Medical Assisting 1+1 Program

Certificate to Associate of Applied Science - Medical Assisting 1 + 1 Program

General Information

The Medical Assistant is a multi-skilled allied health professional who works primarily in ambulatory settings such as medical offices and clinics. Medical Assistants function as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team and perform administrative and clinical procedures. The Medical Assistant Certificate option is established on the Standards and Guidelines of an Accredited Educational Program for the Medical Assistant as identified by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

This competency-based curriculum covers administrative, clinical, and interdisciplinary skills. These skills are evaluated through performance exams that test competency on written, practical, and skill acquisition. The program is designed to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Experiences for the development of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills are driven through classroom activities, clinical and community experiences, and a 180-hour unpaid internship prior to the conclusion of the program.

The Medical Assisting 1 + 1 program is designed for certificate completion in four (4) quarters or one full calendar year. Upon completion of the certificate (part one of the program), students can add an additional 2-3 quarters to complete the general education requirement (part two) and earn the A.A.S. degree in Medical Assisting.

Program Accreditation

The Medical Assisting Certificate Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 210-2350, upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Medical Assisting Certificate

The certificate curriculum seeks to prepare graduates as medical assistants who are multi-skilled health care professionals that perform administrative and clinical tasks, manage emergency situations, communicate effectively, and provide instruction to patients, thus performing as an integral member of the health care team. The certificate graduate has the opportunity to continue into the Medical Assisting Associated of Applied Science program.

This program is designed to qualify students to sit for the national certification examination through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) after completion of four (4) quarters of full time study. Students entering the Medical Assisting Program, enter through the certificate option. Upon completion, students may opt to continue working toward the A.A.S. in Medical Assisting. Students must provide the department with a statement of good health, immunization verification, hepatitis B vaccination record or declination and submit to a background check and drug screening. If the student does not pass the drug screen, they will be removed from the program and not allowed to reapply for 90 days.

The Medical Assisting 1 + 1 program provides an in-depth study of the medical sciences of the human body, including anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the body systems, clinicals including: room procedures, medical lab procedures, medical terminology, pharmacology, and administrative procedures--including but not limited to, medical insurance and coding, and front office procedures. The certificate program prepares the graduate for entry-level positions in the health care field as a medical assistant working in clinical or administrative settings. Graduates may pursue jobs in medical practices, physician's offices, hospitals, and clinic settings. Upon successful completion of the curriculum (55 quarter credit hours) and satisfaction of all graduation requirements, the student is awarded the Certificate in Medical Assisting and is eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination administered through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Medical Assisting Associates Degree

Upon completion of the certificate, students may opt to continue their education in the A.A.S. degree program in Medical Assisting. At the full completion of the Medical Assisting Programs, graduates will have earned a fully accredited certificate (qualifying graduates to sit for the National Exam) and a fully accredited A.A.S. degree in Medical Assisting.

Program Admission Requirements

The following are Admission Requirements for the Medical Assisting 1 + 1 Program:

  1. Complete all general admission paperwork as outlined in the most recent published edition of the South College-Asheville catalog, including the completion of an appointment with an admissions representative.
  2. Meet all general admission requirements of the College.

Program Requirements

All students enrolled in the Medical Assistant 1 + 1 program at South College-Asheville will acknowledge that various occupational hazards exist in the medical laboratory and the clinical setting. All Medical Assisting students are responsible for understanding the health requirements and the general safety procedures and precautions outlined in the Medical Assistant Handbook and during initial orientation to the program. Throughout the training, strict adherence to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines and standard precautions is mandated and observed. In compliance with these guidelines and precautions, all Medical Assisting students are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that may be appropriate for the clinical situation and as indicated.

