Medical Assisting

Sandburg offers a medical assisting certificate and degree that prepare students to perform administrative, clinical and laboratory duties in a variety of healthcare settings as competent entry-level medical assistants.

Medical assistants are one of the fastest-growing healthcare occupations. Their administrative responsibilities may include front-office reception, billing, bookkeeping, basic correspondence and scheduling of appointments. Clinical duties include taking medical histories, recording vital signs, collecting laboratory specimens, performing basic laboratory tests, taking electrocardiograms, and assisting the physician during the examination and treatment of patients.

Pathways to other programs

Medical assistants can move into our other health programs:

Practical Nursing — LPN

Associate Degree Nursing — RN

Paramedic — EMS

Radiologic Technology


Admission requirements for the medical assisting program

If you're interested in this program, you must meet with a Sandburg academic advisor prior to registering and attend the required program orientation session.

You must have Healthcare Provider CPR certification throughout the program, show proof of immunizations and required titers, TB test, physical examination, criminal background check and drug screen.

Although the COVID-19 vaccination is not an admission requirement, most clinical sites require vaccination against COVID-19. Check with your program coordinator for more details.

Findings on the criminal background check and drug screen may prevent entrance to the program, and findings on the physical examination and drug screen may prevent placement at the clinical sites.

Career and technical programs/courses are offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status in any group protected by applicable federal, state or local law. For more information, contact the Title IX coordinator at 309.341.5258 or the ADA/504 coordinator at 309.341.5262.

For additional information contact:
Welcome Center

Medical assisting program outcomes

Program Outcomes
  2022 2021 2020 Average
Retention Rate 87.50% 25% 77.27% 63.26%
Job Placement 100.00% 28.57% 0% 42.86%

 Retention was 63.26% for students admitted from 2020 – 2022. Job Placement was 42.86% for years 2020 – 2022.



The employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 19% from 2019-2029, much faster than the average for all healthcare professions. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Medical assistant

Working conditions

Medical assistants work closely with physicians, nurses. and other healthcare professionals and office personnel. Although most medical assistants work a regular 40-hour week, they may be assigned evenings or weekends depending on their place of employment. The medical assistant provides both direct patient care and administrative functions.

If you are considering this field, you should be able to accurately record and keep track of information, maintain confidentiality, deal calmly and professionally with patients, follow medical charts and understand diagnoses, and work with electronic health records. Please refer to the essential skills & abilities of a medical assistant to determine if you are able to meet these functions with or without reasonable accommodations.


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Sample course schedules for the medical assisting program

View a sample schedule for the medical assisting certificate fall start.

View a sample schedule for the medical assisting AAS schedule fall start.


Courses in this program are offered face-to-face and multiple modalities — meaning students may attend a traditional classroom lecture, through a virtual platform or online. Mandatory attendance is required at all labs and ALH 155 and MDA 125 classes.



Sandburg offers courses in a variety of formats to best fit the needs of our students. To determine the formats for specific courses, please refer to our course schedule.

Regardless of the course format, you should have access to a reliable computer with broadband  (high-speed) internet. All courses use online resources and require students to access course information through mySandburg. Accessing courses through a phone is discouraged. Both campuses have open computer labs for student use.

View class formats. 

Estimated costs for the medical assisting program

View the medical assistant fall start cost sheet.


To apply for financial aid, visit our financial aid page for more information.


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) helps job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Contact the local office to see if you qualify for financial support. 

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  • Warren/Henderson County |1025 S. 2nd St | Monmouth, IL | 309.734.4745
  • Knox County Bondi Building | 311 E. Main, Suite 612 | Galesburg, IL | 309.343.9832               
  • McDonough County | 440 N. Lafayette | Macomb, IL | 309.837.1280


Thanks to our generous donors, the Carl Sandburg College Foundation is able to award more than $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners, and returning students — everyone is eligible to apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year.

  1. To prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains.

  2. Safely and effectively perform a variety of clinical and administrative tasks as an entry-level medical assistant.

  3. Display professionalism in the workplace and communicate effectively both verbally and in writing within a work environment.

  4. Follow standards, policies and procedures of the physician’s office within the medical assistant scope of practice demonstrating ethical and legal behaviors.


The Carl Sandburg College Medical Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

9355 - 113th St. N. #7709
Seminole, FL 33775


Graduates from the Carl Sandburg College Medical Assisting program are eligible to take the Certified Medical Assisting (CMA) exam through American Association of Medical Assistants, a nationally recognized certification credential. Upon successful completion of the CMA exam, graduates of the Sandburg Medical Assisting Program are eligible to work in all 50 states. 

Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will be eligible to take the certification exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (CMA Exam) or the American Medical Technologists (RMA Exam).

Professional Licensure Disclosures

Postsecondary institutions participating in federal student aid programs are required to make certain disclosures to enrolled and prospective students, parents, employees and the public. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (34 §C.F.R. 668.43) requires disclosures by institutions regarding educational requirements for programs leading to professional licensure or certification regardless of modality. The institution must make readily available to enrolled and prospective students information about whether programs leading to professional licensure or certification meet educational requirements.

Click here to view licensure information by state for dental hygiene, medical imaging programs, medical assisting, and mortuary science. 

If Sandburg College has not determined whether a program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification outside the state of Illinois, you should contact the licensing entity to determine whether it meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the state you live or work. 

You may contact the Dean of Health Professions with questions: 

Tiffany Viggiano, Ph.D., M.Ed.
Dean of Health Professions
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401

Cathy Gebru, RN, CMA
Coordinator, Medical Assisting
Instructor, Medical Assisting

Diane Girdler, MLT
Adjunct Faculty


Department of Health Professions
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401