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Medical Assisting Diploma Programs in Vancouver, WA

The Vancouver, Washington, area has multiple schools offering training in the medical assisting field. To find the right one for you, learn about the admission and program requirements for three schools all located within about 40 miles of downtown.

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Vancouver Medical Assisting Schools

Students may find a variety of medical assisting programs in the Vancouver, Washington area, although they typically lead to earning a certificate or associate's degree rather than a diploma. Read about the coursework and clinical requirements at three colleges before going on to explore facts about each institution in the table that follows. A bit of info about a few other school options is provided as well.

  • Clark College offers a medical assisting certificate of proficiency and an associate's degree. The campus is only a mile from downtown Vancouver.
  • Portland Community College, located about 16 miles from central Vancouver, provides students with the opportunity to pursue a medical assisting certificate in a larger city environment.
  • Situated around 40 miles from Vancouver's downtown area, Lower Columbia College also has certificate and associate's degree programs in the field.

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Comparison of Schools

Find out more about each college by reviewing the table below. It has info on graduation and retention rates as well as tuition and fees, among other areas.

Clark College Portland Community College Lower Columbia College
School Type Two-year, public Two-year, public Two-year, public
Total Enrollment (fall 2014) 10,911* 30,929* 3,208*
Campus Setting Midsize city Large city Small city
Tuition & Fees 2015-2016 $3,456 in-state; $8,794 out-of-state* $3,766 in-state; $8,374 out-of-state* $4,131 in-state; $4,644 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 65%* 50%* 83%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) Open admission Open admission Open admission
Retention Rate (2014) 64% for full-time students* 60% for full-time students* 62% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students beginning in fall 2011) 25%* 15%* 25%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Clark College

Students can pursue either the Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Assistant or the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Medical Assistant from Clark College's Business Technology department. The certificate can be completed in four quarters, and the degree can be completed in six quarters. Students must meet minimum proficiency test scores or complete equivalent courses.

Medical Assistant Certificate of Proficiency

Students can earn the certificate program at Clark College by completing 85 credit hours. By completing additional course requirements, student can earn an associate's degree. Required courses for the program include medical terminology, legal aspects of the medical office, medical coding, medical office clinical procedures and medical assistant directed practice. Recommended elective courses for the certificate program include phlebotomy education, cooperative work experience and medical coding. If students are interested in pursuing the associate's degree, they should pursue the associate's degree-level biology courses.

Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assistant

In addition to the course requirements for the certificate program, students are required to take an additional medical coding class and complete general education courses, such as psychology, communications, computational skills and human development. Students are able to pursue elective courses in science, humanities and English. The degree requires a minimum of 92 credit hours.

Portland Community College

Students must meet minimum placement exam scores and pass an oral and written assessment to be admitted to the program. Students must also complete course prerequisites, pass a drug screening and criminal background check, submit letters of recommendation and have transportation. A meeting with a program advisor and satisfactory computer skills will also be needed in order to be admitted into the program.

Medical Assisting One-Year Certificate

The medical assisting certificate program from Portland Community College requires 47 credit hours. Required courses include: anatomy and physiology; First Aid and CPR; medications; medical science; coding and reimbursement; and a clinical practicum. Students can learn both administrative and clinical skills in the program. Before students may begin the third term, they must provide documentation of health and immunizations, including the initiation of the Hepatitis B series or a waiver, a Mantoux Test for tuberculosis and a physical exam. A 'C' grade or better is required for all curriculum courses.

Lower Columbia College

Prerequisite course for the medical assisting programs must be met with a minimum 'C' grade, and include math, English and keyboarding courses. Students may also satisfy the keyboarding prerequisite by achieving a satisfactory exam score.

Medical Assisting Certificate of Proficiency

Students must complete 71 credit hours with a minimum 'C' grade to earn the certificate of proficiency. Required courses include healthcare foundations, medical terminology, exam room procedures and human anatomy and physiology. Students are also required to have a criminal background check, drug screening, TB test or chest X-ray, First Aid card, healthcare provider CPR training and immunizations before they may pursue a course in their final quarter.

Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting

In order to be awarded an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting, students must complete 91 credit hours with a minimum 'C' grade. Like the certificate program, a criminal background check, TB test or chest X-ray, drug screening, First Aid card, immunizations and healthcare provider CPR training are required before students can take a course in the final curriculum quarter. Students are able to pursue elective courses in the areas of communication, health, social science or human relations and diversity.

Other Schools

Additional options for students looking to pursue a medical assistant education include the medical assistant associate's degree from Mt. Hood Community College, located about 21 miles away from downtown Vancouver, or the one-year certificate from Clackamas Community College, located 28 miles away from downtown Vancouver.

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