Health Information Technology

Instructor of Health Information Technology Michelle KelchAre you interested in a career in healthcare but not necessarily in direct patient care? Health information is a fast growing sector of the industry that may be for you. Students learn the skills to assemble and organize patient medical information into electronic health records. Extensive hands-on application of technology tools, as well as ethical and professional behaviors are learned in the classroom and re-enforced in externships.

Entry-level positions for graduates of this program are available in health care settings as well as non-traditional settings such as law firms, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. Many students also continue on for a bachelor’s in health information management. The Health Information Technology associate degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

A complete list of classes for this degree

Program cost

Admission criteria

If you previously have attended college, you already may have a head start toward your degree. See an SC4 advisor for additional information.

Pre-application requirements:

  • Take COMPASS assessment testing or provide ACT testing results. If indicated by testing scores, students will be required to take developmental courses, including, but not limited to ENG-050, ENG-075, RD-050 and RD-075. These developmental courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Attain appropriate placement by COMPASS assessment testing or ACT score into MTH-110 Intermediate Algebra. If testing at this level is not attained, students will be required to take MTH-102. MTH-102 must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Complete BIO-171 Human Anatomy and Physiology I with a grade of “C” or better.
    • NOTE: If you previously have taken BIO-160 Anatomy and Physiology for Health Care Professionals and BIO-172 Human Anatomy and Physiology II, they may be accepted in the place of BIO-171. See program director for details.
     
  • Complete CIS-115 Microcomputer Applications with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Complete HE-102 Medical Terminology with a grade of "C" or better.
    • NOTE: If you previously have taken OA-280 Medical Terminology and Transcription or OA-280A Medical Terminology, they may be accepted in the place of HE-102. See program director for details.
          

Biology classes (160, 171, 172), HE-102 and CIS-115 must be completed within five academic years of admission to the program. (Students who completed BIO-172 within the last five academic years, but completed BIO-171 earlier than the last five academic years, will be considered as having met pre-application requirements. These students will not be required to repeat BIO-171.) BIO 271, HE 102 and CIS 115 must be completed within five academic years of admission to the program. See the table below for details:

Application deadline   Five-year time limit
June 30, 2017 Spring 2012 or later
June 30, 2018 Spring 2013 or later
June 30, 2019 Spring 2014 or later

Pre-application requirements must be completed and application to health information technology program must be received by:

  • June 30 for admission in fall semester (Students will need to take one course in summer session prior to program start.)

This is not a competitive admission program, but space is limited.

Thirty seats will be available each fall semester and 60 seats will be available each winter semester. Seats will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Therefore, fulfillment of these requirements doesn't guarantee immediate admission to the program. Students may be waitlisted for the following semester.

Background check:

As all students will be required to complete at least one on-site professional practice externship with a facility, students will be required to undergo a criminal background check and fingerprinting, for which the student will incur the costs. This is a requirement of the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. If you have a criminal felony record, contact the program director, as this could affect completion of the program.

Students also will be required to undergo a physical, which may include drug screening, TB testing and vaccination verification. These expenses are the student's responsibility.

Allied Health program application

Program expectations

Once admitted to the program:

  • Students are required to attend an orientation session.
  • Students are required to maintain an 80% pass rate in all health information technology core courses and a satisfactory grade in both of the required professional practice externships. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the student’s dismissal from the program.
  • Students are required to take courses in the order described in the model schedule provided in the catalog.
  • Students are permitted to repeat any health information technology course once. If program expectations are still not met, the student may be dismissed from the program.
  • Students are responsible for transportation to and from the professional practice externship site. Students also will be required to dress in appropriate business attire, as mandated by the externship site.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a criminal background check for the health information technology program?

Yes.  All perspective candidates must have a criminal background check prior to their professional practice externship. Please note: Conviction or charges will not preclude eligibility to take the American Health Information Management Association Registered Health Information Technician. However, it may make placement for the professional practice externship difficult, but not impossible.

