Medical assisting is a fast growing career nation-wide. Because of the popularity, it’s fairly easy to find medical assisting schools close to home. Arkansas provides great opportunity for on-campus training at three schools throughout the state. If one of the three schools is not close to your home, there are plenty of online medical assistant schools to enroll in in Arkansas. Take your time to thoroughly investigate any school and program before committing to one. Finding the right program for you can make all the difference in starting your career as an MA.
Be sure to ask each school
- Tuition fees – take into account books and materials, and fees.
- Make sure that the school is accredited – Medical assisting programs that are not accredited by an agency may not be closely regulated for strong standards and ethics. We recommend a school with a proven track record of quality education and accreditation. Graduates of non-accredited programs are often not able to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam.
- Graduation rates and job placement rates – don’t spend your time nor money on a school that won’t help place you in a job.
- Staff qualifications – including teaching experience.
Bring a list of questions to ask each school that you visit.
Medical Assisting Schools in Arkansas
1) Arkansas Tech University
Location: Russellville, Arkansas.
Degree offered: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) degree in Medical Assisting.
The program lasts 24 months and covers both core and elective medical assisting courses. Students are required to take biology, communications, math and other core classes, in the first 12 months of enrollment. The next 12 months include core courses, such as laboratory, clinical and hands-on instruction. Students are required to complete an externship in the second year. Acceptance into the medical assisting program is highly competitive and students are advised to be well prepared to enter the program. Once admitted, students must complete the first year with grades of ‘C’ or higher in order to progress into the second year of the program. ATU only accepts 12 students per year.
Arkansas Tech University offers a well-rounded medical assisting program in which graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce. Arkansas Tech is accredited. Graduates of the medical assisting program are able to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam through the American Association of Medical Assistants.
2) Heritage College
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Heritage offers a one year degree in Medical Assisting, but with a bonus; Students have the option to complete a limited scope radiology course which permits them to take limited X-rays in a medical office. This is an exciting addition to medical assisting practice and one that is not often offered during formal medical assistant training. In rural areas, medical assistants are often required to perform many roles at once: office manager, medical records clerk, laboratory assistant, clinical assistant, and in some clinics, X-ray technician. While students are not able to sit for radiology technician certification exams, graduates will be qualified to take basic X-rays. Heritage provides an added leg-up for students looking to work in rural medicine.
Heritage College states a 100% job placement rate for medical assistants who successfully complete the program. Students are also able to sit for the CMA exam upon graduation. The program typically takes about a year to complete and costs about $18,000.
3) Bryan College
Bryan College is located in Rogers, Arkansas. It offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Medical Assisting, which can be completed in about 80 weeks, according to the college. Students take a mixture of general courses and core medical classes. Some medical assisting classes are offered online, with the remainder of the curriculum offered in a traditional classroom. Students complete an externship, which helps prepare graduates for employment in clinics, outpatient centers and chiropractic offices. Bryan College reports a 100% job placement rate for graduation and the program costs about $33,000.