About half of the schools in the San Jose area that offer medical assisting programs are for-profit institutions. Based on student population among public and nonprofit institutions in the area and number of programs offered in the field of study, the following college is considered a top school in or near San Jose for studies in medical assisting:
- Winner: Compared to other public and nonprofit schools in or within 20 miles of San Jose, West Valley College has the second-largest student population and grants the second-most awards in medical assisting. It also has four programs in or relating to medical assisting, the most of any other San Jose area school. Students can choose from three certificate programs and one associate's degree program.
School Info Chart
|Category||West Valley College|
|School Type||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2013-2014)||Undergrad: $1,178 (in state); $6,074 (out-of-state)*|
|Medical Assisting Programs Offered||Certificate and associate's degree|
|Medical Assisting Certificates and Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013||42*|
|Most Popular Medical Assisting Award in 2012-2013||Certificate (35 awarded)*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2010 Entering Class||28%*|
|Noteworthy||Certificates in health care technologies, which include those in medical assistant, clinical assistant and medical administrative assistant, are among the three most popular certificate programs offered at the college**|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator; **West Valley College
West Valley College
- Internship opportunities are available
- Faculty consists of professionals in the health care field
- Medical assistant program is offered as both a short-term certificate and a longer associate's degree
West Valley College is a 2-year public school located near the Santa Cruz Mountains, about six miles west of San Jose. It has an enrollment of more than 9,600 students annually and offers flexible options, including online courses and distance learning. The Health Care Technology Department offers an Associate of Science option as well as certificate programs for jobs such as clinical assistants, insurance billing specialists, massage therapists and medical office receptionists.
The Associate of Science - Medical Assistant program takes 2-3 years to complete. In addition to general education studies, students can expect to take courses in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, medical information processing, basic and advanced medical terminology, and insurance billing and coding. Other courses address medical laboratory techniques, medical record keeping and sterilization practices. The final semester consists of four internship credit hours. Certificate of Achievement - Medical Assistant students complete the same clinical and administrative courses that the associate's degree students take. Fewer electives are required.
The 11-month Certificate of Achievement - Clinical Assistant program is designed for students who wish to work in back-office medical settings. Students acquire the skills for recording patient information such as weight, height, blood pressure and temperature. They also learn about obtaining case histories, performing basic tests and preparing patients for the doctor examination. The program also teaches students about patient communication.
The Certificate of Achievement - Medical Administrative Assistant program focuses on how to run a medical office, including credit and collection procedures, simple accounting, record keeping and the management of time and resources. Coursework covers introductory health care, medical transcription and basic business practices for a medical office.