative and Executive certificate is estimated at $5000.



No application is required to enroll in our courses or certificate programs. Information about our open enrollment process can be found on our Enrollment page. If you have any questions about our programs, please contact the UCSC Extension Outreach office by phone at 408-861-3860, or by email at

From the schedule below, click on a course title to see sections available for enrollment. You may view the full course schedule, or enroll in the course, by clicking the respective button. The course type offerings (classroom, online, blended) are guidelines and subject to change. A blended (hybrid) course has both classroom and online components.

Declaring Candidacy

If you intend to pursue a certificate, declaring candidacy establishes program requirements early in your studies, so any subsequent curriculum changes do not affect your progress. It does not limit what courses you can take; and it helps you structure your professional development program for maximum benefit to you. Go the declare candidacy page to establish your requirements for this program. Certificate program requirements must be completed within three years of declaring candidacy.

Course Schedule

1. Required Courses
2. Elective Courses
3. Required Certificate Review
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended
Offering Code Offering Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
O-CE0000 Administrative and Executive Assistant Certificate Completion Review