School and Ranking Information
Twenty schools located within a 40-mile radius of Nashville offer medical assisting programs. The following three public and private not-for-profit options stand out for their overall graduation rates (the percentage of students finishing a school's programs within 150% of normal time) and their tuition and fees:
- Winner: Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro is the top school for its comparatively low tuition and fees as well as its high overall graduation rate.
- Runner-Up #1:Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hartsville also offers an affordable program, but comes in second for its lower overall graduation rate.
- Runner-Up #2: Although Remington College's Nashville campus awarded almost 90 diplomas in the field, it had the lowest overall graduation rate and highest tuition costs.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro||Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hartsville||Remington College - Nashville Campus|
|Location||Murfreesboro, Tennessee (28.4 miles from Nashville)||Hartsville, Tennessee (38.1 miles from Nashville)||Nashville, Tennessee|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, private not-for-profit|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$3,147**||$3,147***||$15,995*|
|Medical Assisting Programs Offered||Diploma||Diploma||Diploma|
|Medical Assisting Diplomas Awarded in 2011-2012||N/A||N/A||85*|
|Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2008 Entering Class||82%*||69%*||58%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro, ***Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hartsville
Winner: Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro
- Job placement rate is 79% for students who completed the medical administrative assisting program on campus, according to the Council on Occupational Education (COE) in 2012
- Program can also be completed online
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro is part of a higher education system that's the seventh largest in the country
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro offers a medical administrative assisting diploma through its business systems technology program. Students can choose an emphasis in transcription or insurance and coding, and the program can be completed on campus or online in just three trimesters. Some of the required core courses include office procedures, keyboarding, and business math. Depending on their area of emphasis, students also examine topics in medical terminology, electronic health records, and medical transcription. Eligible students might be able to work part-time at a local business to gain hands-on experience in medical assisting while attending classes.
While the NCES reported an 82% overall graduation rate, program graduation rates reported by TCAT - Murfreesboro were slightly lower. Sixty-one percent of students who enrolled in the business systems technology diploma programs in 2011-2012 graduated in 12 to 18 months, as reported on the school website.
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Runner-Up #1: Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Hartsville
- The NCES reported a student-teacher ratio of 20:1 in 2011
- Program is offered on-site and online
- School has an open admissions policy
- 90.9% job placement rate for program graduates in 2012, according to the COE
The Hartsville campus of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology also offers a medical administrative assisting diploma program that can be completed in 1,296 clock hours spread across three trimesters, or 45 weeks. Students pursuing a medical administrative assisting diploma with an emphasis in transcription can take courses in medical terminology, medical ethics, and transcription techniques. This school also offers a medical administrative assisting diploma in insurance and coding. Applicants to either program track might be eligible for the Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant, which awards $2,000 to students pursuing one of the school's diplomas or certificates.
In 2011-2012, 68.2% of students beginning business systems technology diploma programs at TCAT - Hartsville completed them in 12 months, according to the school website.
Runner-Up #2: Remington College - Nashville Campus
- Remington College - Nashville Campus had an acceptance rate of 75% in fall 2012, according to the NCES
- Students begin hands-on training the second day of class
- Student-teacher ratio was 15:1 in 2011, according to the NCES
The medical assisting curriculum at Remington College's downtown Nashville Campus offers students the opportunity to begin hands-on lab training soon after the program's start. Students also take courses on such topics as patient billing, pharmacology, patient care, disease transmission, and clinical procedures. Students become familiar with medical equipment, including EKG units, otoscopes, and nebulizers. During the final month of the program, students participate in an externship where they gain work experience in settings like health care clinics and doctors' offices. Upon program completion, graduates are eligible for professional certification through a third-party organization, such as the American Medical Technologists (AMT). To earn certification, students need to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam.