Medical Assisting

Associate in Applied Science

Credits: 90-95  |   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.  Program graduates assist physicians and other healthcare practitioners on many aspects of medical practice, including patient care management, administrative, and clinical procedures.  Clinical procedures include: assisting with physical examinations, phlebotomy (blood draw), administering injections, performing electrocardiograms (EKGs) and instrument sterilization.  An experienced Medical Assistant might serve as an office administrator.


The 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 33756, (727) 210-2350,, on recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB),


CAAHEP requires all Medical Assisting Programs make public one or more measurable program outcomes. In compliance with this rule, South Puget Sound Community College would like to make public the following 5-year weighted average on program outcomes:

  • 95.51% Exam Passage rate
  • 95.83% Employer satisfaction rate
  • 97.53% Graduate satisfaction rate

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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.  Upon successful completion of the Medical Assisting Program an Associate in Applied Science degree, 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 credentials are recognized nationally; however, each state mandates the scope of practice for Medical Assistants.

Program Outcomes

At the completion of the Medical Assisting Program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Effectively, independently, and efficiently perform supportive services that may be performed by a medical assistant-certified in Washington State
  • 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
  • Engage in processes that support continual improvement
Ed Plan / Class List
Entry 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 094 eligibility or completion.


General Education Requirements


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.

5 Credits in COMPUTATION
MATH 101 or 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

Note that CMST&230 does not satisfy the diversity requirement. All other Human Relations options do satisfy the diversity requirement.


Effective Catalog Year 2018-2019



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 $30.00
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) $50.00


Admission Requirements

Based on placement testing, students may need to complete basic skills and/or pre-college English and math prior to enrollment in courses coded MED. All MED courses must be completed with a “C" or better to continue in and complete the program, and no MED courses completed more than 5 years prior to completion of the program will be accepted as part of the program. 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). Keyboarding skills of 45 wpm are required prior to graduation.

Application Process / How to Apply

Apply Now


The 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 33756, (727) 210-2350,, on recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB),

Additional Information

An Associate in Applied Science degree will be awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 90 credits in courses numbered 100 or above.  All core and general education distribution requirements must be met, with any additional credits to be selected as electives. 

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 and to have received a recent Tuberculosis (TB) skin test (within 60 days prior to the start of the quarter).  Documentation for each of these requirements must be presented by the first day of class in the second quarter of the program.

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 or that it will be located within Thurston County.

Revision Date: 
March 20, 2018