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Center for Advanced Office Systems

The Center for Advanced Office Systems (CAOS) is a state-of-the-art learning environment staffed by second-year Office Systems Technology students. The facility is managed by Mae Jean King and provides a real-world workplace for the OST students who perform work for the faculty, staff, and general student population of the College. The students enroll in OST 2300/01/02—Practicum/Lab/Internship, a true capstone course where they are expected to pull together all they have learned; refresh themselves in certain areas; learn new skills and adapt to changes. They develop self-confidence in their ability to produce individually as well as work on a team for the overall success of the office.

The initial office environment was realized through donations from area businesses and is now supported by college funds. The office is set up as an on-campus document production center to serve the needs of faculty, staff, and general student populations, producing a wide variety of documents from real work requests.

As a result of VIP visitors and tour groups to the campus, the innovation, vision, and success of the Practicum and CAOS spread throughout Tennessee to other business and technical educators. The Center has been visited by numerous school systems, students, and teachers. Three of these systems, Athens Area Technical Institute, Cleveland State Community College, and Shelby State Community College, sent business education faculty to spend time with us in order to model such a Center at their schools for their office systems program students. : The OST program at Pellissippi State has had a successful school-to-career model with the Practicum course in place since 1987.

OST majors enroll in the Practicum course during their last semester before graduation. They spend three hours per week in CAOS, one hour per week attending a lecture, and a minimum of 45 hours per semester serving in an internship capacity with an employer. Capstone projects in CAOS include the completion of a professional portfolio and participation in mock interviews. Once advised and registered for the Practicum course, students need to contact Mae Jean King to discuss their CAOS requirements; they also need to contact Trudy Coleman to discuss their internship requirements.

Students are evaluated in both CAOS and their internship using criteria based on "Employee Performance Appraisals" derived from area businesses:

  1. Attendance/Punctuality
  2. Job knowledge
  3. Quality of work
  4. Quantity of work
  5. Initiative
  6. Attitude
  7. Learning and following directions
  8. Record keeping
  9. Interpersonal skills
  10. Phone and clerical
  11. Work ethic
  12. Attire and professional image

In order to enroll in OST 2300/01/02--Practicum/Lab/Internship, the following entry-level standards and pre-requisities should be met:

For more information on the Center for Advanced Office Systems at Pellissippi State, call Mae Jean King at 865-539-7018 or email her at mjking@pstcc.edu.

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Office Systems Technology
Pellissippi State Technical Community College
P. O. Box 22990Knoxville, TN 37933-0990
Phone 865-694-6400