Undergraduate Certificate in Foundation Skills for Technology

15 Credits

Program Outline

Here's how it works
Your Certificate program consists of courses designed to provide a solid academic foundation for students planning to further their education in engineering or other technology-based programs.

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 access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, Microsoft® Office 2019 or Microsoft 365®, and an email account to complete this program.

This outline covers all the courses required for your Certificate program. You complete the following courses in the order indicated:


Program Goal: To provide foundational knowledge and courses that meet the general education requirements of Penn Foster’s technology degree programs.

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

  • Identify work habits and characteristics demonstrated by successful technicians, including the codes and standards that technicians must know
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills by solving math problems using knowledge of the metric system, mathematical formulas, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry
  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate proficient computer and information literacy skills and understand how to use the internet, library resources, and search engines, as well as word processing and spreadsheet software
  • Explain the process for reading technical and construction drawings, blueprints, and computer-aided designs
  • Discuss the principles that define and govern the physical universe in the areas of chemistry, physics, as well as earth and space sciences

MET100  — Orientation to Engineering Technology (1 credit)
The development of engineering and engineering technology; technical mathematics; use of a scientific calculator. 

MAT101 — Math for STEM (3 credits)
In this course, you'll learn the essential math skills necessary for future success in an AS technology program. The course of study includes a review of basic math functions, including trades-based examples, the metric system, formulas, introductory algebra, applied geometry, and some practical applications of trigonometry.

ENG101 — Foundation Skills in Writing (3 credits)
This course provides an overview of writing styles for technology applications. Students review basic grammar, including parts of speech, active and passive voices, complete sentences vs. sentence fragments, parallel construction, the use of action verbs, and paragraph construction. The course also includes practical information on writing reports, technical memos, and emails; organizing material; conducting research; documenting sources; outlining; providing illustrations; and writing proposals, descriptions, instructions, articles, and manuals.

CSC104 — Computer Applications (3 credits)
Microsoft® Office allows people to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases. This course will teach you how to use three popular tools from the Microsoft® Office Suite — Word™, Excel®, and PowerPoint®. In this course, you'll learn how to use Word™ to create and edit text documents, insert figures and tables, and format pages for a variety of uses. You'll then learn how to use Excel® to organize and format data, including charts, formulas, and more complex tables. Next, you'll learn how to use PowerPoint® to create and deliver slide shows. Finally, you'll complete a graded project, which will test the skills acquired in Word™, Excel®, and PowerPoint®.

EST100 — Introduction to Technical Drawings (3 credits)
This course provides students with an overview of visual communication skills necessary to successfully complete the wide range of courses in technology programs that require learning to read and interpret technical drawings. Students learn print reading, interpretation of symbols and abbreviations, dimensioning, tolerancing, and the application of these skills to actual print reading. The course also contains an overview of computer-aided drawing and its role in modern technology.

SCI167 — Physical Science (3 credits)
Principles that define and govern the physical universe as we know it; chemistry; physics; earth and space sciences.


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.


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

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

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