High school graduates face a whole new world after that big day. Life opens up and the decisions made at this critical moment of development are foundational. You already know there are many careers from which to choose, but for most you need training to be successful. When you choose to enter the field of medicine by becoming a medical assistant, you are entering a career that will grow and flourish in the coming decades. You already know the time and effort involved in successful school work. Adding the cost of tuition and books, many people must rely on student loans to finance their program, these take years to pay off.
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Programs that prepare you to be a medical assistant typically last 10 months to two years. There are academic pieces, examinations and most require an internship. For this reason, choosing a program is an important life decision and must not be taken lightly.
The quality of your program which will determine your eligibility to take the national available national examinations. For certification, you join the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and take their examination. For registration, you join the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and take theirs. These two organizations are recognized by the American Medical Society for their work in helping Medical Assistants take their place as professionals in the health care fields. Today most states do not license medical assistants, but accept the work of these organizations. Belonging to one of these organizations will be important when the state laws change.
Thousands of community colleges and universities across the country have developed programs that are approved by either or both of these organizations. This list highlights the is programs with the highest completion rating as reported on their disclosure forms required by the United States Department of Education. If the school in your neighborhood is not on this list be sure you track down these figures on the school’s website. Family responsibilities often make it challenging to attend classes, so many online programs have been developed to meet your needs. Remember you are making a major investment when you enroll in one of these programs, be sure to check out these graduation rates to improve your chance of success.
Updated: Schools with Highest Graduation Rates
Midwestern Career College
This regional institution is located in Chicago, Illinois. The school also has locations in the north and west suburbs. They have earned accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education. Their medical assistant training is a ten month program which grants an undergraduate certificate. Of the students who finished the Medical Assisting Diploma course in 2012-2013, 100% finished it in 10 months. Midwestern Career College
Moore Norman Technology Center
This training center is located in Norman, Oklahoma. It has a program that grants a certificate for the medical assistant that with a 100% graduation rate. The program includes traditional classroom presentations as well as online coursework. Through its relationship with the local community college the credits earned in this program can be transferred to a degree completion program. Moore Norman Technology Center
Polaris Career Center
The Ohio Board of Regents holds governance of the Polaris Career Center, a member of its university system. They offer an undergraduate diploma for those who want to work as a medical assistant. Their course work is enhanced with a 160 hour unpaid internship. Of those students enrolled in the 2012-2013 nine month program, 100% completed it on time. Polaris Career Center
Founded in 1947 this school is currently located in Detroit Michigan. This year it was recognized by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges as a 2014 ACCSC School of Excellence. Growing and changing over time they have developed two undergraduate diploma programs for medical assistant training.
While the program and tuition are the same, the full time class takes 12 months and the evening part time class lasts 24 months. Of the students’ who completed their work in 2012-2013, 100% were able to do so in the allotted time. Carnegie Full-Time and Carnegie Part-Time
It was 1932 when this school in Bedford Park, Illinois began to offer post-secondary programs to get people ready to work as assistants in a variety of health care settings. They have two programs to prepare the medical assistant. The 10-month program awards a diploma on completion while the 16-month program awards the Associate Degree in Medical Assisting. For the students who finished in in 2012-2013, 96% finished in 16 months. Fox College
Ultimate Medical Academy
Located in Florida the school has campuses in Clearwater and Tampa. They offer a pair of programs to prepare the medical assistant. The undergraduate diploma relies on its clinical curriculum to prepare students for their unique role in the healthcare setting, while the more credible Associates Degree requires more time and tuition. This 87 week program has a 95% completion rate within the allotted span of time. Those who finished the program in 2012-2013 did so at the rate of 95% in the allotted time. Ultimate Medical Academy
Westwood College – South Bay – Annadale – Arlington
This national network of schools offers both diploma programs and associate degrees for Medical Assistant preparation in various sites across the country. Each program has its own report on the timely completion of the degree. Three of their campuses have Associate Degree programs which reached the 88% mark. They are South Bay in Torrance, California, and Annandale and Arlington in Virginia. Westwood College – Multiple Campuses
As mentioned above Westwood College offers both diploma and degree programs at 12 locations across the country. Their diploma program at these three locations help their 82% of their students to complete this 12 month program in a timely fashion. Westwood Diplomas
National Career Education
Located in Rancho Cordova and in Citrus Heights, California the National Career Education has training to prepare the medical assistant. Their programs are tailored to help graduates take the California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) examination. Of those who graduated with their undergraduate diplomas in 2012 some 86% were able to do so within the normal timeframe. This timeframe is uniquely tailored to meet the individual student’s needs. National Career Education
Kaplan University – Iowa – Maryland – Nebraska
This national university offers programs across the country. Twelve campuses offer an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting. This curriculum is a two year program and at the above location, 82% of students finishing it were able to do so within the two years. Kaplan University
Ultimate Medical Academy
These figures are for the undergraduate certificate program to prepare the medical assistant. This program, offered in Clearwater and Tampa, Florida lasts 62 weeks. For those who completed it in the 2013-2013 term 82% were able to do so on time. Ultimate Medical Academy
Westwood College – Denver North – Denver South – Anaheim – Inland Empire
Diploma programs for undergraduates studying to be a Medical Assistant are offered in the Colorado and California locations. The curriculum is designed to be covered in 12 months. In the 2013-2014 term the 81% of the students who completed their studies did so within this timeframe. Westwood – Colorado & California Locations
St. Vincent’s College
Affiliated with St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut offers an undergraduate certificate to prepare students for as an entry-level medical assistant. Graduates are qualified for the examinations offered for national certifications. Of those completing the program during the 2013 term, 77% completed their diploma program on time. St, Vincent’s College
Fortis Institute in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania
This post-secondary school belongs to a network of over 40 physical locations across 15 states. Most of these offer their post-secondary diploma program to prepare applicants as medical assistants. During 2012 – 2013 many students completed their work and 76% finished in the 30 weeks designed into the curriculum. Fortis Institute
Computer Systems Institute
Founded in 1989 in Skokie, Illinois this organization aims to help students get gainful employment. Their seven campuses are located in Illinois and Massachusetts. Their healthcare career program comes in both clinical and administrative tracks.This post-secondary certificate is earned in 32 weeks. Of the participants in the 2012-2013 class, 72% were able to complete their studies on this schedule. Computer Systems Institute