As you begin your search for the right medical assistant school, hopefully you have taken the time to determine what type of training program you want. If you haven’t completed this important task, take a look at Medical Assistant Programs – How to Evaluate. This will give you key decisions you need to make before you can select the school you want.
We’ll assume for now that you have determined the type of program that will best fit your needs. Now it’s time to start searching for specific schools that meet your criteria and then get more information about those that look interesting.
Getting a list of Candidate Schools
Here is any easy search form to begin your school search.
- Fill in your zip code.
- Select a type of degree from the drop down menu.
- Select whether you want to see just campus programs, just online programs or both.
- Then click NEXT
You will want to do some research on any school you might be interested in. You want to find out as much as you can about the school and the particular program you are interested in. One of the most important things to determine is the program’s accreditation. Try to find out the number of students currently in the program.
Many times the school will publish the completion or graduation rate for a particular program. This is important information. You may also be able to get some statistics on job placements after graduation etc.
If you are looking for a campus program go and visit each school. Get a feel for what the campus is like. Even if this is a community college or a downtown campus there is no substitute for actually seeing what the daily environment will be like. If you can, ask to visit a class that is session. This will give you a good feel for the type of classroom environment you can expect.
Check out the various bulletin boards around the campus to get a feel for the kinds of activities that are going on. It will give you a sense of student activities and how involved students are in campus activities.
Make sure you get a detailed listing of the courses that are offered including required courses and electives for the program you are considering. This will give you a way to compare the scope and depth of the program among different schools. Comparing curricula will give a sense of how comprehensive a program is. The number of hours required in various subject matter areas will tell you the areas of emphasis that one program has compared to another.
Depending on your background you may be interested in advanced placement opportunities. If there is opportunity to get credit for previous academic credit or work experience you may want to take advantage of that.
Certainly the cost of the program is a key factor to evaluate. And don’t forget to find out about any tuition assistance programs that might be available. You will want to get an estimate of the other costs you will incur such as cost of daily commuting, books and supplies, lab costs etc. These can all add up quickly so get as complete a list as you can.
Getting some of this information might take a little time and effort. But it will be worth it in the long run. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get answers to them all. Make some phone calls to verify what you have been told or have read about. After all it’s your career.