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Part-time Associate Certificate 5525acert

Become an expert end user of PCs and office applications

Using a personal computer in an office environment typically requires proficiency in using a Windows PC, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, reporting tools and an understanding of IT security.

ACA was designed for those who want an expert level understanding of using a Windows 10 PC and the most current versions of MS Office.

This program from BCIT Computing provides hands-on experience for personal computer users plus an introduction to web development.

Starting with Applied Computer Concepts, students learn to properly use a Windows 10 PC to manage files and protect data.

Microsoft Word or Excel and then PowerPoint, plus an Introduction to Web Development and Design and Applied IT Security Fundamentals completes the core required courses.

Elective options include; IT Project Management, Introduction to JavaScript and jQuery, Crystal Reports, plus an Introduction to Business and Technical Communication.

Graduates of this Applied Computer Applications (ACA) Associate Certificate may also choose to continue on to the Applied Web Development (AWD) Associate Certificate.

Note: Students looking to work toward the CSC and CST/PTS Diploma must complete ACIS and not ACA.

Program Entry

Program Entry:

BC High School Grade 12 English or equivalent knowledge.

Students in this program are required to have English reading, writing and speaking skills.

Specific prerequisites or equivalent knowledge are required for each course.

Please Note: COMP 1002 – Applied Computer Concepts is the starting point for those looking to become computer literate PC power users. This comprehensive course is core to this credential and a prerequisite for any of the higher level COMP courses, including all of the MS Office application courses.

Complete COMP 1002 before declaring in this program.

ACA is a stand-alone program with a focus on MS Office. Students completing ACIS will not be approved in ACA due to topic duplication with MS Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Web Development and Business Communication. Those planning to move on the CST/PTS should complete ACIS and not ACA.

International applicants

This program is not available to international students. View available programs

Program declaration

Declaring your Part-time Studies program ensures that BCIT is aware of your intent to complete a program as it is currently outlined and provides you the opportunity to apply for transfer credit.
Read more about program declaration

To submit your declaration:

  • Answer all questions completely.
  • If required, convert transcripts and documents to PDF files.
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee.
Declare Now

Upon approval, a program plan letter will be sent to you confirming your program of study. Please allow approximately eight weeks for processing.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

Use your knowledge and skills learned outside recognized programs - including on-the-job experience, or self study - to gain exemption for specific courses. PLAR relies on an assessment of the student, on a course-by-course basis via an exam, for the course being challenged, if available. For more information on PLAR exams, please email the department:

Costs & Supplies

All Computing Part-time Studies programs are course by course registration.

Course tuition and textbooks for this program will cost approximately $4,500 depending on electives chosen. Specific textbooks are required, some COMP courses also have lower cost eBook options.

International students will pay approximately $13,000 (3 x tuition plus books).

Students register and pay for available courses online, by clicking on the green block 'Add to Cart'.

Follow the directions to obtain a BCIT student number if you do not already have one.

Students who successfully complete this program may also be prepared to challenge the associated MOS, Microsoft Office Specialist exams through third parties for additional fees.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.



Not all PTS courses are offered every term.

COMP 2252 will only be offered in the January and September terms.

COMP 2384 will be offered once a year in the spring term.

NEW COMP 1370 Microsoft Access Fundamentals 

Please register early to avoid disappointment, some courses fill weeks in advance.

Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required courses (16.0 credits): Credits
  COMP 1002 Applied Computer Concepts 3.0
  COMP 2369 Microsoft Word 3.0
  COMP 2364 Microsoft Excel 3.0
  COMP 2384 Microsoft PowerPoint 1.0
  COMP 1850 Introduction to Web Development 3.0
  COMP 3704 Applied IT Security Fundamentals 3.0
Complete a minimum of 6.0 credits from the following list of electives: Credits
  COMP 2252 Crystal Reports 3.0
  COMP 1288 IT Project Management 1.5
  COMP 1370 Microsoft Access Fundamentals 1.5
  COMP 2015 Introduction to JavaScript and jQuery 1.5
and/or one of the following:
  COMM 1103 Introduction to Business and Technical Communication 3.0
  COMM 1106 Introduction to Business and Technical Communication (With Language Development Component) 3.0
Total Credits: 22.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

*NOTE: You may not claim duplicate credits for the same courses/topics, for different versions of the same subject, applications or the operating system.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

A minimum of 22 credits must be chosen from the 'Required and Elective' sections below. All courses must be completed successfully within a five-year period. We constantly update our curriculum to reflect market trends in the industry.

Our MS Office "COMP" courses are delivered by certified by Microsoft subject matter experts who use real world examples with hands-on exercises and significant homework.

Our credit courses are typically 12 lessons each, most courses are 12 or 6 weeks long with some as short as 2 weeks. We have offerings every term in Burnaby and the Downtown Campus.

Please Note: Compressed 6 week courses are twice as much work in half the time. Attendance in every lesson is mandatory, missing even one day places students at risk for failure. Miss 2 days and you will have missed over 33% of the 6 week compressed course and you will have exceeded the 20% allowable.

Intensive  2 week courses are not suited for most students as these sections include the same content as a 12 week course. Students are in class for 3.5 hours every day and must allocate 3.5+ hours per day for labs and homework. It is unwise to attempt a two-week section if you have other course requirements. Attendance every day is mandatory.

Program abandonment

  • Students approved for a part-time studies program are expected to register and complete courses on a continuous basis.

  • A student that has not completed a course from their approved program of study over a period of three consecutive academic terms will be considered to have abandoned the program.

  • Throughout the duration of the program, a student is permitted a maximum of five academic terms where they are not required to register and complete a course from their approved program of study. Students who exceed the five term maximum will be considered to have abandoned the program.

  • Students who have abandoned their approved program of study and wish to be reinstated will be required to apply for program approval for a current credential. BCIT cannot guarantee that courses taken prior to this reapplication will be credited towards the current credential.

BCIT Policy 5103 - Student Evaluation [PDF] permits a maximum of three attempts to successfully complete each course within a credential.

Graduating & Jobs

Students may be prepared to challenge the MOS*, Microsoft Office Specialist exams at the Expert level in MS Word and MS Excel, should they want to pursue industry credentials.

*MOS, Microsoft Office Specialist MOS exams are available from a third party and may be obtained for an additional cost.

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 graduates and for Degree 2014-2016 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Apply for graduation

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit it to Student Information and Enrolment Services.

Allow approximately six to eight weeks for processing.

All financial obligations to the Institute must be met prior to issuance of any credential.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

The Applied Computer Applications (ACA) associate certificate program was developed in conjunction with subject matter experts by Kevin Cudihee, Program Head for BCIT Computing PTS and Industry Training.

Required courses were developed and delivered by: Mike Evans, Fraser Robertson, Diana Gerrard, Joanne Atha, Julie Neibel, Dave Tanchak, Steve Overland, and Farshad Abasi.

Elective courses were developed by Andre Coetzee, Fariba Pacheleh, Jason Harrison, Cathy Michitsch and the Communication Department.

Administrative support is provided by Joanne Atha.

Contact Us

Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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