Medical Assistant, Certificate I

Medical Assistant

Certificate I

Program Overview

The Medical Assistant is a trained health care professional that is at the forefront of providing effective and efficient health care to patients in a variety of ambulatory health care settings such as physician's offices and clinics.   The Medical Assistant is cross-trained in medical administrative and clinical duties necessary to maintain an efficient professional medical facility including: 

  • Update patient records
  • Complete insurance paperwork (billing and coding)
  • Schedule patients
  • Answer telephones
  • Perform EKG
  • Phlebotomy
  • Administer injections
  • Obtain vital signs
  • Change dressings
  • Remove stitches
  • Wound care
  • Prepare patients for procedures
  • Perform tests (vision, hearing)
  • Collect specimen


This in-demand occupation offers an expansive scope of healthcare and according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical assistants is projected to grow much faster than average for all occupations. 

 The Medical Assistant Certificate is a one-year program offering students entry-level training in medical office and clinical training. Students receive hands-on training with local providers in semester 1 and semester 2 of the program. Upon completion of the program, eligible students may apply for graduation from Laredo College and exit the program with a Certificate 1 in Medical Assisting.


Program Mission

The mission of the Medical Assistant Program is to provide the education where by studens will obtain the knowledge (cognitive), skills (psychomotor), and professional characteristics (affective) of an entry-level medical assistant that will positively impact their patients, community, and profession upon graduation. 


Career and Transfer Opportunities

Medical Assistants with an Associate of Applied Science degree can transfer core courses to complete a Bachelor Degree from:

  • Laredo College: Bachelor of Organizational Leadership - Medical Assistant. Source: Laredo College
  • Texas A & M International University: Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS). Source: TAMIU
  • South Texas College: Bachelor of Applied Technology in Medical and Health Sciences Management. Source: South Texas College
  • Texas Tech University- Health Sciences Center: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management. Source: Texas Tech University
  • University of Texas- RGV: Bachelor of Applied Technology in Health Services Technology (BAT HST). Source: UTRGV 

Program Costs

The approximate cost of the one-year program for tuition, books, fees, and miscellaneous costs is $5,624 for in-district students, $7,224 for out-district students, and $8,888 for out-of-state students. The estimated cost of out-of-town room/travel for clinical affiliations is approxicmately $2,000 to $2,500. Please refer to the MA Handbook LC catalog for information. Students seeking financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Center at either campus for more information.


Clinical Education


The student is assigned to an ambulatory health care office or clinic to develop clinical skills under the supervision of assigned facility staff.  The student must master technical standards that represent the essential requirements of a successful Medical Assistant.  Applicants may be required to work with clients who speak Spanish. 

Click on Medical Assistant Guided Pathway to download the curriculum guide.

 Please note:  Students must maintain a grade of "C" or better in all coursework and be in compliance with all program, institutional, and clinical site policies and procedures in order to progress through the curriculum.


Students who graduate with a Certificate 1 in Medical Assistant are eligible to earn the following certifications from the American Medical Certification Association (AMCA):

  • Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (MAAC)
  • Medical Assistant Certification (MAC)


Marketable Skills

Medical Assistant students also develop marketable skills that are valued by employers such as:

  • Active Listening
  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Attention to Detail
  • Critical Thinking
  • Multitasking
  • Customer Service
  • Problem Solving



Community members may submit concerns or complaints about Laredo College's MA Program, Faculty, students, or program graduates. Comments must be submitted by completing the Complaint Referral Form. Completed forms should be emailed to


*Neither the Board nor any College employee shall unlawfully retaliate against any member of the general public for bringing a concern or complaint.


Campus Location

Laredo College South Campus

College of Health Sciences

5500 South Zapata Highway

Laredo, TX 78046


For additional information, students may contact Graciela Y. Gonzales at 956-721-5261 or via email



 Admission Criteria

MAA Continuing Education Program Students

Students transitioning from the MAA Continuing Education Program must submit an application via the online portal  Admittance to the MA program is on a conditional basis pending results of the following:

Successful completion of the Medical Administrative Assistant Program – Continuing Education (Passing)

Pass the MAA national certification exam (NHA)

Pass the following courses with a “C” or better:

a. MDCA 1160 Clinical 1 – Clinical/Medical Assistant Clinical
b. HPRS 1204 Basic Health Professional Skills


 All Other Students:

1. Meet Laredo College criteria set forth in the college catalog.

2. If pursuing an AAS degree, the student must be college-ready as per Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirement.

