Leading People Through Change

The increasing rate and scope of change is having a profound effect on the workplace. Managers and supervisors often bear the responsibility of maintaining morale and productivity during difficult change processes. Doing this effectively requires grasping the impact of change on people, understanding the change process, acquiring critical coping skills, optimizing the positive payoffs from change, and implementing action plans for leading people through change.


No prerequisites

Sections :

Section Start Date Time Location Cost Instructor Name Full Schedule Enroll
HRMT.X412.(802) 8/14/2018 12:00 AM ONLINE 475 Lynn M Hughes View Enroll

Organizational Development and Change, Introduction

Students in this course study the planned, systemic change interventions that increase effectiveness and enhance individual development. In addition to gaining exposure to evidence-based models for effective organizations, students practice the art of navigating through ambiguity. They learn to work with different personality types. In this experiential, interactive course, students engage in group activities and collaborate on a team project, both in and out of the class.


No prerequisites

Sections :

Section Start Date Time Location Cost Instructor Name Full Schedule Enroll
HRMT.X401.(3) 7/14/2018 09:00 AM SANTA CLARA 710 Tara L Martin-Milius View Enroll
HRMT.X401.(4) 9/8/2018 09:00 AM SANTA CLARA 710 Judy A Lacroix View Enroll

Adobe Illustrator, Introduction

Illustrator's vector-based, small graphic format makes it a must for print and Web graphics. This hands-on course introduces the essential features and tools of Adobe Illustrator. Students develop basic competency in the use of this complex software, with emphasis on the Pen tool.


No prerequisites

Sections :

Section Start Date Time Location Cost Instructor Name Full Schedule Enroll
UEWD.X400.(1) 9/5/2018 05:30 PM SANTA CLARA 550 Vicki L Winters View Enroll

Adobe Photoshop, Introduction

This course introduces beginners to the basics of Photoshop, the industry standard for the creation, enhancement and manipulation of digital images. This powerful application is used by casual and professional photographers, graphic designers for print and web, business professionals looking to give their presentations an extra edge, artists and anybody who enjoys visual creation.

The instructional format provides room for exploration and discovery through lecture, demonstration, hands-on computer work and troubleshooting in a lab setting.


No prerequisites

Sections :

Section Start Date Time Location Cost Instructor Name Full Schedule Enroll
UXWD.X402.(2) 6/19/2018 06:30 PM SANTA CLARA 550 Jeanette Smith View Enroll

Graphic Design Fundamentals

If you need to make design decisions for presentations, Web pages or printed materials and you want your final product to be professional and effective, this is the class for you. This course will provide you with the basic skills used by designers everywhere.


Offering code Offering title
UXWD.X400 Adobe Illustrator, Introduction
UXWD.X402 Adobe Photoshop, Introduction

Sections :

Section Start Date Time Location Cost Instructor Name Full Schedule Enroll
UEWD.X408.(1) 10/3/2018 06:30 PM SANTA CLARA 630 Russell Leong View Enroll

Management and Organization, Principles


How can working professionals and managers improve their management effectiveness and, ultimately, their organization's performance? This course introduces valuable management tools, processes and techniques practiced by successful businesses.


No prerequisites

Administrative and Executive Assistants Information Session

This career event features a panel of well-known executive assistants from several of Silicon Valley's leading corporations who will personally answer questions about the field of Administrative and Executive Assistants and its growing opportunities. An overview of UCSC Extension's Administrative and Executive Assistant program will also be covered. The courses in this program include guest lectures from CEO and senior executive assistants to enhance learning with immediate, practical day-to-day applications.


No prerequisites

Administrative and Executive Assistant Certificate Completion Review

Once all of the certificate requirements have been met and your final grades are posted, please access your Student Portal to enroll in the “Certificate Completion Review” to begin the review process. Please allow up to 4 weeks to receive your certificate.


No prerequisites

Sections :

Section Start Date Time Location Cost Instructor Name Full Schedule Enroll
O-CE0000.(008) // 04:00 PM 75 View Enroll
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 Profession

“Shortly after graduating from the Administrative and Executive Assistant certificate program, I was offered a job at a multinational internet tech company. I firmly believe the certificate had everything to do with me receiving such a great offer.”

 Crystal Rose, Administrative Business Partner at Google and Alumna of the UCSC Extension Administrative and Executive Assistant Certificate Program

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
Administrative assistant was the second most popular job for new college graduates. (U.S. News & World Report, 2018) 
How Administrative Assistant Jobs and Skills Have Changed (Robert Half, 2017)

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


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 Co-Chair

BONNIE SAVAGE, a founding board member of the Extension Administrative and Executive Assistant certificate program, with more than 25 years of experience as a senior executive assistant in the high tech industry, has been program chair for UCSC Extension since 2007. She supports the president of the Life Sciences and Applied 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, Beyond.com 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

Program Co-Chair

SHERRY PARSONS, B.S.B.M., a founding board member of the Extension Administrative and Executive Assistant certificate program, has more than 30 years of experience in the administrative field. She has worked as an executive assistant to several top executives in Silicon Valley including the CEO, CCO, GM, and SVP. Positions include executive assistant at Cisco, Avaya, Earthbound Farm, Network General, and Aspect Communications. A speaker at industry events, Sherry has served as an advisory board member for the Hilton Santa Clara and the Silicon Valley Admin Awards. In 2018, Sherry received the Colleen Barrett Award for Administrative Excellence at Silicon Valley Admin Awards. She has taught at Extension since 2006.

Advisory Board

Bonnie Tokiwa-Savage, Senior Executive Assistant, Agilent Technologies

Debbie Gross, Trainer and Coach for Administrative Excellence.

Sherry Parsons, Executive Assistant, Cisco.


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 unit
  • Project Management for Administrative and Executive Assistants, 2 units


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

  • Applied Digital Marketing for Business: Tools, Technologies, Techniques and their Applications, 2 units
  • Business Communication, 2 units
  • Business Statistics I, 2.5 units
  • Business Statistics II, 2.5 units
  • Creating the Successful Team, 1.5 units
  • CRM: Customer Relationship Management Fundamentals, 2 units
  • Cultural Proficiency, 2 units
  • Facilitation Skills, 2 units
  • Interviewing for Success: Using Structured Interviewing Techniques, 0.5 units
  • Leading People Through Change, 0.5 units
  • Organizational Development and Change, Introduction, 2 units
  • Public Relations: Winning the Mindshare Battle, 1.5 units
  • Role of the Project Manager, 1.5 units
  • Schedule Optimization Techniques for Managers, 1.5 units
  • Social Media Marketing Fundamentals , 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 extensionprogram@ucsc.edu.

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