Health Information Technology & Cancer Information

Back to SBCC

HIT/CIM/Coding Frequently Asked Questions


Use CTRL+F, to search on this page. For Mac, use Command+F

I have never taken an online course before. What do I need to know, what will it be like and what are the system requirements?
Review the list of skills and technical requirements to assess your readiness to take online classes and go through the distance education orientation program here.

What if the classes that I want to take are full? What is a wait list?
At this time most HIT/CIM departmental courses do not have wait lists.  If a course is full (Closed), please review the electronic schedule to watch for seats to become available prior to the beginning of the semester.  Please note: If you leave the schedule open for any period of time (even 10 or 15 minutes can make a difference), you will need to periodically press the F5 key to refresh the schedule. HIT/CIM departmental faculty cannot add students to any course that is full (Closed). 

Students are highly encouraged to review their student educational plans and recommended course sequencing with the HIT/CIM Academic Counselor, Dr. Gwyer Schuyler (  Information on academic planning and constructing a student educational plan can be reviewed at

Closed Classes
If a class is full (closed), you will need to monitor the schedule for an available opening. Instructors in the HIT/CIM department do not issue add authorization codes during the registration period but may do so during the drop/add period, which begins on the first day of classes. Once the semester is underway, you can email instructors to request add authorization codes, but please be aware that it is up to the instructor whether to add you or not.

I didn't take any courses this semester. Do I have to re-apply for next semester?
Yes! You need to resubmit a new application at, selecting the correct term.

How do I apply and enroll?

  1. Complete an SBCC application at Make sure to select the correct term!
  2. If you are new to college and pursuing a degree, see the next question about new student holds.
  3. If you have attended other colleges or are pursuing a certificate, there will be no new student holds. You will be able to register once your priority registration date comes up.
  4. To find your registration date, you will log into Pipeline at, go to ‘Registration’, then to 'Check Your Pre-Registration Requirements and Registration Appointment'.
  5. Once your registration date is here, go to our web schedule, choose the classes that you want to register for, and write down their CRN numbers.
  6. Log into Pipeline at, and go to 'Add, Drop & Register for Classes'. Enter the CRN numbers into the ADD WORKSHEET screen. Be sure
    to pay for the courses ASAP within Pipeline!

I have Orientation and Class Planning holds on my account. How do I get those removed?
1. To complete Online Orientation, CLICK HERE.
2. For Class Planning, email Gwyer Schuyler, Counselor, at to request a first semester plan. Include your Student ID # (K00…) and your major in your email.  Include in your email how many units you want to take (consider our courseload guidelines). Gwyer will clear the hold and email you back with a plan.

How do I get an earlier priority registration date for the next term?
Continuing students are given priority over new or returning students. Priority for continuing students is based on the number of units completed through SBCC. More information is available here. NOTE: If you indicated Personal Enrichment as your education goal on your application, you will not receive an early priority registration date. You can change that by submitting a Student Data Change form available at

When does registration start for the next term?
That depends on your registration date. For Continuing students, Summer registration begins in mid April, Fall registration begins in late April, and Spring registration begins in mid November. To find your date, you will log into Pipeline at, go to 'Registration', then to 'Check Your Pre-Registration Requirements and Registration Appointment'. For current term dates, to to the Important Dates page here.

What classes are required for HIT or CIM or Coding?
Review each of our program's requirements from links on our home page HERE.

What are the General Education Requirements for the AS degrees in HIT and CIM? 
Below are the required GE areas, with SBCC's fully online course options in parentheses following each category:
A. Natural Science with lab (BOT 121 or BIOL 120 or BIOL 122+123 or BIOL 140+141)
B. Social and Behavioral Science (HIST 100 or 101 or 102 or POLS 101)
C. Humanities (AJ 105 or ART 215 or FS 111 or FS 116 or MUS 115 or 118)
D-1. English Composition (ENG 110) English Composition requirement is met if you have a BA/BS degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.
D-2. Communication and Critical Thinking (you can double count area E-4 COMM 122 or 162)
E-1. Mathematics [Official high school transcripts showing completion of Algebra 2 or higher OR a college-level Intermediate Algebra math course (MATH 107 or MATH 110C or higher)]
AND Choose 3 out of the following 4 -
E-2. American Institutions (you can double count area B courses listed above - HIST 100 or 101 or 102 or POLS 101)
E-3. PE/Health (PE 163A + HE 101)
E-4. Oral Communication (COMM 122 or 162)
E-5. Multicultural/Gender Studies (you can double count area C courses listed above - AJ 105 or ART 215 or FS 111 or FS 116 or MUS 115 or 118)
AND you also need
F. Information Competency (LIBR 101)

Besides completing the specific department requirements and general education course requirements, are there other graduation requirements for the AS degrees in HIT and CIM?
(1) Complete all department requirements with a “C” or better in each course. Candidates for an Associate Degree are also required to complete at least 20% of the department requirements through SBCC. Pass/No Pass grading is not permitted in those courses needed to fulfill department requirements;
(2) Complete at least 18 units of General Education Requirements (Areas A-D of the SBCC General Education pattern);
(3) Complete the SBCC Institutional Requirements (Area E);
(4) Complete the Information Competency Requirement (Area F);
(5) Complete a total of 60 degree-applicable units (SBCC courses numbered 100 and higher);
(6) Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in all units attempted at SBCC;
(7) Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in all college units attempted; and
(8) Candidates for an Associate Degree are required to complete 15 units through SBCC.

