Associate Degree in PC Maintenance Technology Program Details

Our online Associate Degree program consists of 4 semesters. Your classes will cover foundational college courses along with PC maintenance repair, hardware, data technology, and more.

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.

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


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.

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.


  • 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.

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.


  • 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.

Get better at finding and using information!


  • 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.

In this course, you’ll become familiar with IT careers and computer hardware basics. Various career paths in the IT field will be outlined. You’ll also learn about the internal workings of a computer system and be able to identify and explain the function of motherboards, memory, hard drives, and power and storage accessories. Finally, the use of a multimeter will be discussed and its relation to working with computer systems.


  • Identify different IT careers and their functions
  • Explain the parts of a computer system
  • Classify the internal functions of motherboards, firmware, computing storage, and power
  • Point out the fundamentals and applications of manual multimeters

Textbook: Mike Meyer's CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs, 6th Edition

Get the skills and techniques you need to develop, draft, and revise college-level essays


  • Identify your purpose and audience. Read actively and critically.
  • Edit for standard written conventions.
  • Submit three essays (process analysis, classification and division, and argumentation) and a course journal.

Additional Course Material
Textbook: Successful College Writing



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


In this course, you’ll become familiar with the steps to building a computer system. There are different components to combine and specifications that are dependent on the customer’s needs. You’ll also learn about the process of networking and the various types of hardware needed to build a local area network. While working in the field you will also need skills with portable and mobile computer systems. Upon the completion of this course, you’ll be able to select and configure an appropriate system for yourself or a customer.


  • Analyze the external components of a computer system and how they work for customers
  • Distinguish elements of networking, including local area networks and wide area networks
  • Categorize portable and mobile computer systems

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

This course will give you in-depth instruction on the Windows (OS) operating system. You will learn about important networking software tools and Windows administrative utilities. The popular MAC and Linux operating systems are introduced as well as common commands used with the CLI (Command Line Interface) and scripting. Important network security concepts are covered. You will also learn how to work with customers to provide appropriate customer service.


  • Identify three common operating systems
  • Summarize the processes of operating systems installation, maintenance, and upgrade
  • Describe the troubleshooting process for operating systems
  • Relate software to networking
  • Categorize computer security in the IT field
  • Define operational procedures for a career as an IT Support Specialist

This course introduces basic algebraic concepts that you’ll need to be successful in your career.


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

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

This course will allow you to improve communication skills, ultimately increasing your chance for professional success.


  • 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.

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.


  • 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.


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

This course covers topics related to how computers communicate with each other, how computers are grouped together to form networks, networking concepts and issues that are key to the successful implementation of computer networks, and the different networking implementation strategies and technologies currently available.


  • Categorize the application of network, OSI model, TCP/IP, and protocols
  • Analyze the function of topologies, numbering systems, and IP addresses
  • Point out the function of cabling, device functions, and LAN operations
  • Show the configuration procedures for routers and switches

Additional Course Material

Textbook: Cisco Networking Essentials


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



  • 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.

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.


  • 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

This course covers the psychology of biology and behavior, consciousness, memory, thought and language, intelligence, personality and gender, stress, and community influences.


  • Describe the science of psychology, basic structure and function of the human nervous system, and basic structure and function of the sensory system
  • Explain various states of consciousness, learning theories, and thought processes and development
  • Summarize the nature of human motivation and development, the human development cycle, and approaches to understanding and assessing personality
  • Prepare an essay on the topic of conditioning, memory, or motivation and emotion
  • Recognize psychological disorders and available treatments
  • Explain social psychology as it relates to attitudes, influences, behaviors, and stress
  • Use critical thinking skills to determine the likely causes of behaviors of individuals and groups discussed in case studies
Choose two...

HUM102 - Art Appreciation


  • 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

Additional Course Material:
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.


  • 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

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Experience Music, Fourth Edition


ENG115 - Introduction to Literature

This course will allow you to develop your critical thinking skills and broaden your knowledge of the main genres of literature — fiction, poetry, and drama.


  • Explain how to effectively read fiction for both knowledge and enjoyment
  • Identify different styles and forms of poetry
  • Use what you've learned in this course to discuss, write about, and understand literature
  • Prepare a critical interpretation of fiction or poetry based on what you've learned in this course
  • Discuss how literary dramas differ from fiction and poetry
  • Identify different strategies of critical literary analysis

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



  • 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.
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.


  • 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.

INT130 - Internet Security

This course explores the challenge of information security with an overview of attacks and defenses.


  • Explain the value and importance of information security
  • Explain personal security defense tools and their usage
  • Describe the role of physical security for a network or organization

Textbook: Security Awareness: Applying Practical Security in Your World

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.


  • Use the Java™ programming language to create classes and enumerations used for implementing a variety of programs.
  • Create animations and graphics for use on the Internet.

Textbook: Java™ Programming

INT220 - Programming in CGI/Perl


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

This course provides an overview of essential database concepts, with a focus on the relational model of database management.


  • 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

This course will give you the necessary background in relational database theory and Oracle Database concepts. It will show you how to implement an Oracle Database correctly and give you significant insight into the routine of a database administrator. Lastly, you'll learn about the fine art of performance tuning.


  • Explain relational database, the importance of Structured Query Language (SQL), and the structure and organization of Oracle database.
  • Outline the process of creating and managing your database.
  • Explain how to control and monitor a database and perform backup, recovery, and general maintenance to prevent or recover from problems.
  • Explain how to improve database and SQL performance.
  • Analyze SQL commands and troubleshooting scenarios.
Choose two...

SSC105 - World Civilizations

This course serves as an introduction to many of the major events of the fifteenth through twenty-first centuries and examines the causal relationships between events and trends.


  • Summarize the various causes and consequences of global trade and its conflicting worldwide impact
  • Report the impact of social and industrial revolutions, fifteenth century onward, on various nations
  • Analyze the conditions that led to the World Wars, decolonization, and the Cold War
  • Analyze post–World War II effects on the economic and political structures around the world
  • Summarize an event that occurred after the fifteenth century and had an impact on a world civilization
  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of World War II and its effects on the world population

Textbook: A History of World Societies, Volume 2

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.


  • 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.

BUS121 - Economics 1

This course will provide an overview of macroeconomics and the modern market economy. Law of supply and demand, the cost of living, monetary systems, international factors, and short-run economic fluctuations will be examined and discussed.


  • Explain the economic systems and the economic perspective
  • Identify the key factors in macroeconomics and how economists study the economy as a whole
  • Explain the macroeconomic models and fiscal policies
  • Explain money, banking, and financial policy
  • Explain extending analysis of aggregate supply, current issues in theory and policy, and international economics
  • Analyze foreign exchange and investment and the effects each nation’s economy has on another nation’s economy

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.

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

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

Penn Foster College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Surround Sound Support

A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools
Penn Foster Student Community

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Sample PC Maintenance Technology Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a PC Maintenance Technology course would look like.
Penn Foster Sample Lesson
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.
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.
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