What Will You Become?
Iowa Western Community College

Medical Assistant

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall Only
Program Length: 2 Semesters, 1 Summer
Award: Diploma
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) & Medical Assistant Education Review Board (MAERB)

Average Class Size: 18
Program Capacity: 24
Part-Time or Full-Time: Both
Program Courses Offered: Day
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus

About the Program

The fast-paced world of medicine requires the best training available, and you can get that with Iowa Western’s Medical Assistant program. You’ll leave Iowa Western prepared to become an administrative and clinical assistant in physicians’ offices. Graduates of this program are awarded a diploma and become eligible to take the American Association of Medical Assistants examination to become a Certified Medical Assistant.

Iowa Western Community College's Medical Assistant Program's goal to prepare competency entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. In this program, you will participate in service learning projects including administering flu shots, providing health screenings, and organizing fundraising efforts for a non-profit organization of their choice. Our students also complete externships and job shadowing. Alegent Health, Methodist Health System, and many local physicians’ offices are among those who have hired Iowa Western graduates.

The Medical Assistant Program at Iowa Western Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assistant Education Review Board (MAERB).

Career Information

The Medical Assistant program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the ten-month diploma. Medical Assistants perform administrative and clinical procedures that vary from office to office, depending on office location, size, and specialty. Administrative duties may include answering phones, greeting patients, updating and filing medical records, and completing insurance forms. Clinical duties may include taking medical histories, recording vital signs, preparing patients for procedures, and collecting patient specimens. Upon graduation of the program students are eligible to take the nationally recognized certification examination to become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). The employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to increase by 35.4% through the year 2016.

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge appropriate to CLIA waived tests/procedures.
  • Abstract pertinent data from medical records and maintain an accurate medical record in hard and electronic format.
  • Conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner meeting HIPAA standards.
  • Accurately perform appropriate diagnostic and medical procedures.
  • Correctly compare and contrast organ/body functions, medical terminology, and identify medications to the disease process of the patient.

Average: $15.98
Entry Level: $12.90
Experienced: $20.06

* Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database.


* The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. The information provided here describes the graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information regarding gainful employment for the most recent academic year (as of July 1).