Frequently Asked Questions
If I am interested in applying to TJC's Health Information Technology program, what is my next step?
All students need to:
- Complete the Application for admission to Tyler Junior College
- Complete the Application to the Health Information Technology Program
- Provide your official TSI (Texas Success Initiative) results
- Submit official transcripts to the Tyler Junior College
What Skills Requirements/Computer Literacy do I need to have?
You need to have a basic knowledge of the computer and Internet skills in order to be successful in an online course. You will also need to complete and pass the BCIS 1405-Business Computer Applications, course prior to starting the HIT Program.
What type of courses will I take?
Associate in Health Information Technology (HIT) degree programs typically focus on the following subjects:
- computer technology
- information management
- electronic health records
- coding diseases and operations
- healthcare administration
- healthcare reimbursement
Many HIT programs let students transfer associate’s degree credits to a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management programs.
Is the HIT program accredited?
Yes, the Health Information Technology Associate Degree Program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
Is there a credential available upon graduation from the program?
Yes, students who successfully complete the program are eligible to sit for the national exam for Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This credential is recognized throughout the United States, and only graduates of a CAHIIM accredited HIT program are eligible to sit for this exam.
When can I take the RHIT exam?
A. You will be eligible to take the RHIT exam once you are enrolled in your final term of study or upon successful completion of the program, and after the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has accepted your application. While it is important to graduate from the Health Information Technology program, it is extremely advantageous to your career that you obtain your RHIT credential. This identifies you as a professional in your field of health care.
Is the HIT program offered completely online?
All coursework is offered online, except for the Anatomy & Physiology labs and the Professional Practice Course (Clinical) where students practice in various healthcare facilities.
Are the online classes self-paced?
No, each HIT online course is divided into modules and you are given a schedule as to when each module ends and a test is given online. The tests are given in an online proctored environment.
What is the time commitment per class?
Online classes take as much time as regular on-campus classes. You need to set aside sufficient time for study. Plan to spend at least as much time working on the assignments and studying as you would with a traditional course. Note that some students report spending even more time for online classes than for traditional ones. Time that you need to devote to a 3-credit course will be approximately 12 hours a week.
What is the cost of the HIT program?
Tuition and fees are published in the College Catalog and on the college website at www.tjc.edu. In addition to the "per credit hour" fee, there are laboratory fees assigned to courses with a lab/clinical component. Additional costs include textbooks, workbooks, medical fees for a physical exam and drug screening and immunizations. Since each student has different needs, we cannot give you an exact cost, but rather a "ballpark" figure of $4500 to $5000 for the entire program. Financial aid is available through the College for qualified students.
Do any classes have an expiration date?
Yes, BIOL 2401, BIOL 2402 expire at 7 years, POFM 1300- 5 years, BCIS 1405 5 years, and any HITT class must have been taken within the last 5 years.
What information is required for the clinical rotation?
A student must have the following completed before participating in the clinical rotation at the healthcare facilities:
- Background Check—must be clear, no felonies
- Drug Screen—must be clear
- Physical Exam
- TB Skin Test—must be negative
- Provide immunization records
- Proof of hepatitis B series
- Proof of current flu vaccination
- Health Insurance
What kind of jobs are available to a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)?
RHIT’s are employed in hospitals, physician offices, medical clinics, and outpatient surgery centers. Various job areas include but are not limited to: coding, reimbursement, quality, trauma registry, tumor registrar, and electronic chart analysis. As electronic health records are being mandated, job opportunities related to maintaining and updating the electronic health record are becoming available.
What are the employment prospects for a trained health information technician?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. For more detailed information, visit https://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-6
What do Health Information Technicians earn?
Earnings will vary depending upon experience, skill level and location. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a Health Information Technician in 2019 was $42,630 per year, or $20.50 per hour. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm
How can I find out more about the health information profession?
The national organization for HIT professionals is the American Health Information Management Association. Please visit their website at http://www.ahima.org
What degree and certificate does the HIT Program offer?
The HIT Program offers one Associate of Applied Science degree, and a certificate:
- Health Information Technology AAS degree
- Medical Coding Certificate
What is the minimum grade requirement to pass a course?
Students must earn a grade of C (77%) or higher in all HITT courses in order to pass. If a student earns a D, F, or drops the course, that course will have to be taken again and will delay progression within the degree plan.
When does the program start and how long is it?
TJC’s Health Information Technology program begins each fall semester and continues for four long semesters. You also may begin the program during the spring semester, especially if planning to attend part-time.