Feb 28, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Administrative Healthcare Assisting, Certificate

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Degree: Certificate
HEGIS Code: 5214
Curriculum Code: 980.MOA
Campus Location: North

Health Sciences Division

Program Description

The Administrative Healthcare Assisting (AHA) Certificate program at SUNY Erie offers training in the administrative aspects of the Medical Assisting profession, preparing students for employment positions in a variety of medical and healthcare settings. The AHA program focuses on:

  • building a professional vocabulary of medical terminology;
  • understanding medical law and ethics for healthcare professionals including healthcare competency, equity, cultural competence, and patient navigator concepts; and
  • building a foundation for navigating the MEDENT Electronic Health Record (EHR) Practice Management System to learn the standards and features of an EHR system, appointment scheduling and administrative and financial processes for the medical practice, physician office coding and reimbursement procedures, including ICD-10-CM, CPT, HCPCS II, managed care, revenue cycles and remittance advices.

Midway through their second semester, Administrative Healthcare Assisting Certificate students participate in a supervised administrative externship experience of at least 80 contact hours in an assigned SUNY Erie affiliated healthcare setting.  Bridging the gap between student and allied healthcare professional, the externship gives students the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of AHA Program Competency requirements.  Students will perform administrative skills acquired throughout the duration of the Administrative Healthcare Assisting program, earning practical experience while engaging with other members of the healthcare team.

The goal of the Administrative Healthcare Assisting Certificate program is to produce graduates who possess the necessary knowledge of contemporary patient-centered healthcare practices and the necessary administrative skills to be an efficient administrative healthcare assistant. A nationally recognized certification exam will be administered upon successful program completion for graduates to demonstrate competency in skills attainment as they begin careers as certified administrative health assistants and work alongside other valued members of the allied healthcare team. This program also provides a broad base of information that allows graduates to successfully continue their education in a related healthcare field or apply credits toward a Medical Assisting AAS degree or other 2-year and 4-year Allied Health options such as Health Information Technology (HIT) or Emergency Medical Technology (EMT).

Admission Requirements

Admission criteria include:

  • high school degree or HSE (High School Equivalency)
  • completion of all developmental English and math courses 


Students must maintain a minimum grade of C in all Medical Assisting (MA) courses and a minimum grade of C- in all other required courses. All courses may be repeated only once. If minimal grades are not attained or if the student has withdrawn (W) from a course a second time or has failed a course a second time (a grade below a C in MA courses; or earned a grade below a C- in all other required courses) it will result in dismissal from the Administrative Healthcare Assisting program.  

Administrative Healthcare Assisting courses are integrated and sequenced in a specific manner to enable students to attain program competencies.

Note: a felony conviction may impede a student from being eligible for externship placement. 

Graduation Requirements

  • Once accepted into the program, students must complete all Administrative Healthcare Assisting courses within a two-year time period.
  • For graduation, students must have an overall GPA of 2.0 and a minimum grade of C in all Administrative Healthcare Assisting courses.
  • Upon completing all required coursework for the Administrative Healthcare Assisting program, students must apply for graduation at www.ecc.edu/graduate.
  • Earning a Administrative Healthcare Assisting Cerificate does not constitute certification; students must pass a national certification exam to become certified as an Administrative Health Assistant.

Department Notes

  • Students are responsible for providing transportation to off-campus externship experiences to observe and/or perform administrative skills for at least 80 contact hours in an assigned SUNY Erie affiliated healthcare setting.
  • Student accident insurance is available and highly recommended for part-time students.
  • Students who have previously taken a medical terminology course at another institution or who have had experience working in the medical field may elect to schedule and take a proficiency test to obtain credit by examination for Medical Terminology I (MA 115) and/or Medical Terminology II (MA 125). Upon successfully passing the Medical Terminology I (MA 115) proficiency test, the student may elect to schedule and take the Medical Terminology II (MA 125) proficiency test. Any interested student should contact the Department Chair at sylviab@ecc.edu with their SUNY Erie Student ID and email address to schedule an appointment to take the exam. Note: Students MUST take the proficiency tests PRIOR to enrolling in their respective courses.

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with a certificate in Administrative Healthcare Assisting, the graduate will be able to:

  • describe the structure, function, organization, and common pathologies of the human body;
  • perform administrative skills including identifying styles and types of applied communications as they relate to medical documentation and computer applications and maintaining records of Accounts Receivable/Payable and supply inventories;
  • create and organize electronic medical records in a practice management system, record and retrieve simulated patient data, schedule appointments, create healthcare communication and correspondence, and bill office procedures using proper procedural and diagnostic coding for third-party reimbursement;
  • recognize the legal implications and ethical considerations of personal and professional ethics regarding the delivery of healthcare;
  • demonstrate knowledge of basic and applied mathematics for managing medical business practices and finances;
  • perform professional-level CPR skills and first aid procedures for bleeding control, fractures, seizures, shock, syncope, and diabetic patients; and
  • demonstrate the necessary cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domain standards by (1) applying appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities consistent with acceptable professional conduct standards and (2) performing administrative medical assisting procedures, including quality assurance practices in healthcare.


Total Degree Credits: 30

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