Frequently Asked Questions about MARAP

Which colleges are participating?

The following colleges provide training for the MARAP program:

Who are the participating employers?

The following health providers are participating in MARAP:

How does an apprenticeship differ from a traditional school track of Medical Assistant?

The traditional Medical Assistant track typically requires you to attend classes full time followed by job search once you apply and receive your MA certification. This Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program (MARAP) combines part-time paid work experience and classroom learning.

As a participant in a USDOL Registered Apprenticeship program:

  • you can immediately apply your classroom learning and new skills in a work setting.
  • you will graduate with a Department of Labor (DOL) certification as well as your Medical Assistant (MA) certification.

I am currently employed. How can I complete the requirements for this program?

The MA program is a full-time commitment.  You will be required to work part time (24 hours) for one of the participating employers and attend school part time (16 hours).  Working additional hours or maintaining a second job is not recommended.

Do I need to have experience to be considered for this program?

No experience is required, however, we recommend that you research the job duties and career pathway options of a Medical Assistant before you commit to the program. If you are not sure if healthcare is a good fit for you, please attend one of our free Career Exploration workshops to learn more about who you are and what transferable skills you may already have.

What credentials will I earn after I complete the program?

  • Medical Assistant Certificate of Completion (from a participating college)
  • Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship from the US Department of Labor
  • You will qualify to earn a national industry-recognized credential.

What are the program requirements?

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must pass a criminal background check

What are the program expectations?

All MARAP participants are expected to:

  • Arrive to class and work on time
  • Follow attendance policy for the employer and school
  • Maintain satisfactory grades per the employer’s expectations and the school’s policy
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism
  • Effectively manage homework, work schedule and personal obligations
  • Commit to work with the employer for a specified period of time after completing the apprenticeship program (length of commitment may vary by employer)

You may be responsible to pay back costs incurred by the employer if:

  • you elect not to finish the community college program or
  • you elect not to continue working for the employer for the length of time specified.

How many hours per week is the program?

The Medical Assistant Registered Apprenticeship Program is made up of:

  • 16 hours a week in the classroom
  • 24 hours a week of paid work experience

Will I get paid during the program?

Yes, you will get paid for the 24 hours/week work experience.

Will I be able to take leave time or attend a family vacation while I am in the program?

MARAP is a one year, full-time commitment. Apprentices are expected to follow attendance policy for the employer and school, arriving to work and school on time.

Will there be child care available during work or school hours?

You are responsible for making your own arrangements for child care before the start of the program. If you need assistance with securing child care, talk with a West Michigan Works! career coach to obtain information/referral to assist you in your child care search.

How much will the program cost?

The full cost of the program is covered by scholarships and/or employer contributions for students attending Grand Rapids Community College, Montcalm Community College and /or Muskegon Community College. You may be responsible for minimal uniform and parking fees.

What are the apprenticeship wages?

Starting and ending wages vary per employer. Wage increases occur with satisfactory progress in both related instruction and on-the-job training until wages reach 85 to 90 percent of Medical Assistant Wages:

1st Step: 80% of wages
2nd Step: 85% of wages
3rd Step: 90% of wages
4th Step: 95% of wages
Final Step: no less than $13.00/hour (entry level, credentialed M.A. wage)

What does the program curriculum cover?

EMR (Introductory) | Scheduling | Handwashing/PPE | Temperature | Pulse Oximeter | Nebulizer | Obtaining sputum specimen | Administering O2 through Nasal Cannula | Injections | Medications/Dose Calculations | Pap and Pelvic Exam Set Up | Telephone Triage | Lifts and Transfers | Catheterization | Phlebotomy | Inventory | More Advanced EMR | Pediatric Vital Signs | Autoclave/Sanitizing Equipment | EKG | Sterile Technique | Charts, Documentation | Insurance/Billing/Coding/Basic Accounting | Teaching for use of Assistive Devices | Glucometer | Ear Irrigation | CLIA Logs | Throat Swab & Strep Tests | Nasal Swab & A/B flu | Urine Clean Catch and Dipstick | Basic Rooming – Height, Weight, Blood Pressure, Pulse, Growth Charts, Chief Complaint

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Submitting an Application

Where do I submit an application of Interest?

The application of interest is available on the West Michigan Works! website and is mobile friendly.

Where can I get questions answered?

You will have an opportunity to have your questions answered in person by the participating employers, colleges and current apprentices at an information session. Information on how to register for the information session will be sent to you once the application of interest period closes.

You can also find information about the program and application online on the MARAP portal located at www.westmiworks.org/MARAP

Is there anything that would keep me from being accepted?

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass a criminal background check

NOTE: This is a competitive application process.  Only those individuals who have met the following requirements will be considered:

  • Submitted a complete application
  • Met the enrollment requirements of the community college
  • Completed a career portfolio

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Register on Pure Michigan Talent Connect

How does West Michigan Works! fit into this program?

West Michigan Works! partners with local employers and community colleges to recruit qualified candidates, verify that applicants have a completed career portfolio and assist individuals in identifying funding sources so that there is little to no out of pocket expenses for the apprentices.

