Thursday, January 22, 2015

Expect changes next year in Kansas City Kansas Community College's Medical Assistant Program

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Changes are coming to the Kansas City Kansas Community College Medical Assistant Program, and those changes will allow even more students to enroll in the growing program.

Starting with the 2015-16 academic year, 20 students will be accepted into the Medical Assistant Program’s Day session and 15 additional students will be accepted into the newly created night program.

Then, in Spring 2016, an additional 20 students will be accepted into a second day session. Currently, enrollment for the program has only been opened once a year to 20 students.

“We needed to look at expanding the program due to the high demand of students wanting in the program,” said Timothy Doerr, program coordinator. “In the last two years, we have lost 20-30 students because we only had so many slots available. It is definitely one of the fastest growing allied health professions right now.”

The 12-18 month certificate program helps students to gain the necessary skills needed to work in a clinical or administrative position. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the annual median salary for medical assistants was $28,860 in 2010 with the top 10 percent earning more than $40,000 each year.

In addition, employment is expected to grow by 31 percent this decade as doctors turn over more of the clinical and administrative responsibilities to medical assistants.

The program is recognized by two of the National Certification groups as a recognized training program - The American Medical Technologist (AMT) and the National Healthcareers Association (NHA).

KCKCC’s program will move to 39 credit hours this fall, which includes a required externship. This is a change from the current 41 required credit hours.

The change is being made to address previous alignment issues. In addition, program staff will be going through the accreditation process over the next year. If successful, KCKCC’s Medical Assistant program would be one of two in the Kansas City area with accreditation.

Another big change to KCKCC’s program this fall is admission. Currently, the Medical Assistant Program has an open admission policy. However, beginning next fall, students will be selected through an application process.

In addition to meeting admission requirements to KCKCC, students must have a high school diploma or GED, take the COMPASS placement test and earn a reading score of at least 65, have taken at least 15 credit hours of college-level course work with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and participate in a brief interview.

For those students with less than 15 hours of prior college course work, a high school diploma and a high school GPA of at least 2.5 can be used.

Along with the application, references and official copies of high school and/or college transcripts must be submitted. Applications are due April 20 and interviews will be conducted the week of May 11. Entrance notifications will be made June 22 to 30.

“In the past, admission was basically first come, first accepted. We were not necessarily getting some of the most successful students into our program, so a few weeks in, we would have students drop out of the program,” Doerr said. “Changing the admission process will allow us to better make sure that the students in the program will stay with the program.”

There are three Open House events scheduled in the next few months to help potential students learn about the Medical Assistant Program and to help with the admission process.

Dates include:

  • Jan. 29 – 4 to 5:30 p.m. at KCKCC-TEC
  • Feb. 25 – 4 to 5:30 p.m. at KCKCC-TEC
  • March 25 – 4 to 5:30 p.m. at KCKCC-TEC

“We had 70 percent of our students take the national certification exam with 100 percent of those passing. Certification is not necessarily required, but a lot of employers want it,” Doerr said. “Another note is that our program is one of the most economical in the area.”

For more information about KCKCC’s Medical Assistant Program, call 913-288-7861 or email Timothy Doerr directly at Those interested in the program can get an application at KCKCC-TEC, 6565 State Ave.