How do I apply to the Health Information Management program?

If you haven’t already done so, complete an SC4 application (this will assign you a student ID number). This can be done online or on campus in Enrollment Services.

A secondary SC4 Allied Health Program Application, indicating Health Information Technology – Associate Degree as the intended program of study must be completed and sent to Enrollment Services by the June 30 deadline. (SC4 Enrollment Services, 323 Erie St., P.O. Box 5015, Port Huron, MI 48061-5015.) Note that program prerequisites must be completed the semester prior to starting the program.   

What is the amount of time that the Health Information Technology program requires?

The program is a full-time, four semester program. The rule of thumb for study time is for every credit hour you are in class per week you should expect to spend at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class preparing and/or studying. If you choose to complete the program on a part-time basis, it will extend the length of time to complete the program, however will lessen your weekly workload.

Can I CLEP (College Level Exam Program) out on the prerequisite courses for the Health Information Technology program?

Standard SC4 placement testing procedures are followed. See an SC4 academic advisor for details.

Do students get paid while they are in the program?


No, the Health Information Technology program is a training program. The professional practice externship portion of the program is an opportunity for student learning. Students are required to meet entry level competencies, the accomplishment of which will be determined by professional practice externship site coordinators and assignments.

Does the program have a waiting list?

The Health Information Technology program doesn’t carry a waiting list. Students must reapply each application year by the June 30 deadline. Currently admission to the program is on a first-come, first-served basis

Can financial aid be used for the Health Information Technology program?

Yes. The Health Information Technology program qualifies for financial aid, including, Michigan Works. More information can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov or you contact an SC4 financial aid officer at (810) 989-5530.

Will there by an application fee for applying to allied health programs in the future?

Yes, a $25 fee is required.

Program specific information

Credit for Work Experience - Students may request credit for work experience for PPEs only.  Students are required to submit the following six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which they will be completing the PPE:

  1. Letter of request
  2. Resume
  3. Current and past job descriptions and detail of all duties
  4. Notarized letter on facility letterhead from their employer validating the resume, job description and detail of duties

Once the required documents have been reviewed, credit may or may not be granted.  In the event credit is granted, students will be required to pay tuition for the PPE.  If a student possesses a current CCS credential and is working in the inpatient coding arena, this will be accepted in lieu of any coding aspects of PPEs.  Proof of credentials is required.

Credit for CCS and CCA - Credit for HIT courses may be received by students having the following credentials:

  • CCA - Certified Coding Associate
  • CCS – Certified Coding Specialist
  • CCS-P – Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based

Proof of credentials is required.  If proof of credentials is received, St. Clair County Community College will give credit for the following courses:

  • HIT 103 ICD-9-CM Coding
  • HIT 210 Advanced ICD-9-CM Coding
  • HIT 105 CPT Coding
  • HIT 201 ICD-10-CM & ICD-10-PCS 

NOTE:  Students will be expected to pay tuition for these courses in order to receive credit.

Program Effectiveness Data

Students graduating May 2014 (surveys sent 12 months following graduation)

Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam pass rates
SC4 is currently in candidacy status with the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management education, and therefore students are unable to sit for the RHIT exam at this time. Once accreditation is confirmed, students will be eligible and pass rates will be posted.

Employer satisfaction rate
100% of responding employers of SC4 health information technology program would hire graduates in the future.

Graduate satisfaction rate
100% of responding SC4 health information technology program graduates who are working in the health information management/technology field agreed that their overall academic experience in the SC4 health information technology program prepared them for the workplace in the health information management/technology profession.

Job placement rate
83.33% of responding SC4 health information technology program graduates are currently working in the health information management/technology profession in various healthcare settings.

Handbooks and resources

"It's a necessity in the health care field, and we need more people in it. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to go into the health care field, but doesn't want to be on the clinical side. It's a very rewarding program."

Tammy Hall, Medical Coder for Physicians HealthCare Network