The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Master Plan Amendment to authorize the College of Westchester to offer an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) program in Medical Assistant Management


October 11, 2006


Goals 2 and 4







Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


             Should the Regents approve an amendment to the master plan of the College of Westchester in order for the College to offer an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) program in Medical Assistant Management?


Reason for Consideration


             Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the Board of Regents at its October 2006 meeting for final action.


Procedural History


The College of Westchester submitted this proposal in March 2005.  Master plan amendment is required because this would be the College’s first program in healthcare careers.  The Department has determined that the proposed program, if approved, would meet the standards for registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


Background Information


            The College of Westchester was founded in 1915. In 1975, the Regents authorized the then Westchester Business Institute (WBI) to offer the Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S) degree and in 1997 to offer the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. In 2003 WBI became the College of Westchester. The College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


The College of Westchester is proposing an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Medical Assistant Management as a response to inquiries by prospective students, alumni, and employers urging the College to begin offering a healthcare-related curriculum.  Subsequent surveys of the College’s students, alumni and potential area employers confirmed an interest in such a program.  This proposed A.A.S. program is in alignment with the stated mission of the institution, which is to provide career-based educational programs leading to employment for graduates.


The proposed curriculum focuses on skills training in both the clinical and administrative sides of healthcare delivery services.  Required scientifically-based clinical courses include:  four Anatomy and Physiology classes each emphasizing different body systems, Pharmacology, Clinical Procedures/Clinical Asepsis, Electrocardiography, Hematology/Phlebotomy and a 180-hour Practicum in Medical Assisting.  Required Medical Administration courses include: Medical Terminology, Introduction to Medical Business Practices and Introduction to Medical Billing and Coding.  In addition required coursework in general education classes, including oral communications and ethics, as well as an emphasis on office technology applications, will round out the educational experience of students. 


The proposed program is expected to attract students with the same characteristics and geographic origins as the College’s current student body.  Enrollment projections for the new program are 15 full-time students in year one and 75 full-time students by the fifth year of operation.  Graduates will have acquired the requisite skills to become employed in organizations ranging from large hospitals to small physicians’ offices.  Because the program combines both administrative skills and clinical skills, the types of positions for which these graduates will qualify include, but are not limited to, medical assistant, EKG technician, patient care-assistant, medical biller and medical coder. 


A unique feature of this program in this geographic area is that it will be both degree awarding and accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) as modified to comply with New York State Laws and Commissioner’s Regulations.  This accreditation will allow graduates of the College’s medical assisting program to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant examination leading to a nationally recognized credential of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA).


The proposed Medical Assistant Management (A.A.S.) program will become a significant extension to the career-focused offerings of the College’s associate degree programs.  As evidence of need for the program, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that medical assisting is among the fastest growing occupations through the year 2012.  In addition, upon a review of the local institutions in the area that offer medical assisting programs, the College found that none of these institutions’ offerings both awarded degrees and were allied health accredited.


A canvass was conducted of colleges and universities in the mid-Hudson region of New York State.  Four colleges responded.  Two offered support for the proposed program.  The other two stated the programs would have no impact on their institutions.




It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the amendment of the master plan of the College of Westchester effective October 24, 2006, to authorize the College to offer an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) program in Medical Assistant Management. This amendment will be effective until October 30, 2007, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.


Timetable for Implementation


            If the Board approved this master plan amendment, the Department will register the program and the College will proceed to recruit and enroll students.