Practicum Overview


While in school, students will gain knowledge and skills that will prepare them for their new career. The practicum is designed to provide students with the opportunity to utilize this newfound knowledge under the supervision of medical professionals. Through this system of performance and feedback, students will acquire confidence and viable experience to complement their classroom training.

The practicum will consist of training, usually completed within an academic term. In addition to the off-site practicum hours, students are required to attend weekly on-campus seminars. Each student is expected to accommodate the regular hours of the practicum site, including Saturdays, Sundays, and/or evenings. If a student holds a job and his/her scheduled work schedule conflicts with the practicum hours, then the student’s College program must take precedence. A student in a practicum observes the regularly scheduled office hours of the site assigned, rather than the College’s vacation, holiday, or snow hours. Since a prescribed number of hours is required for practicum, the student is responsible for making up all hours missed due to hours canceled by the office. Students must remain at the site for the duration of their scheduled practicum.

Since the practicum period is a culmination of the student’s program and permits the student to practice in a realistic work setting prior to graduation, it is a prerequisite for a student to satisfactorily complete most courses within the program prior to enrolling in the practicum course.

Students will not receive compensation/payment, monetary or otherwise, for the practicum experience. Although practicum sites may hire a student, under no circumstances are they ever obligated to do so.

Policies and Processes for Assignment of Clinical Experiences

The Practicum Coordinator (PC), working collaboratively with the Career Services Department, will select ambulatory healthcare facilities that agree to provide a supervised training experience for students enrolled in the Medical Assistant program. Practicum sites are selected based on the ability of the sites to provide an atmosphere that allows students to ask questions, sharpen skills, and be coached with the goal of improved performance. The Practicum experience is designed to complement the concepts and materials which were presented to students during the lecture and laboratory portions of their program.   

The PC and Career Services staff members will meet with students the semester prior to their enrollment in the Practicum course to coordinate practicum placement.  It is unrealistic for a student to expect that the practicum site will be in his/her neighborhood setting. The placement can be made within a 30-mile radius of the student’s home campus and depends upon site availability.  Practicum sites are selected and assigned under the same guidelines utilized in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.

Once students are placed at the practicum site, the PC will provide oversight of student assessments and will meet with the site representatives regularly.  The PC will discuss each student’s progress at least once during the student’s practicum experience, and more frequently if necessary.  The PC is always available to students and site representatives to discuss any concerns about student attendance, performance, or professionalism. 

Assessment during the practicum experience is ongoing.  Practicum site supervisors will complete weekly site evaluations, which are signed by both the supervisor and the student.  The PC and faculty member assigned to the Medical Assistant Capstone and Practicum Course (MED2280) will review these evaluations to ensure students are meeting the goals and expectations of the Practicum experience.  At the conclusion of the 165-hour practicum, site supervisors will also complete a final evaluation, which identifies students’ strengths and weaknesses. Site supervisors will review these evaluations with the students, and both parties must sign the document before it is submitted to the PC for review.

In addition, students will complete weekly journals reflecting on their experiences at the practicum site; and those weekly journals will be reviewed and signed by both the site supervisor and student before being submitted to the PC.  All performance evaluations and weekly journals will be retained by the Program and will be stored in Perceptive Content, an electronic document management system used by the College to store images of documents.