Medical Assistant helping a patient

Medical Assisting

Medical Assisting

Get SMC’s renowned health care education and a certificate that prepares you for a fulfilling job.

If you are looking for a career in the health care industry that offers good pay, stability, a variety of work setting options, and the chance for advancement, a certificate in medical assisting may be the perfect fit for you.

  • About the Medical Assisting Certificate

    Medical assistants are specially-trained healthcare professionals who work closely with patients and doctors to keep medical clinics and offices running smoothly. They serve an important role in health organizations, keeping patient’s files organized and accessible and performing basic procedures like drawing blood. Your medical assisting education will prepare you to carry out the duties of an entry-level medical assistant.

    In this program, you’ll learn how to perform clinical, diagnostic, and lab procedures and get an introduction to pharmacology, medical terminology, diseases, insurance claims processing, and office administration. All the while you’ll gain practice performing job duties such as keeping patients’ records and taking blood pressure.

    Before graduating, you’ll round-out your education and solidify your skills through hands-on clinical training, so you finish the program confident in your skills and ready to begin a steady career.

    This program is part of the EPIC (Educational Programs in Collaboration) program. Students pursuing this Certificate in Medical Assisting will complete BIOL 110, SPEE 104, and HEED 101 at their “degree-granting” institution (see * below) and the other nine (9) courses through Southwestern Michigan College, the “provider” college. The nine courses offered through the provider college are all online through the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) platform and are charged at a per credit hour rate established by EPiC. This rate differs from the Southwestern Michigan College tuition rate. For 2023-2024, this EPIC rate is $204 per credit hour with a $206 flat rate fee per course.

    The three courses offered through the degree-granting institution are charged at the rate set by that institution and offered in the format available at that institution. For SMC students, that rate would be the set contact hour rate posted on the SMC website. For more information, contact the Academic Advising and Resource Center at 269-782-1303 or 

  • What You’ll Learn

    View the curriculum guide for the Certificate in Medical Assisting.

    Please note, this program can only be started in the fall.

  • What Can I Do With a Medical Assisting Certificate?

    Medical assistants carry out both administrative and clinical duties under the direction of a physician in a variety of types of health care facilities.

    Administrative/office duties may include answering phones, maintaining patient records, scheduling appointments, filling out insurance forms, arranging hospital admissions or lab services, handling billing and bookkeeping, and other tasks.

    Clinical duties may include taking medical histories, taking and recording vital signs, explaining procedures to patients and preparing them for exams, assisting physicians during exams, collecting lab specimens and performing basic tests, instructing patients about medications and diets, taking electrocardiograms, and more.

    Medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing occupations. A 14% job growth is expected in coming years.

    Careers and Salaries
    Career Option Salary
    Medical Assistant: $42,000

    2023 median pay. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nursing and Health Services Building


The Nursing and Health Education Building reopened in 2019 following a $9.6 million renovation. It is equipped with state-of-the-art skill and simulation labs to train students for real-world scenarios.