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Microsoft Excel Proficiency Certificate

Microsoft Excel is one of the most heavily used software application programs in the business environment.  It offers tremendous capability to users who need to calculate, analyze, and present numerical data.  Extensive knowledge of this software program will increase your chances for a career with better pay and increased job security.


The Center for Continuing Education at Georgia Highlands College now offers a proficiency certificate in Microsoft Excel for those adults who wish to become skilled in this application program’s broad array of features that simplify working with numerical data.  This certificate program is 36 hours in length, consisting of six 6-hour courses that must be completed within six months (6) of start.  All courses must be completed before the certificate is awarded. The certificate requires that three (3) fundamental courses—Excel Level I, Excel Level II, and Excel Level III be taken first, and the remaining three courses can be taken in any order.


In this certificate program, you will work with real-world examples and learn how this software program is used in the workplace. Each course is designed to improve your Excel skills while meeting the standards in technology proficiency required by many companies.  The prerequisite for this program is a working knowledge of the computer and of the Windows Operating System.

The courses required for the certificate are:


·       Excel Level I

·       Excel Level II

·       Excel Level III

·       Excel Charts

·       Excel Tables & Pivot Tables

·       Excel Functions


Course Details

 Excel I—Beginning

You want to record numeric data faster? Now you can. In this course you will learn to create well-designed spreadsheets to store your important numeric data.  You will learn to automate repetitive data entry using Autofill and customized lists.

Don’t like math? That’s OK. Excel will help you simplify your “number crunching” tasks.  Using time saving functions and formulas, you’ll be able to calculate your budget and forecast totals quickly. This course covers the fundamental rules of relative cell addressing and Order of Precedence--essential knowledge necessary for efficient use of formulas and functions, which will also be introduced.

Prerequisite: General ability to use a computer


Excel II—Intermediate

This course introduces Excel functionality for enhancing your worksheets for presentation purposes or for printing.  Students will learn how to use the Page Setup tools to adjust their worksheets with custom margins, page orientation, page breaks, and headers and footers. They will learn how to sort large spreadsheets; how to filter data and create advanced filters; how to group and summarize data; and how to insert subtotals. How to manage data within multiple worksheets and workbooks and how to link that data with formulas and named cells will also be covered, as well as a few more functions, including the IF function and the DATE and PMT functions.

Prerequisite:  Excel I or equivalent knowledg

 Excel III—Extended Intermediate

This course continues to explore Excel functionality and introduces the student to the extensive variety of Excel templates that are available. The student will learn how to use macros to handle repetitive activities and how to attach them to buttons using the Developer Tab.  Enhancing a spreadsheet with conditional formatting, styles and themes, and graphics will be covered, as well as features such as formula auditing; calculation options, comments; and how to protect a worksheet. A few more functions will also be covered, including the VLOOKUP function and ARRAY functions.

Prerequisite: Excel I and II or equivalent knowledge

 Excel Charts

Excel supports many types of charts to help you display data in ways that are meaningful to your audience. This course is designed to introduce the student to all of Excel’s chart types and explore their specific usage.  The student will learn how to create, modify, and enhance the appearance of charts with color, patterns, and custom graphics, and how to embed and link charts into Word and PowerPoint files.

Prerequisite: Excel I and II or equivalent knowledge

Excel Tables, Pivot Tables & Pivot Charts

In this course the student will learn how to convert rows and columns of data into a table, and then use an Excel Table to manage that data independently from the data in other rows and columns on the worksheet. Table features include: sorting and filtering; formatting table data; inserting and deleting table rows and columns; using a calculated column; and displaying and calculating table data totals.

Pivot Tables are another powerful tool that can be used to summarize thousands of rows of data in a matter of seconds. You can then change your analysis on the fly by simply moving data from one area of the pivot table to another area.  You can group, sort, and filter pivot table data, perform calculations within the pivot table, and add and remove subtotals and grand totals with ease.  And finally, you can create charts that can be filtered on the fly just like the pivot table.

Excel 2013 has several new features that will be covered, including creating a Data Model with multiple tables that can then be utilized in your pivot tables.


Excel Functions

Functions are formulas that Excel has predefined.  These functions are designed to quickly perform calculations with a minimum of effort on the part of the user.  Excel has already determined the necessary mathematical steps required and only needs to be given the arguments in order to complete the calculation—that is, the cell addresses or ranges where pertinent information is stored.  There are over 200 predefined functions in Excel 2007, over 300 in Excel 2010, and over 350 in Excel 2013. While a few commonly used functions were covered in Excel I, II, and III, this course covers a broader spectrum and introduces the student to a wide range of useful and versatile functions that most users haven’t discovered yet.  Course covers over 75 functions that are considered standard business functions.

Prerequisite: Excel I and II or equivalent knowledg



For further information on any class or to register, please call
678-872-8240 or E-mail gwhite@highlands.edu
Georgia Highlands College
The University System of Georgia
Rome, Cartersville, Acworth, Dallas, Douglasville and Marietta, Georgia
AA/EE/EEO Institution, ADA

Page last updated: December 17, 2015