Monday, December 5, 2022

Mendocino County Office of Education Accepting Applications for Medical and Dental Assisting Programs

The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Office of Education:

Medical Assistant Trainees [Picture provided by MCOE]

The Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) is accepting applications for two of its adult vocational programs: Medical Assisting and Dental Assisting. Applications are available online at, and are due Friday, June 24.   

The Medical Assisting Program runs from August through May. Classes are held in Ukiah, Monday – Thursday 4:30 – 7:30 PM and five Saturdays in March and April 2023. The program requires 460 classroom hours and a 180-hour externship, which includes 80 administrative hours and100 clinical hours. The program is limited in enrollment numbers and costs $4,500, which can be paid in two installments. Once they have completed the program, medical assisting students will be prepared for state certification testing with the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants.

The Dental Assisting Program runs from August through December. Classes are held in Ukiah, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:15 PM – 9:15 PM. The 18-week course prepares students for front and back office dental assisting, including chairside and Dentrix software training. At the conclusion of classroom training, students must complete a 120-hour externship with a dental practice. The program is limited to 8 students and costs $4,000, which can be paid in two installments.

A graduate of MCOE’s Medical Assistant Program [Picture from MCOE]

Successful applicants in this competitive process will have earned high school diplomas or the equivalent. These are college-level courses. Medical assisting students must undergo a medical screening, a background check and a drug test. Dental assisting students must also undergo a medical screening.  

Medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as health clinics and assisted living centers. Their duties generally include administrative and clinical responsibilities, including updating medical charts and scheduling appointments, as well as preparing patients for a doctor’s examination and collecting laboratory samples, among many other duties. Medical assisting is a fast-growing occupation, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it can be an entry point for those interested in becoming nurses.

Like medical assistants, dental assistants are also in high demand and they also perform both administrative and clinical duties. Dental assistants often work in dental clinics or dental offices. They prepare patients for treatments and teeth cleanings, process x-rays, and work with patients on billing issues, among other duties. Becoming a dental assistant is the first step in becoming a registered dental assistant and obtaining additional specialty certificates. 

For more information about MCOE’s workforce development programs, call 707-467-5123 or email


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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
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