3. Have an overall GPA and prerequisite GPA of 2.5 or greater.

4. Have successfully completed the prerequisite courses with a "C" or better prior to applying to the program: 
                    a. MDCA 1313 Medical Terminology
                    b. MDCA 1409 Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Assistants

5. Submit a complete application package through the online portal for Fall admission by the dealine. Applications are accepted on March 1st through the last Thursday in May.  

6. Students are expected to be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking the English language.

7. Be in good standing at Laredo College. 

Students are responsible for verifying that all documents sent via email were received by our office.  Submitting your application packet does NOT guarantee admission into the program. 


 Selection Process

    1.The MA review committee will screen all applications to ensure that the applications meet the criteria as stated in the admissions criteria section above.

    2. Qualified applicants who meet the required GPA and completed all prerequisite courses as described in the admission criteria section above will be invited to sit for an interview.

    3. Admission into the MA program is based on achieving a minimum of 60% of total percentage points awarded from 100% of the following: 

            Overall GPA                 45%
           Prerequisite GPA           30%
           Essay questionnaire      15%
           Skill                            10%
           Total                          100%

     4. Once students are evaluated applicants will be ranked from highest percentage points earned from the GPA, prerequisite courses, essay questionnaire, and skill. 

     5. Applicants will be notified through Laredo College's PasPort email address with program admission status by late June. 

     6. A maximum of 20 students will be accepted. Due to program size limitations, a number of applicants who meet the program admissions requirements may not be admitted to the program.  Applicants should note that although the MA program has placement for up to 20 students, only those who meet cut-off percentage points of 60% will be admitted each fall semester. 

     7. Qualified applicants selected must attend a mandatory information session in July.  Failure to attend and/or display unprofessional behavior during the mandatory information session disqualifies the candidate from moving forward in the application process.  

     8. Students who are not selected must reapply the following spring and complete all admission criteria as described in the Admissions Criteria Section and Selection Process section above.


Pre-Req, Background Info/Vaccines/Clinical Requirements/Etc.




A student accepted into the Medical Assistant Program must submit the following prior to the first day of class to complete the application process (the student is responsible for all fees associated with these procedures).

  1. A physical exam by a U.S. physician or nurse practitioner of choice within 45 days prior to the first day of class. Please click on Physical Examination Form  to download the form.
  2. Proof of Immunization: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella, Tetanus-Diphtheria Pertussis (Tdap), Bacterial Meningitis (S. B. No. 62 requires that all college students under the age of 22 must receive the Bacterial Meningitis vaccine. If you are 21 or under, you may request an exemption form in the mail from the Texas Department of State Health Services, annual flu vaccine.
  3. TB Skin test (annual) or chest x-ray (every two years). Please click on Immunization form to download the form.
  4. American Heart Association BLS Healthcare Provider CPR Certification
  5. Negative Criminal background check: Laredo Police Department and Webb County
  6. Negative ten-panel drug screen

The MA Program adheres to the Equal Educational Opportunity Policy as listed in the LC Manual of Policy FA (LEGAL). Click LC Manual of Policy to read the policy.


 Program Student Handbook

Click on 2023-2024 Medical Assistant Student Handbook to download and read the program handbook. 




Plan of Study

Recommended Course Sequence Semesters Offered Credit Hours
MDCA 1313 – Medical Terminology Fall, Spring Summer I & II 3
MDCA 1409 – Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Assistants1 Fall, Spring Summer I & II 4
First Semester - Fall Admission
MDCA 1310 – Medical Assistant Interpersonal & Communication Skills Fall 3
MDCA 1321 – Administrative Procedures Fall 3
MDCA 1343 – Medical Insurance Fall 3
MDCA 1160 – Clinical I – Medical/Clinical Assistant Fall 1
HPRS 1204 – Basic Health Profession Skills Fall 2
Second Semester – Spring
MDCA 1302 – Human Disease/Pathophysiology Spring 3
MDCA 1305 – Medical Law and Ethics Spring 3
MDCA 1417 – Procedures in a Clinical Setting Spring 4
MDCA 1161 – Clinical II – Medical/Clinical Assistant Spring 1
HPRS 1210 – Introduction to Pharmacology Spring 2
1. Completion of BIOL 2301, BIOL 2101, & BIOL 2302, BIOL 2102 will satisfy this requirement.

Degree Plans might change in later catalogs. Be sure to consult with your advisor if you are continuing on an older degree plan.