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.
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||Four-year, primarily associate's, public||Two-year, public||Two-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (fall 2017)*||10,000||28,005||2,935|
|Campus Setting||Midsize city||Large city||Small city|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)*||$3,613 in-state; $8,966 out-of-state||$4,088 in-state; $8,840 out-of-state||$4,275 in-state; $4,742 out-of-state|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)*||54%||70%||77%|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)*||Open admission||Open admission||Open admission|
|Retention Rate (2017)*||N/A||67% for full-time students||61% for full-time students|
|Graduation Rate*||25% (students beginning in fall 2011)||15% (students beginning in fall 2014)||28% (students beginning in fall 2014)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Students can pursue either the Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Assistant or the Associate of Applied Technology 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 80 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. If students are interested in pursuing the associate's degree, they should pursue the associate's degree-level biology courses.
Associate of Applied Technology in Medical Assistant
In addition to the course requirements for the certificate program, students are required to take a 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 96 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 46 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. A 'C' grade or better is required for all curriculum courses.
Lower Columbia College
Prerequisite courses 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 69-76 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 90 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, social science or human relations and diversity.
Additional options for students looking to pursue a medical assistant education include the medical assistant certificate 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.