Business Administration

Program News

Clerical Assistant IBEST

This program provides extra support to students working toward a certificate in Office Administration or a degree in Business Administration. IBEST programs are ideal for students currently attending ABE (Adult Basic Ed) or ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, attending college for the first time, or retraining for a new career. IBEST supported classes include business, customer service and accounting. Call 360-383-3080 for more information, including eligibility requirements and the application process.

Changes have also been made to improve WCC's Office Administration certificate to enhance learning, knowledge and employability of graduates. See links below in the Degree and Certificate section for specific course requirements, or contact a program advisor for more information. Click here for individual class schedules available each quarter.

What can I do with a degree in Business Administration?

Studies in business may lead to opportunities in an endless array of industries, government agencies, non-profit and for-profit corporations. A sampling of career options includes sales and customer service, office administration, bookkeeping and general office technology support, and may lead to related roles in supervisory and management positions. Students can also acquire leadership and entrepreneurial skills required to start, manage and lead their own business. With so many career paths to choose from, the employment opportunities for graduates with a business degree are extensive.

What is the Business Administration Program?

The Business Administration program provides choices for students. The flexibility of the Associate in Science (AS) degree offers students a wide variety of classes for general business studies. Pathways have been built for specializing in areas such as Office Management, Office Technology and Retail Management. Certificates are available in Office Administration and Retail Management, along with a short-term Clerical Assistant certificate of proficiency. Whatcom also offers AS degrees and certificates in Accounting, Finance and Hospitality & Tourism Business Management.

Many students in the Business Administration program want to maximize the transferability of their coursework to the university/four-year college system. Students can earn both the AS Business Administration degree and the Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS Transfer) degree with a minimum of extra credits. Also, students in the AAS Transfer degree program can tailor their degree to focus on their interest in entering the Business department at a four-year college or university. For either of these plans, students are strongly recommended to use WCC's advising services in developing their educational plan.

What can I do with the Retail Management Certificate?

This certificate gives students a well-rounded management foundation, and is broadly applicable to all retail situations. The certificate prepares students to communicate effectively, handle human resource issues, develop a management style, and understand marketing and promotion. All of the certificate courses are also applicable to the 90-credit Business Administration Associate in Science, General Business Emphasis degree.

Whatcom Community College is part of a consortium of 15 colleges across the state that are offering Retail Management Certificates, and students will be able to complete the certificate at any of the colleges offering the certificate. In addition, the certificate was developed with the assistance of the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC). Grocery industry employees who complete the certificate with a ‘C' grade or higher in each course may be eligible to receive a cash bonus and certificate from WAFC. Some local grocery chains are offering significant incentives to their employees to pursue the certificate, such as tuition reimbursement, incentive raises, and cash bonuses upon completion. Go to for a complete list of participants and for more details.

Degree and Certificate Information [PDF Format]

For more certificate/short-term training opportunities visit the Office Administration Program webpage.

What are the prerequisites?

There are no special prerequisite courses for this program; however, students are encouraged to develop college level writing and math skills and strong computer skills early in their educational program. New students should complete the college's assessment/placement testing to determine writing and math levels. To schedule an assessment appointment, call (360) 383-3080.

What is the application process?

Apply to WCC online.

If you are unable to apply online, request a WCC application by email at, by phone (360) 383-3001 or in person at the Entry/Advising Office, LDC 116.

There is no special program application for the Business Administration program.


Career & Salary Outlook

Business occupations are varied and have a wide range of starting wages. Retail salespersons may start at $9.51 per hour, whereas office and administrative support workers may start at $12.55 per hour; corresponding average wages range from $13.52 to $15.73 per hour. A first-line supervisor may start at $16.06 to $19.57 per hour, depending upon the industry.

Sources: CareerOneStop 2012; WA State Employment Security Department, September 2013

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Frequently Asked Questions 
Information Sessions 
Other Prof Tech Programs 

Advising and Education Planning
360.383.3080 for appointment

Business Administration
Program Coordinator

Tom Burke
Baker Hall, Room 120

Office Administration &
BIS Program Coordinator

David Evraets
Baker Hall, Room 119

What Students Are Saying About Business

"At Whatcom, I learned something about a wide variety of subjects, not just accounting.  I liked that I could always get the classes I needed and the self-paced labs let me complete my assignments at convenient times."
- Leah

Whatcom Community College

237 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226

(360) 383-3000

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