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What North Carolina Colleges Offer a Health Information Technology Degree?

by Lori Garrett-Hatfield

Projected as one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Health Information Technology graduates are trained to manage patient care, nurse and doctor notes and paperless billing systems through secure information systems. Several North Carolina community colleges offer programs in Health Information Technology.

Western Region

Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory offers a two-year Health Information Technology program. When students complete the program, they receive an Associate of Applied Science degree. Students take courses in medical terminology, data systems and health care. After graduation, they are eligible to sit for a national examination to become a registered health information technician, which may offer more career choices. At Southwestern Community College in Sylva, students in Health Information Technology have a 100% passage rate on the national certification examination. Students are also given the option to take the national coding exam to become certified medical coders.

North Central Region

Students in Health Information Technology at Durham Technical Community College in Durham have several options while studying for their associate degree. Many of the courses are available online, but students must attend some classes on campus. Before graduation, students present an informatics project on an aspect of health information technology as part of their final year -- in most cases, students present a project as part of a team. In addition, Durham students participate in three classes of practical experience before graduation.

South Central Region

Students at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte begin their two-year health information technology program with introductory course work in writing, computers and communication. They then take course work in medical terminology, health law and ethics, and a full year of practical internship experience. The school states that many of their students work as medical coders in the healthcare field. Davidson County Community College in Davidson requires that its health information technology students take statistics, marketing and planning as part of their two-year program. Davidson offers scholarships to students who plan on working in other countries, or who work with populations from other countries as part of their service learning.

Eastern Region

Brunswick Community College in Bolivia has courses designed around a four week, eight week, or 16-week schedule, and they offer online courses, on-campus courses and hybrid courses, where students may take some courses online and others on campus. Students at Edgecombe Community College in Edgecombe have a choice of two diploma tracks for their five-semester-long associate degree: health information technology coding and health informatics. Students also have professional experience each semester during their course work. At Pitt Community College in Greenville, students have the option of taking a two-year associate degree course online, or beginning with a six-week workforce certificate if they wish to work right away, and then working towards the associate degree in health information technology.

About the Author

Lori Garrett-Hatfield has a B.J. in Journalism from the University of Missouri. She has a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. She has been working in the Education field since 1994, and has taught every grade level in the K-12 system, specializing in English education, and English as a Second Language education.

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