Medical Assistant

A brown haired nurse with a stethoscope smiles at the camera.

Medical Assistant

Subject Area: Health Sciences

Award: Diploma

Minimum Credits: 44.5

Location: Peosta

Entry: Fall


Medical assistants are allied health professionals who perform administrative and clinical functions that support the services of physicians and other health practitioners in a medical office setting. Duties vary depending on the practice and scope of practice in the state. Clinical duties can include collecting and preparing laboratory specimens, performing basic laboratory tests, sterilizing medical equipment, doing blood draws, taking electrocardiograms and preparing patients for x-rays. Administrative functions include patient scheduling, patient registration, performing billing services and purchasing and maintaining supplies. Medical assistants, if directed by a physician and state law, might instruct patients about medications and special diets, prepare and administer medications, authorize drug refills and telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy.

The goal of the Medical Assistant program is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domains. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the national credentialing exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) to become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA).

The Medical Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Calendar YearRetentionPositive PlacementExam ParticipationExam Pass Rate
2014 80% 83.33% 87.5% 78.57%
2013 85% 94.12% 50% 100%
5-Year 82.86% 89.66% 73.08% 84.21%

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763

Admissions Requirements
  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.
  3. Complete ACCUPLACER® reading and writing assessment and ALEKS® math assessment. Testing may be waived based on previous college coursework or submission of valid ACT®, ACT Compass® or ALEKS® test scores. Scores are valid for three years.

In addition to the College admission procedures outlined, applicants must achieve a minimum ACCUPLACER® reading score of 70 and a minimum ALEKS® score of 15. ACT® or ACT Compass® scores are also acceptable.

The College has contracted the services of CastleBranch to review and monitor background checks, health records, training requirements and drug testing. Students will submit the following documentation to their website prior to the designated date:

  • Background check - includes a nationwide criminal history search and child, dependent adult, and sex offender registry checks. Background checks will be evaluated per the College's Background Check policy. Clinical participation is dependent on this evaluation.
  • Health records - physical and immunizations (MMR, varicella, Hepatitis B, 2 step TB, Tdap and influenza).
  • Training - CPR (American Heart Association Health Care Provider or American Red Cross Professional Rescuer), mandatory reporter of child and dependent adult abuse, HIPAA and blood borne pathogens.
  • Drug testing - prior to clinical participation, random, post incident/accident and suspicion. Students are required to be substance free throughout the program.
  • Health insurance - students are required to maintain health insurance throughout the program.

In addition to meeting the above listed requirements, students must maintain these requirements throughout the program. Failure to remain compliant will result in denial for clinical participation. Clinical participation is required for program completion.

Students must be aware of the physical demands during the practicum course. Daily activities require bending, stooping, reaching, squatting, pushing and pulling in all directions. You will be asked to lift and carry objects weighing up to a minimum of 50 pounds and also shared weight. Clinical tasks can include repetitive actions, such as simple and firm grasping and fine manipulation and walking, including stair stepping. You may also be in contact with communicable disease and chemical/bio hazardous material and odors.

Academic Requirements

View the printable Ed Plan.

Term 1
ADM:105 Intro to Keyboarding 1.0
BIO:158 Basic Anatomy and Physiology 2.0
BIO:160 Basic Anatomy and Physiology Lab 1.0
HIT:320 Health Records Management 2.0
HSC:117 Basic Medical Terminology 2.5
MAP:111 Medical Office Management I 3.0
MAP:353 Clinical Procedures I 4.0
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0


Term 2
HIT:210 Basic Medical Insurance and Coding 2.0
MAP:358 Clinical Procedures II 5.0
MAP:431 Human Relations 1.0
MAP:501 Math for Medications 1.0
MAP:513 Medical Assisting Pharmacology 3.0
MAP:532 Human Body: Health and Disease 3.0
SPC:112 Public Speaking 3.0


Term 3
MAP:402 Medical Law and Ethics 2.0
MAP:622 Medical Assistant Practicum 6.0

Note: To graduate from this program, students must complete all required coursework with a "C-" grade or above and earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average.Students are required to take some courses in an online or hybrid format.

Employment Information

With an annual income range of $21,934 - $29,030 and a projected growth of 5.6%, the career outlook for Medical Assistant graduates is growing.

Source: EMSI; Salary range represents 10th percentile - median annual wage for related occupations in the NICC district. Growth rate based on projections from 2016-2020.

View Gainful Employment information for this program.

Employers of NICC Alumni

Dubuque Internal Medicine, Dubuque, IA
Dubuque Pediatrics, Dubuque, IA
Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, Guttenberg, IA
Medical Associates, Dubuque, IA
Tri-State Vein Center, Dubuque IA


Additional Information

Students should be aware that clinic sites can be located anywhere within the NICC service area at both ends of the district. Travel is required and students are responsible for transportation to and from, which could be as far as two hours away. Practicum is held only in the summer semester and is a six-week full time externship.

Transfer Information

The Medical Assisting diploma program currently has a transfer agreement in place with Allen College. Students are encouraged to speak with representatives at Allen College to verify that their planned courses at NICC will meet requirements.


Jennifer Anglin, NCMA
Medical Assistant Program Director
800.728.7367, ext. 196