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Allied Health Education

Health care is the second fastest growing industry in the United States with opportunities in direct patient care and support occupations. Whether you are looking to enter the health care field or supplement your current skills, we have designed our programs to meet your needs.  The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that healthcare will generate 3 million new jobs between 2006 and 2016.  Seven out of the 20 fastest growing occupations are health care related.  Our aging population, new medical technologies, and changes in the way health care is, and will be provided in the future, are opening doors for people who want to train for a job that pays well and gives them a chance to help other people.

In Allied Health You Can Earn Degrees/Certificates:

Learn from Experienced Health Care Professionals

Our instructors, experienced health care professionals, will guide you through classroom and laboratory activities to learn about the health care environment, personal skills to make you successful in the health care workplace, and the specific skills required in your chosen profession. Our affiliations with local health care facilities will enable you to obtain the clinical hands-on experience to hone your skills in the health care environment.

Why Skagit Valley College?

  • State of the art science and health occupations training facility
    (Laura Angst Hall).
  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health
    Education Programs.
  • A variety of program specialties with multiple degree and certificate options.
  • All programs include hands-on training and clinical simulation.
  • Meets the requirements of Washington State's Healthcare Assistant Law.
  • Exceptionally high scoring on American Association of Medical Assistants
    National Certification Exam.
  • Flexible class schedules for working professionals.
  • Clinical experiences in a variety of health care settings provide students with real world experience and create employment networks.
  • Student graduates are prepared to take national industry recognized certification exams.

Laura Angst Hall: the new sciences and health occupations building opened in 2009.  The building is a cornerstone on the Mount Vernon campus providing exceptional learning environments for fast-growing healthcare occupations and the sciences.  Angst Hall is the first Higher Education Building in Washington State to achieve LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  With state-of-the-art simulation labs, students are immersed in an environment where the latest technology and eLearning advances are integrated into their everyday studies.  Wi-Fi networks and smart classrooms allow SVC to offer more eLearning options in partnership with other community colleges and four-year universities across Washington.

Program Entry

Please apply to the Admissions Office and attend a program information session.  Admission and registration guidelines are listed in the catalog and on the college website. Some degrees/certificates and some key courses are only offered during specific quarters of the year.  Students should contact the Allied Health Department Chair or a counselor for help preparing their course schedules.  It is strongly recommended that students entering any of the AHE program options be able to read, write, and compute at the college level and have basic keyboarding skills.
Program Entry Guidelines

Prerequisite Courses May Be Required

Prerequisite courses in the structure and function of the human body, basic medical terminology, computers skills and HIV/AIDS and CPR for Healthcare Professionals may be required for admission to some programs. Please consult the individual program planning sheets or an adviser for more information.

Background Check and Drug Screening

All students entering health care programs must pass a multi-state, multi-zip code criminal back ground check as well as a drug/illegal substance screening. This requirement is based on medical industry standards and Washington State laws protecting vulnerable populations (RCW 43.43.880 and 43.43.842).  Drug screens and background checks are required by clinical agencies where students complete their practicum experience. Students should be aware that certain gross misdemeanors and felonies may disqualify them from participating in practicum and unable to complete their certificate or degree program. Future employment opportunities in the health care field may also be affected. Students will complete the background check and drug screening process when enrolled in AHE 100 (AHE 130 for Pharmacy students). Students who are unable to pass these screenings will be removed from the program.

Working in Healthcare May Not Be For You!

Students should be aware that not everyone is prepared to deal with blood and body fluids on a daily basis, interface with people experiencing pain and grief, work odd hours outside the "normal" 8 am to 5 pm time designation, or work 12-hour shifts as required in many healthcare positions. Students choosing to train for a career in one of the many healthcare professions should be familiar with typical work environments and the skills needed to be successful in the healthcare field.

Hepatitis B is the one health condition that may prevent a person from being hired into a position that requires patient contact. It is a serious enough condition that one should research the hiring practices of local healthcare facilities before considering a career in healthcare. There are multiple healthcare positions that require no interaction with patients (i.e., filing, billing, coding), but hiring into these positions is left to the discretion of the healthcare facility.


Medical facilities require immunizations for all personnel who interface with patients. Students participating in practicum experiences require the same immunizations. The immunization cost is the responsibility of the student. Immunizations must be completed before registering for certain courses or applying for a practicum. The following are required for participation in most Health Care programs – students will be advised which immunizations (if any) are required for their particular program:

  • Negative TB test or chest X-ray (1 every 12 months)
  • Tetanus/diphtheria vaccination (within last 10 years)
  • 2 MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccination or positive titer
  • Hepatitis B vaccination (series of 3 immunizations)

Additional immunizations may be required if recommended by instructor or required by practicum placement:

  • Flu Vaccine
  • Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap)
  • Varicella Vaccine
  • Rabies Vaccine (Veterinary Assistant program only)

Occupational Exposure

Students planning to enter any of the healthcare professions are advised that as a health care provider they are at risk for exposure to blood borne pathogens. Tasks and procedures performed by the health care professional involve risks classified by the Center for Disease Control in the following way:

  • Category I – Direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids to which universal precautions apply.
  • Category II – Activities performed without blood exposure but exposure may occur in emergencies.
  • Category III – Task/activity does not entail predictable or unpredictable exposure to blood.

Practicum Experiences

Students enrolled in the Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and Phlebotomy programs are required to complete a practicum experience.  Practicum experiences are at local health care facilities which may involve travel to various regions of Skagit, Whatcom, Snohomish, and Island counties. All students accepted into the practicum experience must have reliable transportation. All practicum experiences will be under the supervision of personnel at the medical facilities. Students will not be allowed to choose their practicum site. The department chair selects the facilities used for practicum sites and places qualified students.

Placement Rate

Placement and Completion Data

Contact Us

Dawn Koenig
Allied Health Program Assistant



AHE Information Sessions

Information sessions are scheduled by the AHE Department Chairperson and program faculty. For a current schedule of dates/times, please contact one of the persons listed above.

Program Video