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Extended Learning

Medical Assistant



Start or grow your career in the healthcare industry with this Medical Assistant training program, offered in partnership by CSUSM and Vista Community Clinic (VCC). This program combines classroom training and clinical experience to ensure you are equipped with the necessary skills to become a successful medical assistant.

Program Details


    This program is open to:

    • Unemployed and underemployed individuals
    • Entry-level administrative staff at Vista and other community clinics
    • Those looking to enter the healthcare field

    Applicant requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years of age to apply
    • Must possess a high school diploma or GED
    • Bilingual desired, but not required
    • Must be up-to-date with any vaccines required by Vista Community Clinic
    • Active health insurance is required at time of application
    Course Dates Registration

    Medical Assistant Training Program

    Priority Application Deadline and Deadline to Apply for Tuition Assistance:  March 29, 2024 by 5:00 p.m.
    Application Deadline: April 12, 2024 by 5:00 p.m.

    Class Dates: July 22, 2024 - Jan. 4, 2025
    Followed by 80-hour externship

    Holidays Observed:
    Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 2, 2024
    Veteran's Day: Monday, Nov. 11, 2024
    Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 28, 2024
    Holiday Break: Monday, Dec.23, 2024 - Thursday, Jan. 2, 2025

    Please Note:
    80 hours of internship to be completed once a week as a four hour shift during Monday-Friday clinic hours
    80 hours of externship to be completed in a two-four week span between January 2025 and February 2025

    MA Application

    Course Details

    • Classes held at Vista Community Clinic at 4700 N. River Road, Oceanside, CA 92057
    • Classes held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30-9:30 p.m. will be online and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. in hybrid format of classroom and online
    • Program fee is $4,000
    • This program is not eligible for financial aid, however, there is an internal tuition assistance application

    Fee Includes

    • Course materials, including required textbook and learning tools
    • A pair of scrubs and a stethoscope


    Please note: All rates are subject to change without notice.

    Application Process

    1. Complete the application linked above and submit it via email to or by mail to:
      La Tortuga Administrative and Program Offices (2nd floor)
      Attn: MA Training Program
      465 La Tortuga Drive, Vista, CA 92081
    2. VCC will conduct interviews at their discretion
    3. Once accepted into the program by VCC, you will receive a link to officially enroll
    4. Payment is required in full at time of registration

    Reinstatement to the program

    There is a required $150 reinstatement fee payable prior to being officially reinstated to the program. Please use this link to submit your payment.


    This program requires a commitment of six months, 360 classroom hours and 160 internship and externship hours.

    This program will help you:

    • Understand the roles and responsibilities in healthcare
    • Obtain a basic understanding of medical law and ethics
    • Understand and apply professional communications
    • Obtain a basic understanding of medical terminology
    • Understand basic anatomy and physiology of the human body
    • Be proficient in business communications
    • Understand the patient’s record
    • Learn basic medical insurance and coding
    • Learn billing and payment for medical services
    • Learn banking and accounting procedures
    • Understand preparation for clinical procedures
    • Be able to assist with examinations
    • Perform laboratory procedures
    • Perform cardiology and radiology procedures
    • Perform minor surgical procedures
    • Perform medication administration procedures
  • FAQ

    What does a medical assistant do?

    Certified medical assistants most often work in a doctor’s office, a nursing care center or another medical facility such as a hospital, nursing home or pharmacy. Their responsibilities include providing continuing patient care, working with doctors and nurses to meet the needs of patients and performing administrative and clerical duties in an office environment. They greet and assist patients with paperwork, show patients to their exam rooms, and take patients’ vitals and draw blood. Their typical workweek usually includes a full-time schedule during regular business hours, although they may be hired for night shifts.

    • Interview and record patients’ medical information and measure their vital signs, weight and height.
    • Collect, prepare and log blood, tissue or other laboratory specimens.
    • Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
    • May assist with administrative duties, including scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, and billing and coding for insurance purposes.

    Are there any tuition fee payment plans available for this program?

    Currently, we do not provide payment plans for the program's tuition fee. The full tuition is required to be paid on or before the specified deadline for tuition fee payment.

    Must I have my CPR/BLS Certificate before applying to the program?

    It is not mandatory to possess a CPR/BLS certificate when submitting an application for this program. However, it is imperative that all students obtain the CPR/BLS certification prior to the start of the first day of class. Upon acceptance into the program, VCC will provide support and guidance to assist you in obtaining the required CPR/BLS certification.

    What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?

    Please visit our military and veteran services page to learn how we can help.

    How can I be considered for an instructor position or send in a course proposal?

    Thank you for your interest in becoming an instructor!  Please contact Cathy Scavone ( to receive an application and course proposal form.

Convenient format

Classes are held on weeknights and Saturdays in this accelerated program

Learn from the best

Classes are taught by experienced medical assistant educators

Prepare for Certification

Successful completion of this program enables you to sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam

Job Placement Assistance

Job placement assistance is available for those who successfully complete the program

I’m putting into practice everything I learned I’m doing injections on my patients, immunizations, lab work, vital signs. I am the type of person that believes patients need more than treatment or a plan; they also need to be surrounded by hope, confidence and respect.

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Lirio Balbuena Romero


Lirio Balbuena Romero

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