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Enrolling in the medical assisting program

The medical assisting core face-to-face program courses start each fall quarter; the hybrid (combination of online and face-to-face courses) program begins each winter quarter. There is an enrollment deadline prior to each program start. Late enrollments may be considered on a space-available basis. Read on to learn how to enroll in the medical assisting program even while in-person services are temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19.

Apply now for acceptance into the on-campus medical assisting program starting fall 2020. For best consideration, submit your complete enrollment packet and related materials by July 10, 2020.

STEP 1 - Apply to Whatcom Community College

Students must be enrolled at WCC and have an active student identification number (SID) in order to enroll in the medical assisting program and pay related fees.

Apply to WCC online or request a WCC application by email at admit@whatcom.edu or by phone 360-383-3001. Once you receive your SID number, proceed to STEP 2.

STEP 2 - Obtain and complete medical assisting program enrollment forms

Download the medical assisting program enrollment form packet or request by email at registration@whatcom.edu or by phone at 360-383-3030.

STEP 3 - Pay enrollment and background check fee

Students must pay the enrollment fee ($25) and Washington State Patrol background check fee ($11) on or before the enrollment deadline.

While in-person services are temporarily not available on Whatcom's campus, fees may be paid by mail. Mail one check for $36 made payable to "Whatcom Community College" to:

WCC Business Office
ATTN: MA Entry Fees
237 W. Kellogg Rd.
Bellingham, WA 98226

Include a completed enrollment fee form (page 1 of the enrollment packet) with your check. Note your SID number and "MA program" in the memo line of your check.

STEP 4 - Submit medical assisting enrollment form and supporting materials by the enrollment deadline

Submit medical assisting program enrollment form, and all required supporting documentation in one complete packet. All materials must be received at the WCC registration/records office by the deadline. While in-person services are temporarily not available, mail your packet to:

Whatcom Community College
MA Program, LDC 102
237 W. Kellogg Rd.
Bellingham, WA 98226

Your packet should include:

  • Completed Medical Assisting Intent to Enroll form
  • Completed Intent to Enroll checklist
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges where you earned credits that may apply to the medical assisting program
  • Receipt for the $11 purchase of a Washington State Patrol background check through the WCC business office
  • Personal statement (see details on application form)

Admission is through a first-come, first-served enrollment process for qualifying students

Admission to the medical assisting program is for qualifying students based upon a first come, first served priority basis and the number of seats available in the program. In addition, please note:

  • All applicants can expect to receive notification of status of enrollment by letter within two to four weeks following the enrollment deadline.
  • If you are not accepted you must re-enroll the following year to be considered for program admission the following year. At this time, you will be expected to submit a new background check and pay the corresponding fee.
  • Applicants may choose to appeal admissions decisions. All appeals will be directed to the dean for workforce education at WCC.

Please note: Entry or enrollment into the medical assisting program does not guarantee students a job placement, nor does it guarantee a practicum placement in Whatcom county. Practicum placements often require successful interviews and background checks. Also, due to increased competition for practicum placements in Washington state, Whatcom Community College cannot guarantee that student practicums will be in the last quarter of the medical assisting program classes.

Additional medical assisting program requirements

Students accepted into to the medical assisting program will need to show documentation that indicates they have begun the required immunization series (immunization records will also satisfy this requirement). The following are needed:

  • Hepatitis B series of three injections
  • Measles, mumps & rubella (MMR) vaccination record (two doses) or titer that demonstrates immunity to each disease
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP) vaccination record (five childhood immunizations) & Td booster required within previous 10 years or DTaP booster with previous two years
  • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccination record (two doses) or titer that demonstrates immunity
  • Influenza vaccination record (must comply with requirement each year)
  • Tuberculin skin test (PPD) (must provide documentation of test results each year); if a student has a positive PPD, student must obtain a chest x-ray and provide WCC with a written statement  regarding the x-ray results

Required immunizations must be completed prior to clinical competencies performed in the lab portions of the medical assisting program, unless otherwise specified by the program coordinator.

The field of medical assisting also requires:

  • a full range of body motion
  • manual and finger dexterity and eye-hand coordination
  • standing and walking for extensive periods of time
  • occasionally lifting and carrying items weighing up to 100 pounds
  • corrected vision and hearing to normal range
  • working under stressful conditions or working irregular hours
  • exposure to communicable diseases or bodily fluids
  • frequent exposure to communicable diseases, toxic substances, medicinal preparations and other conditions common to a clinic environment

Background checks and drug testing

Acceptance into the medical assisting degree or certificate program requires a Washington State Patrol background check to support clinical placements.

Students need to pay a $11 fee to the WCC business office to start the process and submit the receipt with their application. Results of the background check will be provided to the medical assisting program coordinator and all findings will remain confidential to WCC administration. Those students with a negative finding will be required to meet with the program coordinator prior to admittance to discuss possible options. Results of background checks for program applicants are considered valid for six months only.

Students should be aware that some organizations may require drug testing and/or a more extensive background check as a prerequisite to, or condition of, practicum placement. It is the student's responsibility to understand all requirements and the potential impact such requirements may have on their ability to be placed for practicums. These requirements may also be conditions for future employment of the student.