New Health Degree Programs at FSW to Help Meet Demand for Professionals

Florida SouthWestern State College’s (FSW) School of Health Professions will soon launch three new programs at the FSW Charlotte Campus in Punta Gorda. 

These programs are tailored to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in the healthcare industry and underscore FSW’s commitment to providing accessible, high-quality education to students in Southwest Florida. 

FSW’s College Credit Certificate (CCC) in Medical Assisting Specialist is a three-semester College Credit Certificate embedded within the AS, Advanced Medical Assisting degree, tailored to provide students with the skills and knowledge to perform clinical duties in various patient care settings. Graduates are prepared to assist with taking vital signs, minor surgical procedures, examination room preparation, medication administration, phlebotomy, electrocardiogram administration, and various other clinical tasks in a variety of healthcare settings. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be eligible to become certified in Phlebotomy, EKG Technician, and Clinical Medical Assistant. With these certifications, students can start working in the healthcare field while continuing to pursue their studies for an Associate in Science degree in Advanced Medical Assisting. 

FSW’s Associate in Science (AS) in Advanced Medical Assisting degree will build upon the knowledge and skills gained after earning the College Credit Certificate (CCC) in Medical Assisting Specialist and provide students with expanded understanding of the core principles, practices, and skills of the medical assistant and in an administrative support capacity such as patient communication, electronic health records, processing incoming/outgoing patients (scheduling, collecting fees, or arranging for payment), medical coding and billing, and processing insurance claims. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be eligible to pursue certification not only in Phlebotomy, EKG Technician, Clinical Medical Assistant but also in Certified Medical Assistant, Electronic Health Records Specialist, and Billing and Coding Specialist.  

FSW’s Associate in Science (AS) in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program will prepare students for rewarding careers in physical therapy by providing hands-on expertise in therapeutic exercises, techniques for improving mobility and relieving pain, and the use of specialized equipment. Graduates of the PTA program will play a pivotal role in facilitating patient recovery and function under the supervision of a Physical Therapist. The program will begin in January 2025, pending accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). 

Over the next decade, an average of 114,600 medical assisting jobs are anticipated annually. Between 2022 and 2032, there is a projected job growth rate of 19.5% in Florida. Physical therapist assistant jobs are also expected to increase, with a projected job growth rate of 42%, 18,100 job openings projected annually in the U.S. and 1,340 projected annually in Florida. 

“We are excited to expand our offerings within the School of Health Professions at our FSW Charlotte Campus,” said Dr. Tami Such, Dean of the School of Health Professions at FSW. “These new programs will provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in rewarding and impactful healthcare careers. We look forward to welcoming our inaugural cohorts and supporting them in their journey toward success.” 

For more information about these programs and how to apply, visit

Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and most affordable institution of higher education. Annually serving nearly 20,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees and professional certifications, several with 100 percent licensure pass and job placements rates. Study and travel abroad opportunities are available for students through FSW’s Center for International Education. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. Visit for more information. 

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