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Medical Assistant Certificate

CC Certificate of Completion
type of award
1 Year
total Credits
Financial Aid Available
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Launch your health care career as a medical assistant

The health care field is ever-evolving, and medical assistants are at the heart of it all. If you love the idea of working in health care but don’t want to wait for years of medical school before getting started in your field, medical assisting may be for you!

Medical assistants are vital members of health care teams, helping keep clinics and hospitals running. The Medical Assistant Certificate at Clackamas Community College will equip you with skills to thrive in all areas of this dynamic field, from patient care to office work. Get ready to start a rewarding medical career!

For detailed description and outcomes for this program, view the course catalog.

Required classes for the Medical Assistant Certificate

Job Outlook

Start a rewarding career in health care

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 23% growth in medical assistant jobs by 2032, much faster than average! This translates to ample job opportunities and competitive salaries in Oregon.

Our program prepares you for diverse medical assistant careers in:

  • Ambulatory care facilities (clinics): Provide clinical and administrative support in family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, women's health and more.
  • Outpatient surgical centers: Assist surgeons and nurses in preparation for and during procedures.

Clackamas Community College has strong partnerships with leading health care providers in Oregon, including:

With your Medical Assistant Certificate from Clackamas Community College, you will be positioned to earn competitive salaries while choosing from jobs in clinics, hospitals, physicians' offices and more.

For more information on career opportunities for this program, view the course catalog.

Preparing students for success

The Medical Assistant Certificate program at Clackamas Community College equips you with the essential skills and knowledge to excel in this growing health care field. Our curriculum focuses on both technical proficiency and essential soft skills, preparing you to thrive in a fast-paced team environment.

Key skills you should develop:

Clinical skills

  • Learn the techniques for taking vital signs, assisting with procedures, collecting blood samples and administering medications.
  • Learn proper infection control, safety and bloodborne pathogen protocols.

Patient care

  • Develop compassionate and effective communication skills to build rapport with patients.
  • Gain knowledge of trauma-informed practices to provide sensitive and supportive care.


  • Hone teamwork and collaboration skills to work effectively with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.
  • Understand and apply medical ethics and legal principles in the workplace.
  • Practice critical thinking and reflective practice to improve your skills.
  • Integrate self-care principles to maintain your well-being in a demanding field.

Upon successful completion of the program, you should be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of medical assistant concepts.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely with patients and health care providers.
  • Apply best practices in infection control, safety and medication administration.
  • Understand the human body's structure, function and changes throughout life stages.

Become a well-rounded and in-demand medical assistant with Clackamas Community College!

For more information on expected outcomes of successfully completing this program, view the course catalog.

Investing in your future

Clackamas Community College offers some of the lowest tuition rates in the Portland metro area. Here is a summary of the estimated costs for this program: 

Tuition and fees $5,838
Program course fees (covers lab supplies, stethoscope, CastleBranch, criminal background check, drug screening, lab assistance)$1,388
Uniform (scrubs)~$100
Estimated total program cost

Get help paying for college

Scholarships and grants (free money!) are available for students in this program. For help with financial aid and scholarships, contact the Financial Aid Resource Lab

Application and Admissions Process

Applying to the Clackamas Community College Medical Assistant Certificate

Ready to get started? Applying to this program is a simple four-step process.

We recommend you meet with a health science advisor prior to applying to the program. Our advisors will help answer prerequisite program requirements.

Tracy Pantano-Rumsey, academic advisor, 503-594-6131

Phil Reid, academic advisor, 503-594-0623

For more information on the application process and program requirements, view our advising guide linked below.

Advising Guide

Application essays and scoring rubric

The medical assisting application requires prospective students to answer two essay questions. The applications are “de-identified” prior to reviewing and scoring essays to reduce bias. It is recommended you meet with a health sciences academic advisor before completing your application. 

Essay 1: (250 words or less) Having strong essential skills is imperative in health care today. We see some of these skills as teamwork, empathy, flexibility, time management or creative thinking. They all help us serve our patient population. 

Choose one of the above essential skills and share how you believe this will help you be successful in this program. Include how you have developed this skill and an example of how you currently use this skill in your daily life.

Note: We are asking this question because we want to know how you would incorporate one of these skills in the medical assistant program.

