Introduction to Office Skills - Vocational Training Program

PAA's Introduction to Office Skills (General Office Information Support Assistant - GOISA) program provides 350 hours of classroom instruction in occupational and work skills to participants who are motivated to find a fulfilling career in an office environment.

The program trains future office assistants in today's most popular computer programs (MS Windows, Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, Power Point, Internet Explorer, Quick Books) and other office skills, such as typing, basic bookkeeping, and accounting procedures. Students improve their communication and English language skills. They learn standards of office behavior, including: dress code; work habits and values; relating to the public, supervisors, and other employees. Students create a resume; learn about job sources and how to fill out a job application. They also participate in a mock job interview. The program lasts 18 weeks (4 days a week, 5 hours a day). Students must pass a test after each part of the covered material.

A person is enrolled when he or she completes the enrollment form provided by the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, submits all required documentations, passes the English test with a score of at least 75%, and her or his income is calculated.

The program, including the textbook and other materials, is free of charge. Instruction takes place in a well equiped computer lab.  Each student has access to a computer and the Internet. The PAA provides placement assistance, which includes teaching job search, job readiness skills, as well as finding jobs for participants and placing them into unsubsidized employment. We follow up our students' employment after 30, 60, and 90 consecutive days of employment. Confirmation forms are signed by the employer.

All applicants must meet the following requirements:

1. be authorized to work in the U.S.A.
2. be 18 years of age or older
3. must live in the City of Chicago
4. have a low or moderate income status*

(*Please call the PAA for the current income eligibility figures)

The school is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (

The Polish American Association is not accredited with a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting body.

Complaints, which cannot be resolved by direct negotiation with the School in accordance to our written grievance policy, may be filed with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), 1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333, Springfield, IL 62701 or at