Medical Assisting

Medical Assisting

Medical Assistants (MA) perform clinical and administrative functions to keep healthcare delivery settings running smoothly. Human relation and communication skills are important aspects of this career field. They are individuals who can multi-task, perform various medical procedures, and who work well with people. Duties include a wide variety of skills in preparing patients for examination and treatments.

Medical Assistant (MA) students receive hands-on training in clinical and administrative support in an actual medical facility. Graduates of the program will receive a Certificate of Competency (CCT).

The MA program incorporates up-to-date learning tools with highly experienced instructors to provide students with interactive learning, and hands on instruction. The program also teaches the organizational skills necessary to succeed in fast-paced health environments and medical facilities.

Medical Assistant (MA) students will learn and specialize in both front- and back-office practices, which provides an ideal combination of administration skills and knowledge of medical procedures.

Dress code: Professional appearance and dress code are expected in the Medical Assistant program. Hair is to be pulled back away from the face and facial hair should be neat and trimmed. Fingernails should be kept clean and short. Artificial nails are not allowed. One ring per hand and a single set of small post earrings worn in the lower earlobe are allowed.  Tattoos should be covered and not visible. Scrubs and student IDs are to be worn daily. Clean, non-porous, closed-toed, closed-heeled shoes must be worn.  A watch with a second hand is recommended.


Accreditation is a process used to measure and certify the credibility and quality of services offered by an organization.

The Medical Assisting Program at GateWay Community College SouthWest Skill Center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
Phone: (727) 210-2350

Students completing the program are eligible to sit for national credentialing exams, including the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
GateWay is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Why should you choose an accredited school? 

Although many schools offer seemingly similar degree and certification options, not all schools are accredited. In many instances, accreditation of the degree or program you complete may be required in order to become certified to work in the field.

Program Goal

To prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills ) and affective (behavior) learning domains.


  • 18 years of age
  • High School diploma or GED
  • Meet the minimum score on the Reading Placement Test or other acceptable measure
  • Complete admission packet (includes options for funding your education)

Information Session Attendance

Medical Assistant, Medical Interpreter-Spanish, Phlebotomy | Thursdays | 3 p.m. | SWSC at Estrella Mountain Main Campus.


Externship Site Placement

Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from externship site. Students must be able to attend any of the clinical facilities used by the SWSC Programs. Students that are eligible for clinical externship placement are assigned to various healthcare agencies for externship. The time, preceptor, or clinical location will vary as determined by availability of sites, student placement within the program, and other considerations as decided by the Instructor.

Externship hours are non-compensated or non-paid (non-remuneration). During the externship, students will be supervised by a site-preceptor. 

The Externship Department will make the final decision for student placement at each clinical facility. Students will be placed within the valley based on availability and once placed externship location cannot be switched.

If a clinical agency refuses clinical experiences to a student based on a student’s misconduct, the SWSC will attempt to place the said student at another clinical facility. If, however, there are no clinical sites available, the student may be withdrawn from the program for incompleteness and have to wait until a site can be found. If the student fails externship after being placed at TWO different locations, the student will fail the course and not be allowed to return to the program indefinitely, or for a period of time, along with specific re-entry requirements determined by the Externship Department and Program Manager.


Career and Employment Outlook

Students successfully completing the MA programs may find employment in physician offices and group practices, health clinics, and select outpatient medical and hospital settings. Employment and Wages vary from state to state, so for your convenience, we provide a direct link to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Medical Assistant.

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Clock Hour Program

Clock-based certificates are training programs that provide skills for quick entry into the workforce. The clock hour programs have specific year-round start dates.

Program Location

SouthWest Skill Center

Job Titles

Medical Assistant, Medical Secretary, Medical Coordinator**

Program Cost

Certificate of Completion - Medical Assistant:  $5,096*

Median Salary

Visit O*NET OnLine for median salary. 


  Program    Number    Completion Time*    Program Cost*  
  Medical Assistant          1804           830 hr | 9 mo            $5,096  

Start Dates

*Months based on the program meeting 24 hours a week/4 weeks a month. Actual completion times may vary. Costs include tuition, lab and estimated book fees. Amount based on current estimates and will vary. A separate $15 Registration Fee will be charged per academic year.

**For information about careers in your area of study, visit O*NET OnLine for detailed job descriptions, education requirements, as well as wage and employment trend information.