Essay 1 ContentCriterion Response exceeds expectations (5 points)Response meets expectations (4 points)Response indicates an opportunity for growth and reflection (3 points)
The candidate chose one essential skill and shared how this would help them be successful in the MA program.Response provides a clear and detailed statement about the candidate's skill for completing the MA program.Response provides a clear statement of the candidate's goals for completing the MA program.Response shows an opportunity for the candidate to reflect more on how they would use an essential skill to be successful in the program.
The candidate included how to develop the essential skill and how they used the skill in their daily life.Response provides a clear and detailed statement about how they have developed essential skills and how they used them in their daily life.Response provides a clear statement about how they have developed essential skills and how the used them in their daily life.Response shows an opportunity for the candidate to reflect more on how they have developed essential skills and how they used them in their daily life.

Essay 2: (250 words or less) The admissions team would like to know more about what makes you a well-rounded applicant. Share what experiences led you to the medical field and medical assisting specifically. Share with us what makes you a unique and strong candidate for this program.

Note: We are asking this question because as students in the medical assistant program, we recognize that candidates have additional skills and experience they have gained that make them strong candidates.

Essay 2 ContentCriterion Response exceeds expectations (5 points)Response meets expectations (4 points)Response indicates an opportunity for growth and reflection (3 points)
The candidate describes what experiences led you to the medical field and medical assisting specifically.Response provides a clear and detailed statement about what experiences lead you to the medical field and medical assisting specifically.Response provides a clear statement about what experiences lead you to the medical field and medical assisting specifically.Response shows an opportunity for the candidate to reflect more on what experiences led you to the medical field and medical assisting specifically.

The candidate describes what makes you a unique and strong candidate for this program.

Response provides a clear and detailed statement about what makes them a unique and strong candidate for this program.

Response provides a clear statement about what makes them a unique and strong candidate for this program.             

Response shows and opportunity for the candidate to reflect more about what makes them a unique and strong candidate for this program.


Preparation ensures your success

Students who are formally accepted into the Medical Assistant Certificate program must attend a mandatory orientation. During the orientation, students will start the process of completing all non-academic requirements. 

Please start collecting your vaccine records for the below list of immunizations and, if accepted, be prepared to submit documentation during the orientation. 

Eligibility requirements:

  • 18 years of age 
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Immunizations (MMR, Varicella, Tdap, Hep B, COVID-19, flu) 
  • Tuberculosis test
  • Criminal background check
  • Drug screen 

Note: A criminal background check requires a Social Security number. Students will start the criminal background check process during the orientation and upload vaccine records. 

The medical assistant program requires students to complete the following academic prerequisite requirements:

  • MA-110 Medical Terminology
  • BI-120 Intro to Human Anatomy and Physiology OR
    • BI-101 and BI-102
    • BI-231, -232, and -233
  • WR-121Z Composition I OR WR-101 Workplace Writing
  • MTH-050 Technical Mathematics I OR MTH-065 Algebra II

Submit your unofficial transcripts to

Essential functions

To be successful in the medical assisting program and become employable, you must be able to perform essential functions expected of the medical assistant (see list below). Please contact the medical assistant program regarding questions or concerns about these requirements.

You must have the physical, intellectual and emotional abilities to provide safe patient care; visual acuity, hearing, speech, manual dexterity, physical strength and endurance must be maintained as well. The practice of medical assisting requires the following functional abilities with or without reasonable accommodations:

