Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2025 Catalog Volume XXXI Ver 1 
2023-2025 Catalog Volume XXXI Ver 1

Medical Assistant Specialist, Certificate

Information regarding the online Medical Assisting program can be found by clicking here: Medical Assisting (Online), Certificate .

Hybrid Delivery

The Medical Assisting curriculum (3 quarters full-time) is established based upon the CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for Medical Assisting Educational Programs (2015 Revision), which emphasizes competency-based skills, as well as general knowledge. Student competencies are validated through performance on written and practical exams, skills performance assessments, and a clinical practicum. Graduates of the program are prepared to assist practitioners in examining and treating patients, performing laboratory testing, and managing the administrative and clinical responsibilities associated with efficient medical office operations.

Program Learning Outcomes (Onground - Hybrid Delivery)

  • Prepare competent entry-level Medical Assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains;
  • Prepare Medical Assistants who meet the academic standards as set forth by South College and the requirements of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) as established in the Standards and Guidelines for an Accredited Educational Program for Medical Assistants 2015;
  • Produce graduates that have the competence to perform in entry-level positions as a Certified Medical Assistant within the community;
  • Prepare graduates that can successfully become employed within the community health care market.

Program Requirements (Onground - Hybrid Delivery)

All students admitted in the Medical Assisting program must recognize that various occupational hazards exist in the medical laboratory and the clinical setting. All Medical Assisting students are responsible for understanding health requirements and general safety procedures and precautions.

Throughout the training, strict adherence to OSHA guidelines and standard precautions is mandated and observed. In compliance with these guidelines and precautions, all Medical Assisting students are required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment as indicated.

Students will be required, during the course of the program, to demonstrate their physical and/or emotional fitness to meet the essential requirements of the program. These requirements include maintaining a state of good health, achieving a comprehensive knowledge base (cognitive ability), achieving procedural proficiency (psychomotor skills), and demonstrating suitable behavioral and emotional fitness (affective domain). Any appraisal measures used to determine such physical and/or emotional fitness will be in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. A student should notify the Department Chairperson if he or she has a communicable disease. This disclosure will be handled in strict confidence and used to assure safe lab conditions. Hepatitis B vaccination and/or immunization verification is required.

Students must provide the department with a statement of good health, immunization verification, and hepatitis B vaccination record or declination. Clinical agencies may also require students to provide proof of the flu vaccine. Students are responsible for covering the costs associated with physical examinations, and immunizations as well as the cost incurred from an illness or injury while in the Medical Assisting program.

Students must submit to a background check and drug screening. If a student does not pass the drug screen, he/she will be removed from the program and not allowed to reapply for ninety days. Placement of students with prior convictions is at the discretion of the clinical site(s).

Practicum sites are dispersed. Students may have to travel outside of the local area.

All major courses must be completed with a grade of C or better within 2 attempts. Readmission to the program is limited to one-time on a space available basis.

All medical assisting students are required to complete 15 hours of unpaid, supervised observation at a medical practice during the second quarter and a 200-hour unpaid, supervised practicum at a medical practice during the last quarter of their program. Students are required to meet all health guidelines and policies of the affiliating agencies.

Students applying to the Medical Assisting program must accept the following:

  1. Eligibility for the Certification Examination may be denied by the AAMA Certifying Board if the applicant for the CMA credential has been found guilty of a felony or pleaded guilty to a felony (Contact the MA Department Chair for more information on eligibility requirements).
  2. Failure to produce proof of the following in a timely manner may severely limit practicum placement (possibly increasing the overall length of the program or resulting in program dismissal) and future employment options:
    1. Negative TB test
    2. Hepatitis B vaccination
    3. Health release to participate in clinical practicum/physician’s certification that student is in good health
    4. Other immunizations, such as MMR, Polio, Tetanus, and Varicella/Chicken Pox
    5. CPR and first aid training.

Students are responsible for costs incurred from injury or illness while in the Medical Assisting program. Fees charged to cover physical exams, CPR certification, and immunizations are the responsibility of the student.

Upon successful completion of the curriculum (39 quarter credit hours) for the Certificate and satisfaction of all graduation requirements, the student is awarded the Certificate in Medical Assisting and is eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination administered through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Upon completion of the 91 required credits, the student is awarded the AS in Medical Assisting.

Certification Credential

Although no state licensure exists for medical assistants, students graduating from the South College Medical Assisting program are qualified to sit for national certification. All campus locations utilize the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CCMA) as part of the program tuition. 

Graduates are qualified to sit for certification through the specific organizations below, based on the graduating campus location or delivery modality;

Campus locations: Knoxville, Asheville, Atlanta, Indianapolis, or Nashville program graduates (CAAHEP accredited program locations)

  • American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) | Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT) | Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

Campus locations/delivery modality: Online, Orlando, and all other campus locations listed above

  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA) | Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) 
  • National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) | National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
  • American Medical Certification Association (AMCA) | Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC) 

Specific information regarding certification will be provided to the student during the last quarter of the program.

The following curriculum for the Certificate in Medical Assistant Specialist certificate program is offered at the Orlando campus (Hybrid).