Medical Administrative Assistant FAQs

Do I need a high school diploma to register for this program?

Although it's not necessary to possess a high school diploma or equivalent in order to register for this program, it is recommended that you complete a high school course of study prior to enrolling, as it’s likely to be required by potential employers. Click here to see how DCC can assist you with your high school equivalent.

Do I need to have prior experience to register for this program?

No prior experience necessary. However, any type of prior experience in the medical or business field is helpful.

Are there any pre-admission or testing requirements?

There are no pre-admission or testing requirements for this program.

How do I register for this program?

Registration can be done in person at either Dutchess main campus or Dutchess South, online, or by phone with a credit card.  

How much time outside of class is required for reading and homework each week?

It is recommended that students spend at least 10-15 hours completing homework assignments and studying the materials outside the classroom to reinforce lectures and help grasp concepts. Doing so will help the student to be more successful in the class as well as out in the workforce. 

How important is attendance?

Attendance is extremely important, as it, along with class participation, accounts for 50% of the overall grade.

If I decide I want to be more clinical than administrative what classes do you recommend?

Clinical work entails direct patient contact and care. Additional courses to move you in this direction would be EKG, Laboratory Technician, CPR and BLS. Clinical medical assistants require a separate certification from the MAA.

I have no office experience. What other classes can I take to help improve my skills?

Working in the medical office is just like any other business. You will need excellent computer skills and some experience working with basic word processing. If you have limited or no computer skills it is recommended that you take a basic computer course as well as Microsoft Office.  



What is the certifying agency?

Students will earn a certificate of completion from DCC upon completion of the program. In addition, passing the program qualifies the student to be eligible to take the National Healthcareers Association (NHA) certification exam.  

What are the costs for the certification exam?

$115, but this is subject to change.

Do you offer the certification exam on campus?

Yes, the NHA is offered at the end of each semester at DCC. 

If not, where is the exam offered?

If students are not able to take the exam when scheduled at DCC, they have the option to take it at any other location sponsored by the NHA. The exam dates, times, and locations can be obtained from the NHA website (www.nhanow.com). 

Is certification necessary to work in the industry?

Certification is not necessary to find work as a Medical Administrative Assistant, however most facilities and medical offices will hire persons with the certification to ensure that they are capable of doing the work requirements. 

Will I have to recertify my NHA certificate? How often?

Yes, you will be required to re-certify every two years. NHA will notify you when it is time for you to recertify.

Will there be additional training requirements after I am certified?

There are no additional training requirements after certified unless the student chooses to move on to specialized positions beyond the administrative aspect. Those would include classes for medical billing and coding or for more clinical approach EKG, CPR, Lab technician. To enhance administrative skills students are encouraged to take computer courses or Microsoft Office courses. 

Do you offer a clinical/ externship?

Yes. A 40-hour externship at a local healthcare provider will be available for students. To qualify, students must be recommended by instructor and interview with administration prior to placement. In some cases, additional skills-training requirements may be required. Dates and times will vary depending on location and availability. All students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.

Is there an additional tuition cost for the externship?

No, the externship option is included in the tuition cost.