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Microsoft Excel Advanced Proficiency Certificate


Microsoft Excel Advanced Proficiency Certificate


The Center for Continuing Education at Georgia Highlands College now offers an advanced proficiency certificate in Microsoft Excel for those adults who wish to take their knowledge in this application program to the highest level.  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 the student to take any six (6) of the nine (9) Advanced Excel courses offered by GHC.  No courses taken under the standard Microsoft Excel Proficiency Certificate can be used toward this certificate.


In this certificate program, you will work with business-world examples and learn how these advanced features are 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 Excel that is equivalent to having taken Excel Level I and Level II.  (See Excel equivalency requirements below.)

The courses required for the certificate are (any 6):

·       Excel Data Analysis

·       Excel Charts

·       Excel Tables & Pivot Tables

·       Excel Functions

·       Excel VBA I

·       Excel VBA II

·       Excel VBA III

·       Excel 2013 PowerPivot I

·      Excel 2013 PowerPivot II

Excel Equivalency Requirements

A student registering for the Advanced Proficiency Certificate should have a working knowledge of Excel’s fundamental rules and features covered in Excel I and II, which are:




Excel Level I

Arithmetic and Comparison Operators

Order of Precedence    

Copying and Pasting Formulas

Absolute and Relative Cell Addressing

Using Formulas and Functions

Formatting Text

Formatting Numbers

Formatting Dates and Times

Excel Level II

Formatting Worksheets for Printing

Sorting Data

Using Subtotals

Filtering Data

Advanced Filtering

Linking Data between Worksheets

Linking Data between Files

Nesting Functions



Course Details

 Excel Data Analysis

This course teaches experienced Excel users how use Excel’s What-If tools: Goal Seeker, Solver, Scenario Manager, and Data Tables.  The student will learn how to install Excel’s add-in tool AnalysisPak that comes with Excel but is not loaded, and will explore using it to create complex analyses such as Histograms, Rank and Percentile Analysis, and Descriptive Statistics. The student will also learn how to use the Data Tools group to separate text into multiple columns, remove duplicates, set up data validation in cells, and consolidate data from multiple ranges. Great course for managers who need to analyze data to make management decisions!


 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.


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.


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 Visual Basic Application I

This course is designed to introduce the use of VBA programming within the Excel environment.  Programming basics, including logical concepts and the language of syntax, will be discussed as well as the basics of Excel’s Visual Basic Editor and the VBE windows.  Topics will include module design, function procedures, and decision loop statements.  Students will create custom messages and input boxes, and create custom Macros that make decisions and take action based on those decisions. 


Excel Visual Basic Application II

This course takes the student’s knowledge of VBA within Excel to the next level.  You will learn more about the VBA toolkit—the Visual Basic Editor, the Object Browser, and the Object Library, as well as how to debug and troubleshoot the programs you have designed through error handling and error trapping protocol.  Topics will include working with object properties, methods, and events to modify the appearance, behavior, and actions performed by Excel objects. Students will also learn how to create custom function procedures.

Prerequisite: Excel Visual Basic Application I


Excel Visual Basic Application III

This course focuses on enhancing the student’s ability to utilize VBA code. The entire class time will be spend completing exercises that create useful custom features using VBA procedures, User Forms, and ActiveX Controls that were covered in Level I and Level II.  The student will learn how the utilize error handling techniques to ensure procedures perform as desired and how to use the Immediate Window to test code during procedure construction. Custom features that will be covered include: Custom functions, Add-ins to store custom functions, functions that return an Array, creating a custom toolbar and creating a custom task pane.

Prerequisite: Excel Visual Basic Application II


Excel 2013 PowerPivot I

PowerPivot is an Add-In that comes with Microsoft Office Professional Plus and Microsoft Office 365. If you are using these versions, you will now have the capability to perform powerful data analysis and create sophisticated data models. With PowerPivot, you can mash up large volumes of data from various sources that are stored in relational tables, perform information analysis rapidly, and share insights easily.

PowerPivot is stored in an analytical database inside the Excel workbook, and a powerful local engine loads, queries, and updates the data in that database. All data presentation and interactivity are provided by Excel 2013.  PowerPivot supports files up to 2GB in size and enables you to work with up to 4GB of data in memory.

This course will introduce the student to PowerPivot, Data Models, and DAX Formulas.  Hands-on exercises will be used to create a Data Model, which will then be used to create a PivotTable report.  The student will learn how to use DAX formulas to create two very useful expressions—calculated columns and calculated fields, which will then be used in the pivot table to assist in further analysis.


Excel 2013 PowerPivot II

This course continues to build the student’s knowledge of PowerPivot.  Many more DAX formulas will be covered and a variety of pivot tables will be used to create PowerView Reports.  PowerView Report is a new feature in Excel 2013 that is an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation tool.  You can create reports using your related tables in your Data Model as a source and add charts and maps, create a variety of visualizations, and add Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Prerequisite: Excel 2013 PowerPivot I


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