Associate of Science Degree Program
IMPORTANT: To earn the Associate of Science Degree in Health Information Technology, students must complete BOTH HIT Department Requirements (see the listing here) and General Education Requirements, which are outlined on this page. A previous Associate Degree or Bachelor's Degree does not automatically meet General Education Requirements. All outside transcripts must be evaluated toward SBCC's requirements (see below for link).
Health Information Technology prepares you for a career working in health care settings where health information is used. Health Information Technicians perform computer and manual technical and organizational activities with medical records/health information: collecting, analyzing, integrating, protecting, securing and managing health care information. Specific duties include:
- Assuring patient privacy, confidentiality, and security of health information
- Assigning a numeric code to each diagnosis and procedure using coding classification schemes.
- Tabulating and analyzing medical data for administrative, regulatory, and legislative requirements.
- Assembling health data and presenting them during legal proceedings and/or medical review groups.
- Assisting in special studies and medical research.
- Performing clinical quality assessment and improvement activities.
- Participating in design and transition to the electronic health record.
- Supervising health information management and related staff.
- Supporting patient safety and quality improvement efforts and requirements in all healthcare settings.
The demand for health information professionals continues to rise due to the changes
in the healthcare industry and the advances in information technology. According to
recent data, there are approximately 12,000 to 50,000 new jobs anticipated by 2017,
and the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites medical records and health information technicians
as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the US. A recent article in the US News and World Report named health information management as the #4 top college major.
For most current salary information please reference hicareers.com/Toolbox/salarystudy
Courses in the Health Information Technology Program are offered totally online. All course content and exams are delivered online. Students interested in pursuing a degree must be highly motivated, independent learners, possessing excellent organizational and time management skills. Students must have email and Internet access. No on-campus attendance is required. Take this Online Readiness Assessment to determine if online learning is right for you.
Since this an entirely online program, students must be familiar with how to use the
internet, email, uploading and downloading files, and the use of various common word
processing programs. Please refer to the Technical Requirements page for more information.
The HIT Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). As a graduate, students are eligible to apply for writing the national examination for certification as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).
SBCC's RHIT exam pass rates have exceeded 90% for the last three years, click here for details.
Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) is very proud to announce their RHIT Certification Exam results. The Health Information Technology (HIT) Program at SBCC has a proven track record when it comes to the national exam results. As shown in the graph provided, SBCC’s certification exam pass rates for first-time test takers have exceeded the national averages for the last four years. We have designed a rigorous curriculum for our fully online HIT Program at SBCC, which successfully prepares our students for the RHIT Exam. The students at SBCC are very dedicated to their education and have worked diligently to excel in both their studies and on the national exam.
Students are encouraged to apply for early testing for the RHIT exam during their final semester in the HIT Program at SBCC. California students who are members of the California Health Information Association (CHIA) are eligible to apply for the Exam Fee Reimbursement Program by passing the RHIT exam within six months of graduation from an HIT program. Information can be found at www.californiahia.org.
Program Student Learning Outcomes (PLSO)
Apply biomedical knowledge (medical knowledge, pathophysiology, and pharmacology) to the process of clinical code assignment.
Analyze and communicate clinical and statistical data to improve patient care and facilitate financial planning.
Apply and demonstrate knowledge of legal, ethical, accreditation and certification standards as they relate to health information.
Participate in planning and implementing clinical and administrative information systems in traditional and alternative healthcare settings.
Apply federal and state mandates that regulate standards for data storage, retrieval, retention and security procedures specific to the health information management field.
Demonstrate the ability to work effectively as an individual and collaboratively in a group to resolve health information management challenges in a changing healthcare environment.
Applying for Admission
Please go to our Application page for instructions on applying to the college. There is no separate application for
the HIT Program.
For procedures to verify completion of HIT prerequisites and to view a specific list of HIT class prerequisites and course advisories.
Instructions for Completing a Transcript Evaluation can be found on our Transcript Evaluation page.
Information and help is available at SBCC's Financial Aid page or call the office at: (805) 965-0581 x 2417. Advance planning is required to complete the necessary paperwork in short time frames!
For information on Board of Governors Fee Waivers, scholarships, etc., please go to
the SBCC Financial Aid page.
During the first week of class, you will complete online orientation exercises designed
to familiarize you with the course and the online classroom. If you have any problems
or difficulties with one or more of these steps, contact your instructor immediately.
Textbooks may be purchased or rented online at www.sbccbooks.com, once you have registered for your class(es) and the online bookstore has opened
for the semester.
General Education Requirements for the Associate Degree
With the exception of English and Math requirements, all of the General Education requirements can be fulfilled fully online through SBCC. English and Math should be completed at a local community college (you may email Dr. Gwyer Schuyler at firstname.lastname@example.org with course descriptions to get courses approved).
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)
B. Social and Behavioral Science (HIST 100 or 101 or 102 or POLS 101)
C. Humanities (AJ 105 or ART 215 or MUS 115 or 118)
D-1. English Composition (to be taken at a local college)
D-2. Communication and Critical Thinking (will be met with Math)
E-1. Intermediate Algebra (to be taken at a local college). Note: Prior to Fall 09, Elementary Algebra was acceptable. Students who were enrolled at SBCC in Spring or Summer 09 and who remain enrolled each Fall and Spring until graduating will not be subject to the new requirement. However, students completing only up to Elementary Algebra must complete all 4 of the following E category requirements, instead of 3 out of 4.
AND Choose 3 out of the following 4 -
E-2. American Institutions (met with 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 (met with area C courses listed above - ART 215 or MUS 115 or 118)
AND you also need
F. Information Competency (LIBR 101)
Students must complete all department requirements with a grade of 'C' or better. Pass grading is not permitted in a student’s major area of study. An overall grade point average (gpa) of 2.0 is required at SBCC and across all colleges attended.
Candidates must complete at least 20% of the HIT department requirements through SBCC.
Recommended Course Loads
Students who are newcomers to online learning or have a low comfort level with computers may want to limit their first semester to 3 units. Students who work full-time and have family and personal commitments are advised to limit enrollment to 6 units per semester. Students who work 20 hours per week and have family and personal commitments are advised to limit enrollment to 9 units per semester. It is recommended that students limit their enrollment in SBCC's short 6 week summer session to one HIT/CIM class.
For more information, go to our Course Guidelines page
For additional information, please contact:
Health Information Technology
Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394
(805) 965-0581 x 2851
Janet L. Robertson, RHIA
HIT Program Director
Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 965-0581, ext 2851
Dr. Gwyer Schuyler
HIT/CIM Academic Counselor
Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive,
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 965-0581 x 2569
Fax: (805) 560-0591 ATT: Gwyer