PC Maintenance Technology

Associate Degree

Program Outline

This outline covers all four semesters of your at-home degree program. You will receive credit for previous college coursework if you meet Penn Foster standards. If you wish to receive credit for previous coursework, contact the college you attended and ask that your transcripts be forwarded to Penn Foster for evaluation. All previous college work must have been completed with a grade of "C" or better, and as much as 75% of the required credits may be transferred. We will also credit your tuition for all the courses that are acceptable.

The first course, Basic Skills Assessment, is available online only, which allows you to start studying right away. You will not receive hardcopy program materials for these lessons. You can access your first course as soon as your tuition payment has been received. Other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

Online Library and Librarian
Students at Penn Foster College have access to an online library during their college studies. Students can use the library to do the required course research or for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and will assist students in research activities.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal
The PC Maintenance Technology associate degree program will prepare the students to work as computer maintenance technicians, teaching such skills as PC hardware and operating systems maintenance, programming, Internet security, and database technology.

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate computer and information literacy
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Describe how to converse with customers to determine the details of equipment problems
  • Know how to reassemble computers after making repairs or replacing parts
  • Identify and describe computer operating systems, maintenance, and programming
  • Explain how to install and configure operating software and peripheral equipment
  • Know how to secure the safety of computer, internet, and mobile information
  • Discuss the role of database technology in PC maintenance

 

Semester 1

Basic Skills Assessment
All degree applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

Orientation to PC Maintenance Technology (1 credit)
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and get a brief introduction to the constantly changing world of computer technology in the Information Age.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Learn about the impact of technology on business and the economy.
  • Understand the social implications of technology and its benefits and trends.
  • Explore technology careers and what skill sets they require.
  • Read about the jobs in the computer support field.

Introduction to PC Repair (2 credits)
This course provides the student with a broad view of PC Maintenance and Repair, focusing on the essential elements of hardware and software, as well as the importance of safety.

Objectives:

  • Describe the physical parts (hardware) and the programs that run the computer (software).
  • Understand how hardware and software work together.
  • Identify the essential knowledge and skills to be a successful computer support technician.

Information Literacy (1 credit)
Get better at finding and using information!

Objectives:

  • Search the Internet more effectively.
  • Get tips about search engines and reliable websites.
  • Learn how to search libraries and other information centers for important, useful information.

PC Hardware 1 (3 credits)
Learn the parts of the computer that are considered the hardware.

Objectives:

  • Identify and describe the system board, central processing unit, read-only and random access memory, disk drives, hard drive, and CD and DVD drives.

English Composition (3 credits)
This course will allow you to polish and enhance your writing skills.

Objectives:

  • Effectively use free writing and brainstorming.
  • Perfect your ability to edit and revise your writing.
  • Apply techniques for getting the reader’s attention.
  • Write descriptive essays, first-person narratives, reflective essays, persuasive essays, and effective thesis statements.

Introduction to Microsoft® Windows® (3 credits)

Objectives:

  • Learn all about the Windows® operating system.
  • Discover how to customize Windows.®
  • Use the Windows® Folders system.
  • Modify basic system settings.
  • Troubleshoot Windows.®

PC Hardware 2 (3 credits)
This course provides the student with more sophisticated techniques in PC repair.

Objectives:

  • Support mobile computing devices such as laptops, netbooks, smart phones, tablets, and iPads.
  • Purchase and build PCs.
  • Troubleshoot, support, protect, and recover PCs.

Videos:

  • Personal Computer Repair
  • Personal Computer Assembly

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

 

Semester 2

PC Operating Systems (3 credits)
Discover how operating systems communicate with each computer hardware device, display data on the monitor, and retrieve and store information on the disk drive.

Objectives:

  • Perform standard operating and maintenance procedures.
  • Learn about computer viruses and how to avoid them.
  • Examine how Windows® and Apple operating systems work.
  • Configure Windows® 7 with simulation software.

Intermediate Algebra (3 credits)
This course introduces basic algebraic concepts that you’ll need to be successful in your career.

