May 22, 2019

Kish to offer NEW Medical Assistant program

Kishwaukee College will offer a new Medical Assistant certificate program pending approval from the Illinois Community College Board. The new program will meet the demand for more certified medical assistants in the College district. The one-year certificate program is tentatively scheduled to begin Spring 2020.

“Northwestern Medicine and other stakeholders came to us prompting the development of the program,” says Bette Chilton, Executive Dean of Career Technologies at Kish. With an ever-increasing demand for medical assistants in the healthcare profession, Kish is responding to the need in the field. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), expected growth in the employment of medical assistants is to increase by 13.4% statewide through the year 2026.

With the ability to meet both administrative and clinical needs, medical assistants hold unique positions in medical facilities. The new Kish program will prepare students for entry-level careers in physician’s offices, clinics, and other ambulatory settings. The program will run with evening classes and include a 200-hour hands-on clinical externship the final semester. Space is limited to 10 students per cohort.

Kish collaborated with Illinois Valley Community College to create the new program curriculum. Illinois Valley was similarly approached by their stakeholders voicing a need for medical assistants. The two colleges worked collectively to design the program curriculum and hired an outside consultant to ensure the program was in alignment with current standards. The Kishwaukee College Foundation will provide an Innovation Award to support the equipment purchase for the new program.

“Medical assistants offer a cost-effective method for local facilities to continue to provide excellent healthcare,” states Mindy Finch, Dean of Instruction and Director of Nursing at Kish. “The program will increase a person’s employability and productiveness and allow them to join healthcare as an asset.”

Once approved and active, the program intends to seek accreditation by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). Once accredited, graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the Medical Assistant certification exam.

For more information, contact Mindy Finch, Dean of Instruction and Director of Nursing, at or 815-825-9439.