PC and Computer Maintenance Online Degree | Penn Foster College

Online PC Maintenance Degree

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Program Overview

Did you know that computer support specialist jobs are expected to increase 17% in the coming years?¹ Develop your skills with the Penn Foster College PC and Computer Maintenance Technology Online Degree Program, and take the first step towards your IT career goals.

Your lessons include information on PC repair, computer applications, PC operating systems, PC hardware, network protocols and internetworking, Internet security, database technology, and even a course to help you prepare for the CompTIA A+ certification exam.

Associate Degrees from Penn Foster College are awarded under licensing from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Curriculum Details

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.

PCM101 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, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • 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.
PCM103 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.
ENG103 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.
PCM105 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.
ENG100 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.
CSC107 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.® 

     

PCM106 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

PCM107 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.
MAT115 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.
HUM106 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.
CSC104 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.
SCI167 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.
INT128 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

INT125 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.
ENG121 Business and Technical Writing 3 credits

Learn how to write business and technical documents.

Objectives:

  • Organize your material logically and systematically.
  • Use action verbs effectively and construct paragraphs.
  • Conduct research and document sources.
SSC130 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 (Choose two) 6 credits

HUM102 - Art Appreciation

Objectives:

  • Study artistic media, historical periods, and artistic movements.
  • Discover the roles of the artist and the viewer.

 

HUM104 - Music Appreciation

Objectives:

  • Analyze the roles of the composer and the listener.
  • Study music theory, instrumentation, and historical periods.
  • Listen to various styles of music.

 

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

ENG124 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 (Choose one) 3 credits

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.
INT225 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

INT242 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 (Choose two) 6 credits

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.


Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. 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, Microsoft® Office 2013, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete all 4 semesters.
  • Pass all courses.
  • Achieve a cumulative Quality Point Average (QPA) of 2.0 or higher.

NOTE: Advanced standing student shipments may vary from the above schedule.
Although this outline covers all four semesters of your program, you receive lesson materials for each semester as you enroll.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Credits earned in Penn Foster programs may transfer to some, but not all, learning institutions. If you are planning to continue your education with another school after you earn your degree from Penn Foster, you should check with that school regarding credit transfer policies.
Microsoft, Windows, Excel, and PowerPoint are registered trademarks and Word is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation 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.

Sample Lesson

To view a PC Maintenance Technology Degree sample lesson, click here.

PC Maintenance Technology Program Details

In the Penn Foster PC Maintenance Technology Online Associate Degree program you'll cover topics on:

PC Computer Maintenance Online Degree

The PC Maintenance Technology Associate Degree Program helps students learn how to install and troubleshoot personal computers and related equipment, perform maintenance on computers and networks, and more. Here are a few qualities that competent computer maintenance technicians have in common:

  • Analytical: You use logic and careful analysis to solve a problem.
  • Problem solving: Finding the missing piece can be challenging and rewarding.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Persistent: Obstacles are part of the job and not a reason to become frustrated.

Penn Foster has a great faculty and staff that truly care about the well-being of their current and future students. Penn Foster has truly helped me obtain my degree through distance learning. I am a military spouse and, up until my last semester, I worked full-time and the convenience to be able to work at my own pace is excellent. My shipments are always on time and I never had any problems with getting the answers I needed regarding my coursework. Penn Foster has given me a life and a career. I feel joy to be graduating in just a few short months and I'm very happy knowing Penn Foster provided me with the knowledge I need to excel in my career. Don't think twice... please enroll today!

- Shantell P., Penn Foster College Graduate

I enjoyed very much the ability to become part of the Penn Foster group. The instructors were extremely helpful and kind. They were always there when I needed help or just plain needed advice.

- Ashley L., Penn Foster College Graduate

I am currently in my second semester and Penn Foster College is THE BEST online college for those of us who have full-time jobs and shift workers, because Penn Foster gives us the flexibility to study at our own convenience, at our own pace, and WITHOUT deadlines. And the cost is VERY inexpensive for a two-year Associate Degree.

- Todd L., Penn Foster College Student

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids such as Personal Computer Repair and Personal Computer Assembly videos
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the PC Maintenance Technology academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Does Penn Foster College’s PC Maintenance Technology Degree Program provide any certification?

The degree program offers a course to help you prepare for the CompTIA A+ certification exam.

Will my Penn Foster College credits transfer to other schools?

Penn Foster College credits have been accepted for transfer into many colleges across the country. Students should check with a specific college to see if they accept our credits, as credit transfer can vary depending on the school. Also, the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated and recommended college credit for many Penn Foster College courses. No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits. For more information on transferring credits, click here.

More FAQs >

¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Computer Support Specialists, on the Internet here. Statistics found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are based on national data, so job growth in your area may be different.

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