Objectives:

  • Understand the systems of equations, polynomials, and radicals.
  • Factor polynomial expressions.
  • Simplify rational expressions.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

Interpersonal Communication (1 credit)
This course will allow you to improve communication skills, ultimately increasing your chance for professional success.

Objectives:

  • Select and understand the importance of using correct words, gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions.
  • Hone your listening skills.
  • Project a physical appearance that positively affects your communication with others.

Computer Applications (3 credits)
This course will allow you to build your computer skills through a combination of reading and hands-on practice. You will navigate popular software tools such as Windows® and Microsoft® Office.

Objectives:

  • Create, edit, and illustrate Microsoft® Word™ documents.
  • Apply formulas and functions to large data sets in Microsoft® Excel.®
  • Incorporate useful charts and graphs to summarize data.
  • Add, delete, sort, and lay out table data.
  • Create presentations in Microsoft® PowerPoint® using advanced tools, tables, and charts.

Physical Science (3 credits)

Objectives:

  • Define the physical universe as you know it.
  • Get the foundation you need to understand chemistry, physics, and earth and space sciences.

Network Protocols and Internetworking (3 credits)
In this course, you’ll learn how computers communicate with each other and how to form networks.

Objectives:

  • Learn network fundamentals.
  • Discover how local area networks and wide area networks work.
  • Understand how to maintain, troubleshoot, and secure a network.
  • Become familiar with the devices used for connecting networks.

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

 

Semester 3

Internet Server Environments (3 credits)

Objectives:

  • Explore the foundations of the Internet: the servers, clients, and technologies that link them together.
  • Learn website configuration.
  • Examine common hosting environments, including Windows® and Unix®-based platforms.
  • Create and configure your own web server.

Business and Technical Writing (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the various methods of organizing material for a professional setting. Students will compose business documents using the ABC method. These include memos, emails, outlines, reports and proposals, descriptions, and organizing materials. Students also work on honing their grammar skills.

Objectives:

  • Describe the basics of the writing process and the ABC method of organizing material for a document
  • Identify the parts of speech in a sentence
  • Demonstrate correct pronoun use
  • Choose proper and effective words for writing documents
  • Identify the elements of a well-written sentence
  • Demonstrate how to use length, directness, emphasis, and variety to craft impactful sentences
  • Explain how to construct a coherent paragraph
  • Describe how to write an effective cover letter and resume
  • Format and write an interoffice memorandum, a routine business letter, and an effective email
  • Identify the different ways to write for blogs, the Internet, and social media
  • Describe how to create an organized formal outline
  • Identify the types of research and methods of documentation used in business and technical writing
  • Explain how to create visual interest and clarity in reports with illustrations, tables, graphs, charts, and overall design
  • Explain the purpose and importance of various types of informal reports
  • Describe the nature of formal reports and identify their components
  • Differentiate among external, internal, informal, and formal proposals
  • Describe an object or a process and prepare a set of instructions
  • Describe the preparation and submission of professional and technical articles and manuals

Essentials of Psychology (3 credits)
This course will introduce you to the relationship between biology and behavior. You will learn about human development throughout the life span.

Objectives:

  • Identify major psychological theories.
  • Discuss consciousness, memory, thought, and language.
  • Define intelligence, personality, and stress.
  • Analyze the role of gender in psychology.
  • Explain how community influences behavior.

Arts and Humanities Elective 6 credits
(Choose two)...

HUM102 - Art Appreciation

Objectives:

  • Define the language, visual elements, and principles of design of art
  • Identify two-dimensional media
  • Identify three-dimensional media
  • Explain the evolution of art from ancient Mediterranean cultures through eighteenth century Europe
  • Identify features and popular examples of art throughout the history of African, Asian, Pacific, and American cultures
  • Compare the genres of the Modern and Postmodern eras of art from around the world

Textbook: Living with Art, 11th Edition

HUM104 - Music Appreciation

In this course, you'll understand how to appreciate music by learning about the roles of the composer and the listener, the principles of music theory and instrumentation, musically significant historical periods, and varying styles of music.

