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Medical Assisting Programs

Prepare to begin your career in the medical field with a medical assistant diploma or associates degree.

Enrolling in the Health Sciences program and earning your diploma or associates degree in medical assisting are the first big steps you should take before you can register for the credentialing exams accredited by the NCCA and become a credentialed medical assistant.

About Medical Assisting

Medical assisting is one of the newest and fastest growing healthcare occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career has an annual growth rate of more than 29 percent. Medical assistants work in both the front and the back of the office, and typical duties include assisting physicians in minor surgeries, performing laboratory tests, assessing vital signs, administering medication, operating an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine and performing other therapeutic methods prescribed by physicians.

At Harrison College, you will not only have in-class learning opportunities, but will also be able to enhance your skills in a physician’s office or ambulatory care facility during an externship, known in the industry as a “clinical practicum”. Harrison’s medical assisting programs have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2,000 educational programs in 30 health sciences professions. (Some accreditations are limited to specific campuses. Find more information about our accreditations and memberships.)

Our Medical Assisting Programs

Harrison currently offers a diploma and an associate degree in medical assisting, which prepares students for entry-level positions in the medical field. The associate degree requires students to complete 90 credit hours, while the diploma can be attained in a shorter period of time — just 62 credit hours.

Because the Diploma program is accredited by CAAHEP—you will be eligible to take medical assisting certification exams after completing the program, which further empowers you to find a competitive job. Those interested in the associate's degree must complete the diploma first but earned credits apply towards the required 90 credit hours. 

Medical Assisting Program Goals - The goal of the Medical Assisting program is to prepare competent entry-level Medical Assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Program Objectives

  • Master administrative and clinical procedures performed in an ambulatory (out-patient) care setting
  • Ascertain patient needs and respond by providing appropriate care per physician's orders
  • Exhibit compliance to scope of legal and regulatory boundaries
  • Conduct self in ethical and professional manner while functioning as an integral member of the healthcare team
  • Prepare to take professional credentialing exam and demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning through professional development to ensure up-to-date-knowledge

Harrison College is committed to supporting you while you take these steps toward improving your career and your life. If you are compassionate, have solid interpersonal communication skills, follow policies well and pay attention to detail, one of these programs may be right for you.

Learn more about medical assisting by downloading our Medical Assisting Program sheet.

Program Locations Near You

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What Are Some Factors You Should Consider

Area of Specialization

Medical assisting salaries vary considerably according to the medical field in which you specialize and the diploma or degree that you hold. However, according to a recent survey by the American Association of Medical Assistants, 94 percent of full-time employed medical assistants receive a benefit package from their employer. In addition, the average credentialed medical assistant earns more than those not credentialed.


Our medical assisting programs allow graduates to potentially gain higher wages than high school graduates who have moved into the same position based on only on-the-job training or tenure.

Geographical Considerations

The top five paying states for medical assistants are–in order of rank–Alaska, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Washington and Hawaii. The lowest paying states are not identified.

Above information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average Medical Assistant Salary & Employment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for medical assistants in May 2016 was $31,540. Employment is projected to grow 23 percent from 2014 to 2024.

The medical assisting career field has been around since 1956 but job growth in this sector has risen rapidly since 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physician offices are looking to hire more cross-trained medical assistants who can perform both front- and back-office work, making medical assisting an in-demand field. As a CAAHEP-accredited medical assisting program, Harrison is committed to providing the means for you to earn a degree that leads to a career, not just a job.

Career Certification

With the rise in demand for medical assistants, various organizations have attempted to standardize competency in the medical assisting career. To that end, graduates of one of the medical assistant programs are eligible to be certified by one of four organizations. Certification preference sometimes varies by region and practice.


Harrison College is proud to present the five-year weighted average for student retention in the Medical Assisting program. The data for the campuses listed below are based on the most recent Annual Report submitted to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).  The five year weighted averages for each campus well exceed the 60% threshold.

Five Year Average Student Retention Rate
Campus >=60% Threshold
Anderson, IN 75%
Columbus, IN 83%
Columbus, OH 92%
Evansville, IN 86%
Fort Wayne, IN 85%
Indianapolis-Downtown 74%
Indianapolis-East 79%
Lafayette, IN 86%
Terre Haute, IN 86%

Certification Exam Pass Rates

The Harrison Medical Assisting program graduates had a 72 percent total pass rate on the CMA, RMA and NCMA certification exams for the 2014 ARF annual report, well exceeding the minimum threshold of 60 percent.

Campus Certification Exam Pass Rate
Anderson, IN 75%
Columbus, IN 75%
Columbus, OH 67%
Evansville, IN 71%
Fort Wayne, IN 67%
Indianapolis-Downtown 80%
Indianapolis-East 52%
Lafayette, IN 67%
Online 75%
Terre Haute, IN 100%

View potential medical assisting diploma and degree job titles.

Gainful Employment Information - Diploma Program

Gainful Employment Information - Associate Degree Program

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