Diplomas in the health care field are often awarded to individuals who complete academic programs in fields like practical nursing and medical assisting. These programs are around one year in length and are most often found at 2-year institutions. They are usually designed to prepare students for their chosen career's state licensure or certification. Hands-on learning through labs and supervised practical experience is provided to prepare students to perform typical job duties. For example, aspiring medical assistants learn to perform a wide range of clinical and administrative tasks, while aspiring practical nurses learn to take care of patients, maintain patients' records and report concerns with medical staff.
Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology
The Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology is a vocational-technical school headquartered in the town of Pleasant Gap. The 2-year school offers certificate and diploma programs to more than 150 students each year. It provides a diploma program for students who are interested in becoming medical assistants in the state of Pennsylvania.
The medical assistant diploma program is accredited by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Students enrolled in the medical assistant program learn how to take patient histories, perform patient examinations, work an EKG machine, check vital signs, handle insurance forms and keep patient records.
Westmoreland County Community College
Westmoreland County Community College is a public school located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. The school offers associate's degree, certificate and diploma programs in a variety of vocational and general education areas. It provides a medical assisting diploma program within its Division of Health Professions. This program lasts three semesters and includes courses in biology, administrative functions in a medical office and basic clinical procedures.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School||School Type & Setting||Program Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology||Less than 2-year, public; rural fringe||Medical Assistant Diploma||$15,340*|
|Westmoreland County Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe||Medical Assisting Diploma||$5,214 (in-district), $9,348 (in-state), $13,338 (out-of-state)**|
Source: *NCES College Navigator