INA, Ill. (August 16, 2022) —Rend Lake College's Medical Assistant certificate can now be earned in less time.
Students can now complete the first of two semesters in as little as 12 weeks this upcoming Fall 2022 semester. Students will take five courses from Sept. 12 through Dec. 2, along with a Billing and Coding, and Intro to Pharmacology course — both offered online from Oct. 10 through Dec. 2.

During the spring semester, students take four courses that are also 12 weeks, along with a five-week practicum. The deadline to apply for this program is Sept. 1 at

Denise O'Neal, a recent graduate, commented on her experience in the program and how she turned her clinical assignment into a job she loves at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mount Vernon. "I wanted to go on to my RN program, but life got the better of me," O'Neal said. "The MA program was a really good middle ground. I was able to go back to work, still go to school, and graduate. And then if I decided later that I wanted to go get my RN, then I could. The whole program, in general, was flawless. The clinical component was good. I was glad that I got to go to different places. You kind of got to test the waters of what you really wanted to do."

Job functions for a medical assistant can range from recording patient histories and scheduling appointments, to preparing specimens for lab tests and helping doctors with examinations by taking vitals, and more. This versatility is one reason the employment of medical assistants is growing so fast — much faster than the average for all occupations.

"RLC offers two options to get started in this field: an Associate in Applied Science Degree, which you can complete in as little as four semesters; and the shorter-term occupational certificate, which can take you as little as two semesters," said RLC Director of Marketing & Communications Nathan Wheeler. "Because RLC's MA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), after graduation, students can sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants examination."

To learn more about the Medical Assistant program, visit

or contact the RLC Allied Health Division at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1251.

Dean of Allied Health
Phone Extension: 1777
Building: South Oasis
Office: 116
M.A.Ed., McKendree University | B.S., Midwestern State University
Administrative Assistant - Allied Health
Phone Extension: 1251
Building: South Oasis
Office: 104
B.S., Southern Illinois University - Carbondale A.A., Rend Lake College

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