Courses & Programs

Medical Assistant Certificate

what will you learn?

This certificate program prepares students for employment in health care clinics, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, insurance companies or physician's offices. 


Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Maintain electronic health records for patient data, reimbursement, claims submission and payment.
  • Perform basic phlebotomy techniques.
  • Describe the major organ systems and pathological conditions that affect the human body.
  • Perform electrocardiography procedures.
  • Describe the major drug classifications, regarding indications and mechanisms of action, and potential for drug-drug or drug-food interactions.
  • Obtain patient history, vital signs and prepare the patient for examination.

Upon successful completion of the medical assisting registry exam, as administered by the American Medical Technologists, the student will become a registered medical assistant (RMA).

what will you do?

Continue your education or enter the workforce! This program prepares students for employment in:

  • physicians offices
  • nursing homes
  • hospitals
  • hospices
  • adult day care centers
  • rehabilitation centers
  • assisted living facilities
  • patients homes

Learn more at HCC's Advising, Career & Transfer Center and at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

29 total credits

29 Program Requirements

Depending on course selection, 50% of this certificate may be completed online.

An introduction to the terminology of medicine and health care, based on the study of medical word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Terminology is presented according to physiologic systems. In addition to basic medical terminology, the course introduces medical abbreviations and some common pharmacological terms.
An orientation course in record keeping theory and practice including material on the organization and functions of the medical record department and duties and responsibilities of Health Information Technicians. Communication, team-work, diversity, sexual harassment, time management, professional etiquette, and personal strategies for managing stress will also be addressed. Basic legal and regulatory issues, as well as coding and reimbursement issues will also be covered. Career opportunities in various allied health professions will be explored. Pre/Corequisite: NoneNo program restrictions for registration, with availability for mandatory programs.
An introduction course to medical billing, medical insurance and the influence of today's managed care environment. Requirements for Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance claims will be discussed. This course provides the opportunity to use basic data entry skills to do medical billing and practice management, needed by clerical workers staffing a healthcare facility, by utilizing a computerized billing/coding Practice Management software program. It includes the principles of medical billing related to proper claim form preparation, submission, and payment processing, including the follow-up process. Differences in reimbursement methodologies will also be covered. Pre/Corequisites: HTH 114 and HMC 103.Note: If HTH 114 is taken as a corequisite it needs to be a specific section for M043/M010 programs. No program restrictions for registration, with availability for required programs.
This course provides the student with the knowledge and utilization of basic phlebotomy skills.
This course presents an overview to Human Anatomy, Physiology and fundamentals of Disease Processes for the Medical Billing, Medical Assisting or Health Information Management student. Human anatomy is presented by body systems, including the cellular components of the body. The discussion of physiology and disease processes include mechanisms of disease process, classifications of diseases and the treatment of representative diseases. Pre/Corequisites: HTH 114. Note: Students who take HTH 114 as a corequisite will be required to take the specific HTH 114 section (for M043/M010 programs), as it is set up to coincide with our HIM 107 class for our programs. No program restrictions for registration, with availability for mandatory programs, Max number TBD each semester for number allowed for students not in M043/M010 programs.
This introductory course is designed to provide the student with an orientation into the field of Medical Assisting. The student will explore communication skills, stress reduction; ethnical conduct, legal/ethical issues, and confidentiality/privacy within the health care field. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
Designed to introduce the students to the basics of a Twelve-Lead Electrocardiogram. This course will cover anatomy of the heart, details of the electrical activity of the heart, cardiac arrhythmias, and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias based on the standards of the American Heart Association. Students will perform electrocardiography (12-lead EKG/ECG) on fellow students. Prerequisites: HTH 114, HMC 103, HMC 104, HMC 107. Pre-Corequisite: MEA 110
Introduces the major drug classes, their indications, mechanisms of action, and potential for drug-drug or drug-food interactions as well as the fundamental terminology that is essential to understanding the basics of drug therapy. Other basic drug therapy concerns, including age, weight, organ function and body homeostasis will be included. Prescription interpretation, implementing Latin abbreviations used in prescription writing and filling, as well as illustrating the role and contribution of the pharmacy profession within the field of medicine. A basic mathematical aptitude is expected in the application of some topics.Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101Note: Students cannot receive credit for both HTH 130 and MEA 150.
This course teaches the student the basic components necessary to work in a clinical environment. Topics include obtaining patient history, vital signs, preparing the patient for examination, medical asepsis and sterilization procedures. Prerequisites: HTH 114, HMC 103, HMC 104, HMC 107. Pre/Corequisites: MEA 108, MEA 110, MEA 125, and MEA 150.
This course is designed as the final preparatory step in preparing students to embark on a career as a medical assistant. The course will accomplish two purposes: 1. students will prepare for job searching, applying and continued job success through classroom instruction, and 2. students will have an opportunity to demonstrate, practice and refine the clinical and administrative skills and abilities they acquired throughout the Medical Assistant Program. The students will do this by participating in a clinical field experience for a minimum of 160 hours. Pre-Requisite: HTH 114, HMC 103, HMC 104, HMC 107, MEA 108, MEA 110, MEA 125, MEA 150 & MEA 210. Pre/Co-Req: HTH 220.
This course explores various ethical and legal issues faced by healthcare practitioners. The course provides a basic overview of laws and legal systems and their application to specific healthcare related situations. The course will also enable students to identify and respond to legal and ethical dilemmas in the professional setting, as well as the skills and resources for addressing them and avoiding potential adverse situations in the exercise of their professional responsibilities. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 095

Drug Screening Policy

Several Health Care facilities affiliated with the College's Health Division are now requiring that students have a negative drug screen prior to beginning clinical/ externship experiences in their facility. In addition, a clinical/ externship facility may require the student to submit and pass random drug screening analysis in order to remain at that facility. Therefore, passing a drug screen will now be considered an essential function for all students participating in the Health Division programs. If a student fails drug screening, retesting occurs within 24 hours of notification of results. Failure to pass a drug screen or refusal to submit to screening will make the student ineligible for clinical placement. Failure and/or refusal for drug screening are grounds for immediate removal from the Health Division program. Students will be provided with the drug screen procedure during the orientation process. All screening will be at the student's own expense. The Work Connection at Holyoke Medical Center has been selected as the Division of Health's exclusive laboratory for student drug testing.

Acceptance to the Medical Assistant Certificate Program will be on a selective basis.

  • Students must be eligible for ENG 101.
  • Prospective students must file an application with the Admissions office.

Once accepted to the program, students are required to attend the Medical Assistant Orientation.

  • All academic MEA courses are offered in the evening, online or hybrid.
  • A grade of C or better in all MEA course work is required.
  • Students are required to have updated physical and immunizations.
  • Students must complete a CORI / SORI screening before externship.
  • Clinical Externships are approximately 25 hours per week (160 total) in facilities with primarily daytime hours.
  • Students who have completed BIO 111 or BIO 217 and BIO 218 with a C or better within the last seven years do not need to take HMC 107.

Please note:

*Uniforms will be required for the following courses: MEA 108, MEA 125, MEA 210.

MEA 220 or MEA 225  is the last course to be taken.

Additional Course Fee: $15.00 Malpractice Insurance (The fee is subject to change.)

Course Sequence

  • First semester:  HTH 114, HMC 103, HMC 104, and HMC 107  
  • Second semester:  MEA 108, MEA 125, MEA 150, MEA 210, and MEA 110
  • Third semester:  MEA 220 or 225 as offered
  • HTH 220 may be taken any semester