Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically educated to work in ambulatory settings performing administrative and clinical duties. The practice of medical assisting directly influences the public's health and well-being and requires mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession.
Course work includes instruction in scheduling appointments, coding and processing insurance accounts, billing, collections, computer operations, assisting with examinations/treatments, performing routine laboratory procedures, electrocardiography, supervised medication administration and ethical/legal issues associated with patient care.
Employment opportunities include physicians' offices, health maintenance organizations, health departments and hospitals. Graduates of CAAHEP-accredited medical assisting programs may be eligible to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants' Certification Examination to become Certified Medical Assistants.
The Gaston College Medical Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
Program Learning Outcomes
- Communicate effectively as a health care professional to a diverse population.
- Perform administrative competencies related to the practice of medical assisting utilizing necessary computer applications when applicable.
- Perform clinical competencies related to the practice of medical assisting.
- Perform laboratory procedures related to the physician's office laboratory.
- Implement legal and ethical concepts in the medical office setting.
- Demonstrate knowledge of biological sciences, medical terminology and disease processes.
- Demonstrate knowledge of management skills relevant to the medical office setting.
- Apply clinical, administrative and laboratory skills in the office setting and function as an entry-level health care professional.
Course Selection Information
Students, to help you progress in your degree program, take prerequisite courses along with English and Math early in your academic career. This will align you for greater success in completing your program of study. Click on the courses listed below to ensure you are aware of prerequisites. The order shown below under the student program priorities is a guide.
Student Program Priorities:
- MED 110 , OST 130 , BIO 161
Students applying for admission to the Gaston College Medical Assisting Program MUST meet all Gaston College admission requirements for GENERAL ADMISSION to the college. Admission to the general college does not guarantee admission to the Medical Assisting Program.
To be eligible to participate in the selective admission process, an applicant must complete the following application steps:
- Complete Residency Determination
- Submit a Gaston College application
- Apply for financial aid
- Meet with an advisor and/or Attend an information session
- Submit official high school (and college, if applicable) transcripts
- Provide proof of course placement requirements
Students must demonstrate readiness for College level reading and math. Students can demonstrate that readiness in the following ways:
- Provide proof of unweighted US High School GPA of 2.8 or higher within the last ten years.
- Provide proof of an associate or bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Provide proof of satisfactory scores on RISE, ACT, SAT, GED, NCDAP, COMPASS, ASSET or ACUPLACER within the last ten years.
Students who do not have recent high school transcripts or test scores within the past 10 years should prepare to take the placement test and demonstrate:
Mastery on RISE (Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence) English placement Tier 2 and RISE Math placement Tier 1; OR successfully complete ENG 002 through TIER 2 (grade of P2) and MAT 003 through Tier 1 (grade of P1).
Admission Requirements to the Medical Assisting Program
- Complete and submit a Gaston College Medical Assisting Program Application. Applications can be requested through the Medical Assisting Office (704.922.6377) or online at Gaston College/Health and Human Services/Medical Assisting/Admission Requirements. Applicants are advised to apply early.
- Applicants must have a minimum composite score of 58 on the ATI TEAS exam to receive full acceptance into the Medical Assisting Program. NOTE: A minimum composite score of 17 on the ACT or a minimum composite score of 830 on the SAT can be accepted in place of the ATI TEAS score. ATI TEAS/ACT/SAT scores must be current within five (5) years from the date of program admission. Students can take ATI TEAS once every 30 days in order to reach their desired score. Scores will not be accepted if the test was taken at a different ATI TEAS testing site within 30 days of a ATI TEAS test attempt. Applicants with an associate's or higher college degree will have the ATI TEAS examination waived with proof of graduation from an accredited college.
- Applicants must first complete any identified developmental courses in the areas of Math, English and/or Reading in order to receive acceptance into the Medical Assisting Program.
- An overall GPA of at least 2.0 in college level coursework taken and a minimum grade of "C" for related courses.
Qualified applicants will be contacted for an admission interview by the Medical Assisting Department after receipt of the Medical Assisting Program application. Acceptance letters will be mailed to qualified applicants after the admission interview and verification of files being complete through Gaston College (ATI TEAS/ACT/SAT scores, college placement test scores and transcripts). Students who have not met all of the requirements for full admission may still be considered for possible conditional acceptance or parallel entry. Conditional Acceptance - To be considered for conditional acceptance students must have an ATI TEAS score of 55 or an ACT score of 16 or an SAT score of 780, have any identified developmental courses completed, and an overall GPA of at least a 2.0 in college level coursework. Students admitted on conditional acceptance will roll to full acceptance after passing all of their first semester courses. If students admitted on conditional acceptance do not pass all their first semester courses, they will not be allowed to progress in the program. Students admitted on conditional acceptance who do not achieve full acceptance and exit the program will be required to reapply and meet full acceptance requirements if wanting to re-enter the program. Parallel Entry (Not An Acceptance) - A student on parallel entry will be allowed to take Medical Assisting courses for one semester but must achieve full acceptance requirements (ATI TEAS score of 58 or ACT score of 17 or an SAT score of 830, have any identified developmental courses completed and an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in college level coursework) by the end of the semester in order to roll to full acceptance and progress in the program. Students on parallel entry who do not achieve full acceptance and exit the program will be required to reapply and meet full acceptance requirements if wanting to re-enter the program. Individuals not accepted into the Medical Assisting Program must reapply to be considered for admission to the next class. Students reapplying for admission must submit a new application and meet the admission requirements current at the time of their application. Conditional acceptances are not granted for readmissions.
Additional Program Requirements
In addition to maintaining a 2.0 GPA, applicants accepted into the Medical Assisting program must meet the following requirements in order to enroll and continue in medical assisting courses:
- Earn a minimum grade of "B" 80% in ALL medical assisting curriculum courses. In "MED" prefix courses that have a lab component, students must receive a passing grade in both theory and classroom skills procedures in order to pass the course and progress in the program. The Medical Assisting Program does not grant credit for experiential learning. Students may challenge certain classes for credit by exam, if approved by the appropriate faculty member.
- Complete the required keyboarding course for the Medical Assisting Program, OST 130 Comprehensive Keyboarding, with a minimum grade of "C" by the end of the fall semester.
- Complete all related courses, those that do not have the "MED" prefix, prior to entering the third (last) semester of the program.
- A completed Gaston College Health and Human Services Student Medical form documenting satisfactory emotional and physical health. This is required by the due date stated in the applicant's admission letter.
- Hold a current Adult, Infant and Child CPR Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers certification through the American Heart Association.
- Students will be required to submit documentation of additional non-academic criteria such as, but not limited to, criminal background checks, urine drug testing, and proof of immunizations. Students are to complete these requirements by registering and paying a fee to a third-party vendor. Instructions will be provided by the compliance specialist.
- Professional liability insurance (malpractice insurance). This insurance is arranged through the Gaston College Business Office.
Clinical agencies reserve the right to deny a student access to the facility based on failure to meet the above requirements. If a student is denied access to any clinical agency, the student will be not be allowed to continue in the Medical Assisting program.
*Students participating in MED 260 Clinical Externship may not receive compensation/payment for their work in a medical facility while functioning as a student extern. This includes, but is not limited to: travel allowance, meal allowance or any other perk, such as gifts, gift cards that involves the exchange of funds.