What is the cost?
Each program is made up of a number of courses of different unit values. For example, the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate requires 36 units. California residents are subject to an enrollment fee. Non-California residents are subject to the enrollment fee plus out-of-state tuition. The current costs are listed at There will be textbook costs of $100 or more per class as well.
For financial aid information, go to:

Are the online courses self-paced?
The courses follow the semester calendar with a start date and end date. Assignments have due dates and exams are available for a certain period of time. Students do not have to be logged into the class at a given time, so you can work at 11 pm or 5 am or whatever works for you as long as you meet the deadlines of the assignments and exams.

How long will it take for me to complete requirements and graduate?
The length of time it will take you depends on a few factors: how many classes you are comfortable taking each semester; the sequencing of courses; and if you are able to get into the classes you need. Please note that because of the large number of students trying to get into our classes, it can be very challenging to get into required courses in your major in your first semester. This is due to the fact that as a new student to SBCC, your priority registration date will come after all continuing students. Therefore, this can extend the time that it will take to complete your program by one or two semesters. For more information on planning your courses and to design a semester-by-semester schedule, go to

What HIT/CIM classes are offered in the Summer sessions?
Summer sessions are an intensive six week term covering 16 weeks of material. Here is the list of courses that are typically offered in the Summer: BMS 146, HIT 135, HIT 201, HIT 204, HIT 284, HIT 285, MGMT 101, and a range of General Education courses.

I need a Student Educational Plan (SEP). How do I get one?
Review the information on this website: for class planning information and your next steps to request an SEP from Gwyer Schuyler, HIT/CIM counselor.

How do I get a prerequisite hold released?
There are two ways to get these holds released: 1) request a full transcript evaluation at or 2) have individual courses evaluated by following the procedures at

In order to be eligible for the RHIT Credential Exam, must both the HIT Department requirements and General Education requirements be completed?
Yes! You must earn your HIT AS degree in order to be eligible to take the RHIT Credential exam. There is a process to request early RHIT exam testing in your final semester of courses. Please refer to the AHIMA website for more information:

How do I get my transcripts evaluated?
Please refer to for more information and step-by-step instructions.


How can I check the status of a transcript evaluation request and self evaluation?
Current turn-around time is 1 to 2 weeks to get an email back with the determination.

How can I check as to whether a certain course that I am interested in taking at another college will be accepted to meet GE requirements?
Email Gwyer Schuyler with the course description.

I have failed some classes and my gpa has fallen below a 2.0. Will I be allowed to continue taking classes?
You may be required to petition for reinstatement and through this process, you may be limited on the number of units you can take. The policies and procedures related to probation and disqualification are available at

I think I completed all requirements to graduate or I am in my last semester. How do I apply to graduate?
Go to

I have previous experience or training in the content of a certain HIT class. Can I take a challenge exam?
Challenge exams for some HIT classes are available for those who qualify. Go to:

I attended a trade school that was not regionally accredited. Can that coursework apply toward HIT requirements? 
No, we can only apply coursework that was from a regionally accredited institution. You do have the option of taking up to 12 units of challenge exams for HIT coursework. For more information on challenge exams, go to:

I took online courses through AHIMA. Can that coursework apply toward HIT requirements?
No, we can only apply coursework that was from a regionally accredited institution. You do have the option of taking up to 12 units of challenge exams for HIT coursework. For more information on challenge exams, go to: 

  I already have a health-related credential (for example, RN, LVN, CPC, CCS, etc.). Will any courses be waived based on that?
Go to:

I have a lot of computer experience; can I get COMP 101 waived?
The Computer Applications Department does not waive this requirement or have a challenge exam. You must have a comparable course or courses from a regionally accredited college or university OR Microsoft Office Certification.

What is the EPC code for Santa Barbara City College for my student membership with AHIMA?
The EPC Code is 624.

I'm not sure if I should pursue the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate or the HIT AS degree. How do I decide? 
Many students decide to begin by pursuing the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate. Some then decide to continue onto the HIT AS degree. All but two of the courses for the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate are also required for the HIT AS degree!

Are there jobs available in this field?
National trends show growth in job availability in the HIM, CIM and Coding fields, however at the regional level, there can be great differences. We encourage students to research the job availability in their local area by contacting the Human Resources departments of local healthcare facilities and speaking to a representative.

Is there a required Internship or Practicum for HIT/CIM/Coding?
Yes, see below:

HIT Practicum - HIT 275
The HIT practicum is a supervised onsite experience performing CAHIIM/AHIMA-required HIT competencies for an affiliated healthcare organization. Content includes confidentiality, privacy and security of health information; retention, retrieval, storage and release of health information; electronic health records and compliance with reimbursement, regulatory and accreditation requirements for health information.

CIM Practicum - CIM 275
The CIM practicum is hands-on experience in all aspects of registry organization and operation. It is supervised clinical experience in performing NCRA-required cancer information management competencies in an actual registry setting.

Coding Practicum - HIT 280
The Coding practicum is in application of clinical classification systems, coding, case mix analysis, and use of coded and abstracted data. Discussion focuses on directed practice activities. Supervised clinical experience focuses on coding patient care records.

For frequently asked questions about the practicum classes, go here.

Have you reviewed all FAQs but still have questions? Submit your questions here.

Back to topBack to top

721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394    Main Campus Phone: 805.965.0581    © 2018 Santa Barbara City College