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Program Information



Approx. Cost

Approx. Length
2 semesters

available but not required for

Al H A010, Al H A111

 & Bio A221 

Program Mission
The mission of the medical assisting department is to provide quality instruction in medical assisting leading to a certificate of Achievement in Medical Assisting - CC​MA Eligible with an option of a Medical Assisting Associate of Science Degree.


 The Medical Assisting staff is committed to ensuring that the students’ educational experience provides the necessary medical Assisting skill competencies required for entry-level employment in a medical office, clinic, or related health care facility, and the competencies required to pass the certification examination sponsored by the  California Certifying Board of Medical Assistants (CCBMA) examination.

Description of job for which program prepares students

To obtain employment in a physician’s office or related out-patient facility performing administrative and/or clinical skills.  Students will develop the entry-level competencies required by the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Prerequisite Courses: 

q  Bio A221: Human Anatomy and Physiology (4 u)
q  Al H A010: Health Occupations (.5 u) (on OCC campus only)
q  Al H A111: Medical Terminology (3 u)


Associate of Science Degree
Students may receive a Certificate of Achievement in Medical Assisting-CCMA Eligible or an Associate of Science Degree.


Does the program transfer?

Many units of the may transfer to degrees in Health Science, Community Health, or Health Care Administration. You will need to consult a transfer counselor in Watson Hall to verify the transfer status pertaining to your particular situation.

Procedure for program admittance

All students must complete the course Allied Health A010 – Health Occupations in order to apply to the program.  Students are selected and admitted to the program on a first come, first serve basis following completion of Allied Health A010. Students must be admitted to the program in order to enroll in any MA class

Program start

The program starts in the fall semester every year.  All classes must be taken in sequence as listed in the college catalog.

Employment possibilities upon program completion 

Medical offices, clinics, laboratories, out-patient facilities, business offices, medical-surgical sales, computer companies, military


Starting salary range: $12 -$15/hour depending upon position, employer and location.

Length of program

One year: Fall and spring semesters.

Spaces available


Background checks
All students will be required to submit an application for pre-clinical background/drug screen check. The background check will include County Criminal Records (past 7 years), Residency History Search, Social Security Alert, Nationwide Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Registry (OIG/GSA), Nationwide Sexual Offender Registry and a California DMV report. The drug screening will include THC, cocaine, opiates, PCP, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methaqualone, propoxyphene and methadone. If requested by the clinical site, the results of the background/drug checks must be provided to them by the student.

Clinical requirements

The program requires that students participate in scheduled course clinical experience concurrent with classroom courses. Clinical assignments provide students with hands-on application of knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and laboratory courses at OCC contracted hospitals, medical centers, and/or outpatient facilities.  It is the responsibility of each student to provide his or her own transportation to assigned clinical sites.

 Just prior to entry into clinical, students are required to complete/obtain: 

    q  A physical examination

    q  Criminal background check clearance

    q  CPR, HIPAA training, Blood borne pathogen training provided through Al H 115

    q  Student liability insurance


Students must adhere to appropriate required dress code which include: duty shoes, clinical uniform and a laboratory coat, and other program specific requirements which will be addressed on the first day of class.

Clinical sites may require drug testing or other blood work.  There may be exposure to hazardous materials or pathogens in the clinical setting.  Students will adhere to all safety and precautionary measures.  The student receives no financial compensation for clinical experience, but does receive course units as a required class in the program.


Employment Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Medical Assisting is one of the fastest growing fields in the medical industry expected to experience a quicker-than-average rate of growth.  In 2006, there were 417,000 Medical Assistants in the U.S. work force, but that number is expected to rise to 565,000 by 2016, representing a 35% increase.


Graduates from the Orange Coast College Medical Assisting program are eligible to sit for the California Certifying Board of Medical Assistants (CCBMA) examination.  There are three components of the exam:

  1. Basic
  2. Administrative
  3. Clinical

Contact information
Lynne Cottrell, MSN, RN, PHN, CCMA(AAMA) ​Medical Assisting Program Coordinator
Office: Al H Sc 208A
Phone: 714-432-5658 

Caryn Plum, Allied Health Advisor

Office: CS&D 101C

714-432-5702 appts

Make a Counseling Appointment on-line.



Allied Health Programs Assistant
Alexia Wood