Objectives:

  • Identify the building blocks of music a composer can use to create a piece, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form, and timbre
  • Explain the evolution of Western music through history, from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century
  • Differentiate between the music of the baroque era and the musical styles of previous time periods
  • Recognize the major characteristics of classical music, including form, melody, and instrumentation
  • Discuss the musical trends and innovations that occurred during the romantic era
  • Trace the evolution of American popular music in the twentieth century
  • Recognize the influence of world music on modern Western composition

Textbook: Experience Music, Fourth Edition

ENG115 - Introduction to Literature

Objectives:

  • Develop your critical thinking skills.
  • Study the themes and forms of literature.
  • Read and analyze the main genres of literature-poetry, fiction, and drama.

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

 

Semester 4

Applied Research Skills (2 credits)

Objectives:

  • Learn how to locate, evaluate, and use sources that will be relevant to preparing for a new career.
  • Complete projects that focus on the process of finding a job in a new field of employment.

Technical Core Elective (3 credits)
(Choose one)...

INT120 - HTML Coding
This course will teach you how to create Web pages with hypertext links, tables, frames, and forms, working with content and layout, and creating new frames and windows.

Objectives:

  • Use HTML to create your own Web pages.
  • Use JavaScript® to add interactions to your Web pages.
  • Use dynamic HTML to create special effects.
  • Use XHTML to create a well-formed valid document.

INT215 - Programming in Java™
This course is designed to teach Java™ to those studying programming for the first time, but is also appropriate for those building on experiences in another programming language.

Objectives:

  • Use Java™ to program applets.
  • Create animations and graphics for use on the Internet.

Textbook: Java™ Programming

INT220 - Programming in CGI/Perl

Objectives:

  • Discover how to create online forms.
  • Work with CGI scripts.
  • Write cookies.
  • Manipulate and process data via the Internet using Perl.

Introduction to Database Technology (3 credits)
This course provides an overview of essential database concepts, with a focus on the relational model of database management.

Objectives:

  • Know what a database is and isn’t.
  • Understand what goes into creating and maintaining a database.
  • Understand how massive databases can be deployed to benefit organizations and their customers.

Additional Course Materials:
Textbook: Hands-On Database

Advanced Database Technology - Oracle® & SQL (3 credits)

Objectives:

  • Discover relational database theory and Oracle® Database concepts.
  • Learn how to implement an Oracle® Database.
  • Understand the routine of a database administrator.

Social Science Elective (6 credits)
(Choose two)

SSC105 - World Civilizations
This course will allow you to understand the importance of studying history as it relates to the individual and society as a whole.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the major events of the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.
  • Explain the consequences of events and the trends that they cause.

SSC125 - Introduction to Sociology
This course is designed to introduce you to social structure and social interaction through groups, networks, and organizations. Study politics, the economy, population, social movements, technology, and social change.

Objectives:

  • Describe deviance, crime, and social control.
  • Discuss the effects of stratification, racial and ethnic inequality, sex, gender, and sexuality.
  • Examine the role of health, family, education, and religion in human behavior.

SSC130 - Essentials of Psychology
This course will introduce you to the relationship between biology and behavior. You will learn about human development throughout the life span.

Objectives:

  • Identify major psychological theories.
  • Discuss consciousness, memory, thought, and language.
  • Define intelligence, personality, and stress.
  • Analyze the role of gender in psychology.
  • Explain how community influences behavior.

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

 

 

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

* As a degree candidate, you will take a proctored examination at the end of each semester on selected courses within that semester. We make it easy because you pick the location and the person you want to supervise the exam, as long as Penn Foster College's established policy and qualifications are met. Complete information packets with procedures will be provided well in advance, before completion of final semester coursework.

Note: Advanced standing student shipments may vary from the above schedule.

A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this program. Although this outline covers all four semesters of the PC Maintenance Technology Degree Program, you receive lesson materials for each semester as you enroll.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.