  • Visual acuity (clearness of vision)
    • With or without corrective lenses sufficient to assess patients and their own environments. 
    • Detect changes in skin color or condition; collect data from recording equipment and measurement devices used in patient care; detect a fire in a patient area and initiate emergency action; read and follow instructions pertaining to medical assisting materials; ability to perform procedures involving fine detail, including the use of indirect field of vision.
  • Hearing ability
    • With or without hearing aids to hear a patient’s call for help, to auscultate a patient’s vital signs and their own environment. 
    • Detect sounds related to bodily functions using a stethoscope; detect audible alarms within the frequency and volume ranges of sounds generated by mechanical systems that monitor bodily functions; hear clearly during telephone conversations; effectively hear to communicate with patients and other health care team members.
  • Olfactory ability (smells)
    • Detect smoke from burning materials; detect odors from hazardous material spills.
  • Tactile ability (sense of touch)
    • Read and record patient vital signs; detect unsafe temperature levels in heat-producing devices used in patient care; perform patient care procedures; detect anatomical abnormalities.
  • Strength and mobility
    • Ability to lift 25 lbs; prolonged time sitting and/or standing on feet (8-12 hours); repetitive bending and twisting. 
  • Ability to speak, comprehend, read and write in English 
    • Able to question the patient about his/her condition; accurately relay information about the patient both verbally and in written communication to others.
  • Fine motor skills (ability to make movements using the small muscles in your hands or wrists)
    • Demonstrate eye/hand coordination; safely dispose of needles in sharps containers; safely perform venipuncture and intramuscular, subcutaneous and intradermal injections. 
  • Emotional stability to function effectively under stress
    • Ability to adapt to changing situations and to follow through on assigned patient care responsibilities.
  • Cognitive ability (reasoning and/or thinking)
    • Ability to collect, analyze and apply information. 
    • Ability to make clinical judgments and manage decisions that promote positive patient outcomes.

ADA accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (ADA) mandates that reasonable accommodations must be made for individuals with disabilities. Any student who may need an accommodation for a disability should make an appointment with the program director and the Disability Resource Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

What is a medical assistant?

Medical assistants perform a wide variety of tasks and are trained to perform both administrative and clinical duties. They work closely with physicians in both outpatient and ambulatory care facilities like medical offices and clinics. Medical assistants perform tasks ranging from preparing patients for examinations to wound care to updating and filing patient medical records.

How competitive is CCC’s medical assistant program?

Admission to CCC’s medical assistant program is limited entry. There are 24 students per cohort and the process of getting accepted involves completing an application, including an essay and participating in a mandatory orientation.

What modality is the medical assistant program delivered in?

The medical assistant program is a full-time, closed cohort program offering classes in-person, hybrid and online. All lab courses are taught in person at the Harmony campus. The program consists of 45 credits delivered over three terms.

Is the medical assistant program accredited?

The CCC medical assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Educational Review Board (MAERB). For more information on this accreditation, visit their website at

I am interested in the medical assistant program but don’t know how to apply. Who can I talk to?

The Medical Assistant Program is housed under the Health Sciences Department, which is a part of the Health Professions educational focus area. They have two dedicated academic advisors who are knowledgeable in the medical assistant application process and are available to assist with any questions related to transfer credits, academic requirements to apply and the application process itself. You can reach out to the advisors via email:

What additional requirements are needed to join the program?

The Medical Assistant Program follows the guidelines for Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) Requirements for students in clinical practicum (409-030-0110). This includes required and recommended immunizations: Hep B, MMR, Tdap, COVID-19 and seasonal flu. It also includes a required 10-panel drug screening (to be completed after orientation into the program). A complete list of the 10-panel drug screening information can be found at the  Oregon Health Authority. A tuberculosis screening and criminal background check (to be completed after orientation into the program) are also required. Students must also have a current CPR/BLS certification through the American Heart Association (AHA).

I am an employer looking to hire a recent graduate of the medical assistant program. Does CCC have a job board for students and alumni?

Yes, thank you for reaching out with employment opportunities for our students. Please CCC's job board, where you can post job notices for students and alumni. You will have to sign up as an employer and complete the posting, but this will share your job with a wider audience. 

Take the first step in your medical assisting career

Review all information provided on this page, including the advising guide (PDF) and frequently asked questions.  

Meet with one of our Health Sciences program academic advisors before completing the program application. Email Tracy Pantano-Rumsey or Phil Reid.


Answer all of the questions on the application, including the essays. See pages three and four of the advising guide (PDF) for more details. You will type your responses for the two essay questions directly into the application and submit the application form

Apply now

The application deadline for fall term is July 1, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

You will be notified via email by Allied Health Admissions on the status of your application along with the next steps in the process by July 20.

Note: Conditionally accepted students will be invited to participate in a mandatory orientation at the Harmony Campus on Aug. 1, 2024, at 9 a.m.

Collect your vaccine records. See the advising guide (PDF) for a detailed list. If accepted, you will bring your vaccine records to the mandatory orientation.

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