Bachelor of Science in Surgical Assisting

The BSSA program at Bellin College prepares competent entry-level surgical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. We prepare our students to become an integral part of the operating room team upon graduation.

In this consecutive three-year program, students will learn the skills necessary for management of the sterile field and preparation of the operating room, while also expanding their abilities and knowledge to become an advanced member of the surgical team as a Surgical First Assistant. A surgical first assist anticipates the needs of the surgical team during the procedure and works closely with the surgeon by providing aid in surgical site exposure, bleeding control, wound closure, and performing any necessary intraoperative functions that help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results.

How would you like to be in a unique profession?

  • Challenging and fast-paced environment.
  • Experience a variety of surgical procedures and patients.
  • A profession that changes the quality of patient’s lives.
  • Get to experience human anatomy first-hand daily.
  • Advancements in technology for surgical procedures is ongoing.
  • A surgeon mentor will provide hands-on supervision and teaching to advance your surgical techniques such as equipment and tissue handling along with wound closure.
  • Throughout clinical rotations, you will have the opportunity to experience multiple surgical specialties.

This program is the ONLY Bachelor’s Degree program in the country for surgical assisting, and provides in depth training in surgical technology, office practice training, and surgical assisting.

“The BSSA program at Bellin College offers multiple areas of expertise for students to choose from. Graduates have great earning potential and the opportunity to quickly advance in their careers, with employment options throughout many communities. We are looking forward to working with students and graduates of this program.”

Maria Klim, Vice President of Surgery and Anesthesia Services, Bellin Hospital

Mission Statement and Program Philosophy

Bellin College Mission
Bellin College is dedicated to educating healthcare professionals through innovation, leadership, and service that promotes lifelong learning and excellence.

Program Philosophy
In association with the mission of Bellin College, it is the intention of the surgical assisting program to educate students who will function as proficient healthcare professionals and team members possessing a constant concern for quality patient care and technical competency.

Program Goals and Outcomes

Program Goal 1: To prepare competent entry-level surgical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession.

  • Student Learning Outcomes (Cognitive)
    • Applied healthcare and technological science principles to the perioperative environment.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of surgical assisting principles and scope of practice.
  • Student Learning Outcomes (Psychomotor)
    • Demonstrated the ability to effectively assist in and manage patients for surgical procedures.
    • Performed pertinent assisting duties as required of a surgical assistant.
  • Student Learning Outcomes (Affective)
    • Demonstrated professional behavior and effective communication skills.
    • Provided compassionate patient care surgically and clinically.

Program Goal 2: Students will have an understanding and appreciation for optimum aseptic techniques and infection prevention.

  • Student Learning Outcomes
    • Understood aseptic technique and infection prevention safety.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of sterile processing principles and practices.
    • Recognized and corrected contaminations.

Program Goal 3: Students will demonstrate entry-level competency in surgical assisting.

  • Student Learning Outcomes
    • Demonstrated entry level clinical competency in operating room and clinic procedures.
    • Prepared to enter the profession as a Certified Surgical First Assistant.

Program Goal 4: Students will portray leadership skills.

  • Student Learning Outcomes
    • Successful completion of leadership course.
    • Served as a volunteer for a college/community event.
Program Effectiveness

The performance of the Surgical Assisting Program at Bellin College is reflected through program effectiveness data defined by the accrediting body, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Program effectiveness data includes:

Program completion rate – the number of students that began the program divided by the number of students that complete the program.

Credentialing examination pass rate– the number of students who pass the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) certification examination on the first attempt within one-year of program completion.

Job placement rate – the number of students that gain employment in the field of surgical assisting or a related field within twelve months of graduation from the program.

Visit Bellin College’s statistic’s page for more information:

Handbook and Catalog

The Bellin College (program) Guide – Handbook and Catalog summarizes campus information pertaining to College resources, policies and procedures as well as student services and academic planning.

Bellin College Catalog

Academic Plan

A three-year academic plan of study for those with few or no prior college credits seeking a Bachelor of Science in Surgical Assisting. 120 Credits (62 BSST, 58 General Education)

Clinical Case Requirements for the Bellin College Surgical Assisting Program are the following: Each student must complete 140 cases in a variety of specialties with a sponsoring surgeon, or a Bellin College approved Certified Assistant. Specific requirements include:

  • General Surgery: Minimum of 20 cases
  • Minimum of 120 various specialty cases

All cases must be done with a Board-Certified MD, DO, DPM, or a Bellin College approved Surgical Assistant Preceptor (CSFA, CSA). Students will fill out case logs on a daily basis, as well as secure preceptor agreement forms and evaluations.

A list of sample academic plans for the Bachelor of Science in Surgical Assisting program can be found within the College’s Handbook and Catalog:


Bellin College’s surgical assisting program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The Bachelor of Science in Surgical Assisting (BSSA) degree at Bellin College has a site visit scheduled for pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( This step in the process is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

Upon successful completion of their Surgical Technology requirements, the students will be eligible to sit for the Technologist in Surgery-Certified (TS-C) national certification examination through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) prior to entering the Senior year of their program.

Visit Bellin College’s Accreditation page for more information:

Why choose Bellin College?

With our small class sizes, our three consecutive year program will provide you with excellent opportunities, resources, and state-of-the-art facilities to excel in your academic and clinical experience. In addition, our unique program will offer you:

  • Direct admission with no waitlist
  • Bachelor’s degree in three years
  • Utilizing advanced technology in the form of a synthetic cadaver (SynDaver), students are able to perform advanced surgical simulations.
  • Broad education that expands career opportunities beyond the operating room
  • Preparation for leadership roles
  • Better prepared to work as a member of the surgical team, which will improve employability
  • Tuition less than other health sciences roles
  • Employable prior to graduation
  • Foundation for advanced degrees (IE Physician Assistant)
  • Students will be eligible to sit for the Technologist in Surgery-Certified (TS-C) national certification examination through the National Center for Competency Testing (NSST).

Employment Opportunities Post-Graduation:

  • Hospital facility
  • Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • Work for a specific surgeon or surgical group
  • Join an established group of surgical assistants
  • Open your own business and work with several surgeons
  • Travel opportunities throughout the United States

APPLY NOW    BSSA Academic Plan


Please contact Bellin College Admissions at,
(920) 433-6650, or use our online contact form.

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