Ophthalmic Medical Assistant
The human eye is a fascinating and sensitive organ. Several subspecialists help care for the eye, and our Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program will help you move freely between them all. As an essential member of the ophthalmic health care team, you will assist in the effort to prevent, detect, diagnose, and manage conditions that can interfere with one of our most precious senses: sight. The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program serves as a pathway to an excellent job with lifelong opportunities and continuing education.
In this program, you will be taught the skills and knowledge needed to work efficiently in a clinical setting and side by side with an ophthalmologist, or in an administrative role. You will have direct exposure to the industry with our 24-hour shadowing program, 120-hour externship, field trips, guest speakers, and a cow eye dissection led by our medical director. The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program prepares you for certification as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO), which is recognized internationally.
Take the first step in your career as an ophthalmic medical assistant. Start your journey today.
Students at any Maricopa Community College may need to complete courses at more than one of our colleges.
Instructor Meet and Greet
Join us in-person every Wednesday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at SouthWest Skill Center for a chance to meet with the instructors and learn more about the program!
• Check-in at the Southwest Skill Center Front Desk when you arrive.
• Please arrive early. Arrival more than 5 minutes late will result in not being permitted to attend.
• Sessions are not held when GateWay is closed for a holiday.
Please click here to pre-register.
GateWay Community College is the only college to offer the Ophthalmic Medical Assisting program in Maricopa County Colleges. It is considered a clock hour certificate program, which are training programs that provide skills for quick entry into the workforce. The clock-hour programs have specific year-round start dates.
Externship Site Placement
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the externship site. Students must be able to attend any of the clinical facilities used by the SWSC Programs. Students eligible for externship placement are assigned to various healthcare agencies and will be supervised by a site preceptor.
The Ophthalmic Department will decide on student placement at each clinical facility. Students will be placed within the valley based on availability and once placed, the externship location cannot be switched.
*The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program is moving from our Central City location to Arroyo Hall as part of the expansion to our SouthWest Skill Center located at 3000 N. Dysart Road, Avondale.
Program Cost Estimate*
Certificate of Competency in Ophthalmic Medical Assisting: $2,052 | 360 hours/4 months