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Workforce Wednesday: GRCC Medical Assistant Program empowers Shelley Anderson, Nicole Freeman to succeed in a changing environment.

April 21, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – GRCC Workforce Training programs provide in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. Each Wednesday we’ll meet students who are heading down an educational pathway and changing their lives by earning occupational certificates.

Both Shelley Anderson and Nicole Freeman took advantage of the Futures for Frontliners tuition program and are enrolled in the GRCC Medical Assistant Job Training Program.

Shelley Anderson was a phlebotomist at Spectrum Health. Last June, her future changed, not because of COVID 19 but because of a car accident.

“I am very lucky to be OK now and looking back, it was kind of a blessing. Recuperating gave me the chance to think about what I want to do going forward. I love the healthcare industry and when I was contacted about the Frontliners program, I jumped at the chance to get certified as a medical assistant.”

The stars aligned for Nicole Freeman, who was a nurse tech as Spectrum Health.

“Last year, I started the GRCC Nursing Program but quickly realized it was too much and I was overwhelmed,” she said. “I thought it was the end of the world. Then, one of my instructors told me to look into the MA program. It’s still challenging but with the small class size, hands-on learning and supportive instructor, I am now confident this is where I am supposed to be.”

“This program is extremely thorough. We are learning so much! I researched other MA programs offered from other schools and this is by far the best,” Anderson said. “And on top of it, all we’ve had to pay for is the parking!”

The GRCC Medical Assistant Job Training program prepares students to perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep health practitioner offices and clinics running smoothly.

The goal of the program is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. The course combines classroom lecture, group activity, simulation learning, and a competency-based externship experience.

On successful completion of the program, students are prepared to take the Registered Medical Assistant national certification exam through American Medical Technologists.

The 772-hour program is designed to take 22 weeks to complete and is currently being offered as a hybrid with some virtual learning and some hands-on in person lab work.

GRCC’s Medical Assistant Program empowers them to succeed in a changing healthcare environment.

Anyone interested in gaining career skills through GRCC Workforce Training can connect via email at, and by phone at (616) 234-3800. Additional information is at


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