What is Pure Michigan Talent Connect and why do I need to register?

Pure Michigan Talent Connect is an online portal that connects Michigan’s job seekers and employers. All MARAP candidates will need to create an account before attending workshops, completing assessments and meeting with a career coach. You can create an account from home but you will need to sign on at least once from one of our service center locations.
http://www.mitalent.org/

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Required college admittance assessments

What are the assessment requirements to attend Grand Rapids Community College?

Grand Rapids Community College has the following assessment requirements:

  • Pass a 3 minute typing assessment with scores of 40 WPM with 95% accuracy
  • WorkKeys/NCRC minimum score: 4 (Silver Level)
  • Pass Computer Literacy Assessment in the following four areas: basic computer, world wide web, Windows, and Email

What are the assessment requirements to attend Montcalm Community College?

Montcalm Community College has the following assessment requirements:

  • Pass a 3 minute typing assessment with scores of 30 net words a minute (nwam) with no more than five errors. Example: 35 words a minute (wam) with 3 errors equals 32 nwam
  • WorkKeys/NCRC minimum score: 4 (Silver Level)
  • Pass Computer Literacy Assessment in the following four areas: basic computer, world wide web, Windows, and Email

What are the assessment requirements to attend Muskegon Community College?

Muskegon Community College has the following assessment requirements:

  • Pass a 3 minute typing assessment with scores of 35 WPM with 95% accuracy
  • Score 64 or better on the Accuplacer Arithmetic; Score 76 or better on the Accuplacer Reading; Score 85 or better on the Accuplacer Sentence Skill Test *ACT scores, SAT scores, Compass scores, or transferred credits could potentially be used in lou of Accuplacer
  • Pass Computer Literacy Assessment in the following four areas: basic computer, world wide web, Windows, and Email

What is WorkKeys?

WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system that measures the real-world skills that employers believe are critical to job success. WorkKeys helps employers select, hire and train the most qualified candidate. Taking the WorkKeys test is an important step in preparing for your personal training or career goal.

I would like to know more about WorkKeys or I have already taken the assessment and I am not sure how to access my scores.

What if I don’t pass one of the WorkKeys assessments?

The WorkKeys assessments are not pass or fail but you will need to achieve the minimum level for Reading, Math, and Locating as part of the college admittance for Grand Rapids Community College.  West Michigan Works! can issue a practice module and schedule a time for you to retake the deficient assessment.

What is Accuplacer?

ACCUPLACER® is a set of computerized tests that determines your knowledge in math, reading and writing as you prepare to enroll in college-level courses.

How many times can I take the 3 minute typing assessment?

You can practice as many time as you would like by clicking on the free test below.  You will be given two opportunities to achieve the minimum word and accuracy levels required by the community college during your scheduled West Michigan Works! career coach meeting. Take the typing test >

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Career Preparation

What is a Career Portfolio and why do I need one?

Career portfolios are used to plan, organize and document education, work samples and skills. People use career portfolios to apply to jobs; apply to college or training programs; get a higher salary; show transferable skills and track personal development.

Your career portfolio is portable. Once you have the basic foundation, you can continue to add to it as you move through your career pathway. A career portfolio is a requirement for entrance consideration into the MARAP program.  If you should not be selected, Michigan Works! may be able to help you secure other employment opportunities by means of your portfolio.

Career Portfolio basic components:

  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • References
  • Career Pathway Plan/Career Coaching
  • Certificate of Completion for College Entrance Assessments
  • Computer & Typing Proficiency
  • Earned Credentials if Applicable 

What Michigan Works! workshops should I attend?

For the MARAP program we recommend:

  • Resume Makeover to help you start or refine your resume
  • Introduction to Interviewing to help you get prepared for your employer interview
  • Career Exploration if you want to see if being a Medical Assistant is right for you

All West Michigan Works! workshops are free.  The workshops can help you develop or enhance your job search. View workshop calendars >

How will a career coach help me?

The West Michigan Works! career coach will help you

  • develop a career pathway in the healthcare field
  • identify your transferable skills and work values
  • ensure that you are prepared for employer interviews

West Michigan Works! may also be able to provide you with continued career coaching or help you select another career if you should not be chosen for the MARAP program.

What is a career pathway?

A career pathway is a collection of programs and services to develop your core academic, technical and employability skills. It provides continuous education, training and placement in high-demand, high-opportunity jobs.

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Interviews and Offers

When will acceptance offers go out?

Employment offers (for apprentice positions) will be extended by the participating employers in late November.

Is there a commitment to stay with the employer following the program?

Yes, you will commit to work with the employer for a specified period of time after completing the apprenticeship program. The length of commitment may vary by employer.
You may be responsible to pay back costs incurred by the employer if:

  • You elect not to finish the community college program, or
  • You elect not to continue working for the employer for the length of time specified upon completion of the apprenticeship program

What if I am not chosen for the program?

West Michigan Works! offers services to assist with career navigation, employer connections, free workshops, interest assessments, remedial testing and more! Please make sure you visit our centers for more information. Services are free and open to the public.

When does the program start?

Employer onboarding and college registration will begin in early December. Classes and work will begin in January.