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Pima’s First Medical Assistant IBEST cohort honored March 26

March 20, 2019

Tucson, AZ – On March 26, Pima Community College will honor 23 students in its first cohort completing the Medical Assistant Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training certificate.

What: Medical Assistant IBEST Celebration of Achievements

When: 5:30 p.m., March 26, 2019

Where: Cafeteria, Desert Vista Campus, 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz [map]

Details: Invitation only; media welcome

Info: 520-206-5100; or

In the MA IBEST, an Adult Basic Education instructor co-plans and co-teaches with Medical Assistant instructors, integrating basic skills and medical assisting content into the classroom to allow students to improve their skills and attain their goals more efficiently.

IBEST is a nationally recognized model blending basic skills instruction with career and technical course instruction. This allows a student who is not a high school graduate to simultaneously pursue a High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma and Medical Assistant certificate. Eight students in the cohort earned their HSE Diploma during the training. The rest have yet to take the GED® exams.

“It helped to have additional instruction,” said student Briana Barba, who was also seeking her High School Equivalency Diploma. “The reading and writing skills we got in IBEST really helped with our classes and the GED. The extra math support we got helped us so much with pharmacology.”

Those completing the training are eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant exam of the American Association of Medical Assistants. Medical Assistants work in physicians’ offices and clinics doing office/clerical work and helping treat patients.

Pima’s MA IBEST program is a collaboration between its Center for Training and Development (CTD) and Adult Basic Education for College and Career (ABECC). Some students received support through Pima’s $15 million Health Profession Opportunities Grant from the federal government. HPOG HOPES (Health Career Opportunities with Personalized Educational Supports) aids participating students in more than one dozen health-related Pima trainings. This study is to determine how training opportunities in high-demand healthcare fields help people improve their skills and find better jobs. For HPOG HOPES info, call 520-206-5250 or visit The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families funds HPOG. During the study, all new eligible applicants are selected by lottery. Not all eligible applicants will be selected.


Media, Government and Community Relations

(520) 206-4778