Medical Assistant Programs for MyCAA Military Spouses
Are you a military spouse who has thought about pursuing your education, but concerned about how you would pay for it? Have you also thought you would like a career in the medical field working with other health care professionals to help others?
Training to be a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) may be the answer you are looking for. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by the year 2028, the U.S. will need nearly 155,000 more CMAs than it had in 2018.
With a Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Scholarship, you may be on the path to achieving your goal of becoming a CMA. Once you complete a medical assistant program and become certified, the prospect of you finding a job within your chosen field is high.
What Is the MyCAA Scholarship Program?
The MyCAA Scholarship program provides up to $4,000 to eligible military spouses who pursue a certification that will assist them in finding employment. The annual cap is $2,000, but there are exceptions. For example, if the total tuition cost of the program is more than $2,000 and the entire sum must be paid upfront, the annual cap may be waived.
There are eligibility requirements and detailed application requirements. There are costs that the scholarship program will and will not cover. But this is a Scholarship Program, not a loan program. If you qualify for the scholarship funds, you will not have to pay back the money and, at least as of today, the funds are not taxed.
Who Is Eligible to Receive the Scholarship?
Those eligible to receive scholarship funds under the MyCAA program include spouses of service members, including those in the National Guard and Reserves, in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 to O-2. If your spouse was promoted above the eligible paygrade, you are still eligible if you were already enrolled in an approved program prior to the promotion date.
Spouses of Coast Guard members became eligible for the program according to changes to the program effective at the beginning of 2020.
Who is NOT Eligible to Receive the Scholarship?
Those who are ineligible to receive the MyCAA scholarship include:
- Spouses who have not graduated from high school.
- Spouses who are legally separated according to a court order or state law.
- A military spouse who is also on active duty.
- Military spouses who are themselves activated National Guard or Reserve members.
How to Apply for the Scholarship
Military spouses request scholarship funds under the MyCAA program by submitting their application along with an Education and Training Plan (ETP). For those seeking a certificate like one earned to become a CMA, the ETP must include, among other things:
- A list of all courses along with the course codes that are used by the specific school for which the scholarship is requested. This is extremely important. Include possible electives. Once the ETP is approved, new courses cannot be added.
- Any “self-paced” programs and the recommended duration for completion.
- Cost of tuition.
- How long it will take to obtain the certificate with estimated start and completion dates.
What the Scholarship Does and Does Not Cover
What it pays for. The MyCAA Scholarship pays tuition for courses included in the ETP. It will also pay for the cost of the certification exam. It pays for undergraduate courses only.
What it DOES NOT pay for. The Scholarship does not cover the cost of books, supplies, uniforms, electronic devices like computers, student activities and events, parking and other fees, and the list goes on. It does not pay for graduate courses or for continuing education units (CEUs) needed to maintain a license or certificate.
Benefits of Becoming a CMA via MyCAA
Nearly 60 percent of medical assistants work in physician’s offices. The others work in hospitals or outpatient care centers. A medical assistant is an integral part of the medical team who typically does the following:
- Records patient’s personal information and medical history.
- Measures vital signs.
- Help physicians with patient examinations
- Gives patients medications, including injections, as directed by physicians according to state regulations.
- Prepares blood samples for laboratory tests.
- Instructs patients about physician recommended follow-up care.
A medical assistant training program provides the military spouse the skills and confidence they need to succeed as part of the health care provider team.