Medical Assisting

Associate in Applied Science

Credits: 91  |   Length of Program: 7-8 quarters

Subject: Medical Assisting

Medical Assisting - Associate in Applied Science

The Medical Assisting Program provides the administrative and clinical knowledge and skills necessary for employment as a Medical Assistant. This includes cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills essential for assisting physicians and other healthcare practitioners with many aspects of medical practice, including administrative and clinical procedures. Examples of administrative procedures taught in the program include: Electronic Medical Records (EMR) simulation; Medical insurance billing and referrals; diagnostic and procedural coding; daily financial practices; medical records and appointment management. Examples of clinical procedures explored in the program include direct patient care such as: obtaining patient vital signs; entering patient data into EMR’s; assisting with physical examinations, phlebotomy (blood draw), administering injections, performing electrocardiograms (EKG’s); instrument processing and assisting in sterile procedures. 



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Career Opportunities

Graduates may be hired in a variety of settings to perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep healthcare delivery running smoothly. The duties of Medical Assistants vary from office to office, depending on office location, size, and specialty. In small practices, Medical Assistants are usually generalists, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area under the supervision of department administrators. An experienced Medical Assistant might advance to office administrator or clinical lead Medical Assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistant Job Outlook through 2026 projects a 29% growth rate, which is much faster than the average of 7% for other occupations.


CERTIFICATION: Upon successful completion of the Associate in Applied Science degree in Medical Assisting, graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam offered through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Upon satisfactory completion of the exam, they will be qualified to use the credentials of Certified Medical Assistant CMA, (AAMA). The CMA credential is recognized nationally; however, each state mandates the scope of practice for Medical Assistants. 



The SPSCC Medical Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, (727) 210-2350,, on recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB),

Program Outcomes

In accordance with the Medical Assisting Education Review Board, the program goal is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor, (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains.

CAAHEP requires all Medical Assisting Programs to make public measurable program outcomes. In compliance with this rule, South Puget Sound Community College is publishing outcome data for 2017:

  • Retention 2017: 88.24%
  • Job Placement 2018: 78.57%
  • Exam Passage 2017: 82.76%
  • Employer Satisfaction 2018: 100%
  • Graduate Satisfaction 2018: 100%


Cost of Program / Financial Aid

Additional Costs (dollar values are approximate and subject to change):

Hepatitis B, MMR, DTap immunization, Varicella and Influenza vaccinations   $350.00
Tuberculosis clearance $100.00
Malpractice and general liability insurance $18.00
Lab fees $80.00
Name tag $10.00
Uniforms, shoes and equipment $250.00
Textbook and supplies $800.00
Provider-level CPR certification $60.00
National certification exam $165.00
Washington State Patrol background check $12.00
7 hour online HIV training $35.00
Clinical Placements Northwest (externship) $75.00


Admission Requirements

It is strongly recommended that the student complete all pre-college English and Math (if indicated on college placement test), General Education, Diversity and Elective Requirements prior to starting the Core Medical Assistant Requirements.




Application Process / How to Apply

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Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Medical Assisting Degree, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate self-improvement while mastering clinical and administrative skills
  • Measure, record, interpret, and report data in both clinical and office settings
  • Adjust communications techniques to interact effectively with colleagues and patients who have diverse backgrounds, expectations, and needs
  • Incorporate legal, ethical and professional considerations into delivery of healthcare
  • Perform the duties of an entry level medical assistant in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor, (skills) and affective (behavior) domains
Ed Plan / Class List
Entry Requirements

It is strongly recommended that the student complete all pre-college English and Math (if indicated on college placement test), General Education, Diversity and Elective Requirements prior to starting the Core Medical Assistant Requirements.

It is recommended that students schedule an appointment with program faculty to discuss progression in the program once they reach ENGL& 101 and MATH 092 eligibility or completion.



General Education Requirements

The Associate degree program requires completion of the following:


ENGL&101 English Composition I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Develops writing skills by focusing on strategies and techniques writers use to convey ideas, evaluate information, make a point, and participate in multiple discourse communities. Emphasizes both the process and the product of writing. This course was formerly known as WRIT 101, College Writing I. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement test scores OR appropriate completion of ENGL 095, ENGL 095X, or ENGL 098 OR concurrent enrollment in ENGL 110 with instructor's permission.

Additional Communication
Choose from General Education-AAS list

MATH101 Technical Mathematics I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Covers the theories and applications of mathematics used in technical fields with emphasis on problem solving strategies, measurement, algebra, geometry, unit conversions and the metric system. Prerequisite: Eligible for MATH 092.
BUS104 Business Math 5 Credits Search Schedule
Emphasizes solving practical problems in business, including percentages, payroll, simple and compound interest, annuities, discounts, and markups using a calculator. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement or a "C" or better in MATH 092 or an "S" in ABE 065.


any math class listed under the Quantitative Category on the Distribution Requirements for General Education for the Associate in Arts /Associate in Science direct transfer degrees

Human Relations
Choose from General Education-AAS list


Diversity Requirement 
Diversity-designated courses at South Puget Sound Community College provide opportunities for students to develop awareness of their own social and cultural identities, seek understanding of others, and cultivate skills to communicate across cultures and differences. All programs require the completion of a diversity course.


Effective Catalog Year 2020-2021



Additional Information


  • Proof of Hepatitis B vaccination series and titer required prior to the start of MED 155
  • MED courses must be completed within 5 years of completion of the program. Any MED courses taken prior to five years of completion would need to be repeated
  • Students must provide proof of current provider-level CPR certification through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association prior to beginning their externship (MED 159)
  • Students are required to pass a Washington State Patrol Background check
  • Keyboarding skills of 45 wpm are required prior to graduation 


  • All MED courses must be completed with a “C" or better to continue in and complete the program. A “C” for all MED courses represents a grade of 76%- 85%; a “B” is 86%-92% and an “A” is 93%-100%.  Any MED course with a grade below 76% would need to be repeated.
  • In addition, medical assisting students must complete all cognitive objectives and all psychomotor and affective competencies in the course. CAAHEP accreditation requires 100% of all medical assisting graduates pass 100% of all psychomotor and affective competencies. A passing score for psychomotor and affective competencies is equivalent to 85% or above. The student will be given up to two opportunities to demonstrate achievement of competency for each procedure required for the course. All competencies must be successfully completed by the date indicated on the class schedule in order to progress in the Medical Assisting Program. 

Health and Safety
Prior to the beginning of their second quarter in the program, students registered in the Medical Assisting Program are required to have started the Hepatitis B vaccination series. Documentation for this requirement must be presented by the first day of class of the second quarter of the program.

The capstone course is the student practicum (MED 159).  All cognitive objectives and psychomotor and affective competencies must be completed prior to the practicum.  It is highly recommended that all required coursework for the AAS degree be completed prior to the start of the practicum.  The practicum allows the opportunity to use your administrative and clinical skills under the guidance of a mentor in an ambulatory healthcare setting.  The practicum is a 198-hour non-remunerative arrangement.

Entry into the Medical Assisting Program does not guarantee students a job placement, nor does it guarantee a practicum placement in Thurston County. Practicum placements require successful interviews and background checks.  Due to increased competition for practicum placements with other schools in Washington State, South Puget Sound Community College cannot guarantee that the practicum will be in the last quarter of the program.


Revision Date: 
May 1, 2020