Joliet Junior College’s medical assisting program will accept more students than ever before with 32 spots available for spring 2023.
“I am extremely excited to be able to grow the program and accept more students,” said Rudayna Jebara, program coordinator and assistant professor of medical assisting at JJC.
Previously, up to 22 students per year could enroll, but the demand for the job prompted the increase. According to Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Amy Gray, employment opportunities for medical assistants in Illinois are expected to increase by over 22% through 2026.
“There is a huge demand for medical assistants in the Joliet area,” Jebara said. “Our community partners really urge us to expand so that their need is met. We have had such a great experience with our partners that they all are seeking our graduates, because they know students from our program are fully prepared and competent.”
Jebara and Dr. Gray, along with Dean of Nursing, Health & Public Services Dr. Jorie Kulczak and former department chair Duane Stonich, jointly made the decision to increase the enrollment.
Dr. Kulczak noted the aging population and COVID-19 as other contributing factors raising demand for medical assistants. The dean says patients living longer means there’s a need for more healthcare over a longer period of time.
“COVID-19 also had an immense effect on the growth curve of the healthcare industry, contributing to the need for more healthcare workers,” Dr. Kulczak said. “Medical assistants are a vital part of the solution, and this is why we are proud to be able to increase enrollment and produce highly skilled and educated medical assistants at JJC. The labor market is begging for it, and the demand in the community is prevalent.”
The medical assisting program at JJC began in spring 2020 and is a one-year certificate pathway. While the program is young, it has already shown success.
“Every single JJC medical assisting student who has taken the certification exam has passed it on the first attempt,” Dr. Gray said.
JJC Press Release