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October 20, 2021

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SCC’s Medical Assisting program ranks 2nd nationally

Melissa Allison-Brooks (third from left) serves as Medical Assisting Program Coordinator at Southwestern Community College. The program recently earned a No. 2 national ranking. Students pictured with Allison-Brooks are, from left: Kennedy Paxton of Waynesville, Caroline Foster of Franklin and Daniela Acosta Sanchez of Sylva.

For the second straight year, one of Southwestern Community College’s academic programs has received national recognition.

EduMed.org recently ranked SCC’s Medical Assisting program second nationally in a listing of the “Most Affordable Online Medical Assistant Programs.”

SCC began offering a Medical Assisting associate degree in 2007. Overseen by founding director Melissa Allison-Brooks, the program recently moved into the college’s brand-new, $22 million Health Sciences Center.

“Medical Assistants are vital to our healthcare system, and our program prepares students to handle a wide variety of responsibilities ranging from scheduling appointments to performing blood pressure tests,” Allison-Brooks said. “We’re extremely honored that EduMed.org has recognized us in this way.”

According to EduMed.org’s founder, Wes Harris Ricketts, the rankings were based on research of more than 7,700 accredited schools using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and from the schools themselves. Using a proprietary algorithm, the schools were then ranked according to the best combinations of online learning opportunity, affordability and student support.

Ricketts said only eight percent of U.S. postsecondary institutions earned a ranking position.

The EduMed news is the latest in a series of national accolades for Southwestern, which was ranked No. 1 nationally by BestColleges.com last year. SCC has been rated among the top 10 colleges in the U.S. four times in the last 15 years.

Also last year, SCC’s Cyber Crime Technology program landed at No. 2 in CyberDegrees.org’s listing of the “Best Cybersecurity Schools for 2020.”

“The great thing about all these rankings is that we don’t seek them,” Dr. Don Tomas said. “Our faculty and staff simply put our students first, because that’s what truly matters. We could not be more proud of the job Melissa has done in Medical Assisting. She pours her heart into preparing students for this crucial role in healthcare, and the results speak for themselves.”

The Medical Assisting program at SCC has a current job placement rate of 100 percent and a first-time licensure exam pass rate of 71.43 percent. Prospective students can apply this winter to join the next cohort, which starts up in August of 2022.

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