Even when admission to the Medical Assisting program has been granted, a student will be required to undergo a physical exam/health verification and provide proof of immunizations. Tuberculin skin testing will be required along with a drug screen and criminal background check, as mandated by our clinical affiliates. In accordance with the blood borne pathogen policy, the College expects that all Medical Assisting students either have an active immunization to Hepatitis B or decline this series. Should a student decline vaccination for HBV, a declination waiver must be signed and on file with the College. Further, it is expected that all Medical Assisting students will take the flu shot as may be required and indicated by our clinical affiliates. Failure to comply with clinical affiliate policy and health requirements could restrict the Medical Assisting student's ability to complete the program. All health requirements, drug screening, and background checks MUST be completed and on record with the Medical Assisting Program Chairperson prior to the start of MD201 Medical Assisting I (in the second quarter of the certificate program). Students are responsible for the cost incurred from an illness or injury while in the Medical Assisting program. Students are also responsible for covering any additional costs associated with physical examinations, Hepatitis B immunizations, and CPR certification.

Students will be required, during the course of the program, to demonstrate their physical and/or emotional fitness to meet the essential requirements of the program. These requirements are reviewed with all prospective students prior to admission and are also included in the Medical Assisting Handbook. Such essential requirements include a statement of good health, the ability to perform certain tasks, and suitable emotional fitness. Any appraisal measures used to determine such physical and emotional fitness will be in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. A student should notify the department chairperson if he or she has any communicable disease. This disclosure will be handled in strict confidence and used to ensure safe lab conditions.

Students applying for the Medical Assisting 1 + 1 Program must accept the following:

  1. Eligibility for the National Certification Examination administered through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) may be denied the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential offered by the AAMA if the applicant is found guilty of a felony or adjudicated with a felony.
  2. Failure to produce proof of the following may severely limit practicum placement (possibly increasing the overall length of the program) and future employment options (What the program needs):
    1. Negative TB Test (available through the College)
    2. Hepatitis B vaccination or declination
    3. Certificate of good health
    4. Immunization record to include MMR
    5. CPR certification (Health Care Rescuer)
    6. Background Check (student expense)
    7. Negative Drug Screen (student expense)
  3. Clinical affiliates require drug screens. The Medical Assisting program reserves the right to conduct random drug screens throughout the program and with cause. If a student fails to comply with a drug screen, they will be removed from the program and will not be eligible to reapply for ninety days.

All Medical Assisting students are required to participate in clinical education including a 30-hr onsite clinical observation experience, and 180-hour practicum, totaling a 210-hour unpaid onsite clinical/practicum experience prior to the conclusion of the program.

Core Performance Standards for Admission and Progression

The South College-Asheville Medical Assisting program has adopted the following performance standards. Admission to and progression in the program are not based on these standards; rather they will be used to assist each student in determining whether accommodations or modifications are necessary.

If a student believes that he or she cannot meet one or more of the standards without accommodations or modifications, the Medical Assisting Department Chair will determine, on an individual basis, if the necessary accommodations or modifications can be reasonably made. In no instance will an accommodation be made that will put other students or patients at increased risk.

Issue Standard Some Examples of Necessary Activities (not all inclusive)
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment. Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations, recognizing emergency situations.
Interpersonal Interpersonal communication skills sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Establish rapport with patients, clients, and colleagues.
Communication Knowledge of the English language sufficient to comprehend and communicate orally and in writing. Explain treatment procedures, initiate health teaching, interpret and document completion of medical orders, and respond to patient/client concerns.
Mobility Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, to maneuver in small spaces, and to stand, lift, and walk.  Move around in patients' rooms, work spaces, and treatment areas, administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Motor Skills Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective care. Calibrate and use equipment; position patients/clients.
Hearing Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Hear monitor alarms, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds, and cries for help.
Tactile Tactile ability sufficient for performing physical assessment and procedures. Perform palpation, functions of physical examination, and/or therapeutic intervention.
Visual Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary for patient care. Observe patient/client responses; identify differences in shades of color to evaluate lab test results.

Consumer Information
* Amounts for tuition, fees, books, and supplies are subject to change. The information included here is estimated for a full-time student. *

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