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Please take time to review our virtual information session for complete information on the changes to the program:

Q:Where can I find information on the Medical Office Professional Program?
A: Beginning Spring 2013 the Medical Office Professional Program has transitioned under the Health Information Technology program.

  • The Medical Office Professional Associate Degree - Winter 2013 will be the last quarter that new students are admitted to the current Medical Office Professional AAS Track. Beginning Spring 2013, students wishing to pursue this type of degree will be referred to the Associate of Applied Science (APS) in Health Information Technology (HIT).
  • The Medical Billing Specialist Certificate is now found under the Health Information Technology (HIT) program

Q:If I began a Medical Office Certificate or Degree prior to Spring 2013, what does this mean for me?
A: If you began your Medical Office Certificate or Degree prior to Spring 2013 then you will be able to finish your degree or certificate following the curriculum that you started on.

Q: Is the HIT program offered online?

A: Yes, the entire program is available ONLINE - there are some live meetings times required, but you can do these through teleconference.  The program is not offered in a traditional campus based format.

Q: What is the duration of the HIT program?

A: 7 college quarters including the pre-reqs (taking 13-18 credits/quarter)  total curriculum = 106 credits. We do not have core courses over summer so it can take you 8 quarters to complete the six quarter program. We do often offer a few electives so you may want to apply for summer financial aid as well.

Q:  How do I enroll at TCC?

A:  Start at "New Student Enrollment Process"


 Q: How do I get into the HIT program?

A: The HIT program courses are on a first-come basis.  You can register for our entry courses once you have completed all of your prerequisite courses.  Once you are enrolled in these courses then you are considered part of the HIT program.  After the 10th day of the quarter you enroll in these three courses you will be switched to the HIT advising staff and will then be able to progress through the HIT program.

Q:  Do I have to apply and be formally accepted to the HIT Program?

A: There is no formal acceptance process into the HIT program – however space is limited and students are allowed in on a space-available basis.  HIT courses are filled on a space available basis.

To register for the entry courses (HIT 110 and 125) you need to have met the pre-reqs for the program (English 101, Math 146, HIT 105, and Biology 175). It will also be dependent on your registration time. If the classes are full I also suggest putting yourself on the wait list. If you took your pre-reqs somewhere other than TCC you will want to get your transcripts in as soon as possible so they are recognized by the computer and allow you to register - although receipt of an entry code does not guarantee a spot in the program.

Q: What do I do if I don't get into the HIT Entry Courses HIT 110 and HIT 125?

A: The HIT entry courses are HIT 110, and HIT 125 and for the 2016-17 school year they are offered only in the Fall.  PLEASE NOTE BEGINNING FALL 2016 WE WILL ENTER IN FALL ONLY. We currently have a high demand for these courses.  These courses are filled based on space available.  It is important that you register as soon as your registration time allows.  If you do not get into the course right away then please:

  1. Put yourself on the wait list.  The wait lists may move and you still may get into the course.
  2. Begin working on the non-HIT classes in our program, specifically CU 103 and CU 210.  IT will definitely benefit you in this field so consider also taking CU 102, CU 108,  CU 203, CU 210, IT 245, IT 246.  Also consider taking courses that will increase your communication skills, like English 102, and CMST&101, and CMST& 220.
  3. Due to our high demand, it is possible that you will not get into the HIT program your first try (or possibly even your second try). Have a backup plan.  Look into other programs just in case.  Other similar professional focused programs may be the Medical Office Program, Billing program, Paralegal program (just to name a few).  Also consider working towards a general Associate's Degree.  Our General Advising department would be happy to work with you to help you consider other degrees if the HIT degree does not work out for you at this time.
  4. Also please check out the website http://www.cahiim.org/directoryofaccredpgms/programdirectory.aspx to find additional CAHIIM accredited HIT programs.

Q:  Does the Program have any Prerequisites?

A:  Yes.  You must be assessed at College level in English, Reading, and Math.  The TCC assessment process will determine where you stand in these areas (see next question below for more details). 


Q:  How do I find out if I am or am not at college level English, Reading, and Math?

A:  You need to take an assessment test.  These are commonly called "Accuplacer", "Asset" or "Compass" tests.   You can take these tests at any local college and send the results to TCC.  Sorry, tests are not yet available completely online.  More information on this available on the TCC website –


Assessment below college level in any of these three areas will require that you take developmental classes to attain college level competency to satisfy this requirement.  This will delay your starting of HIT classes.

Also – these results are a MUST for initial advising purposes.  So plan to get this done early in the enrollment process!

Q:  My Accuplacer, Asset or Compass demonstrates that I am already at college level in English and Reading.  Do I still have to take English 101?  And do I need to complete it before I can start my HIT classes?

A:  Yes. Regardless of your assessment scores in English and Reading, English 101 is a college requirement of all students.  So unless you are transferring in English 101 then yes, you will need to work this into your education plan.  You must complete all pre-requisite courses before you may begin any HIT courses.

Q:  What about the Human Anatomy and Physiology requirement?

A:  One of the foundational classes of any medical curriculum is Human A & P. The HIT degree program requires a college level 5 credit Human Anatomy & Physiology class. The TCC course that meets this requirement is BIOL& 175 with a lab (TCC also requires at least BUS 110 OR Math 90 as a prerequisite to the BIOL& 175 class).  You must complete this prerequisite course before beginning any HIT degree core courses.

Q:  Can I take the Human Anatomy and Physiology class at another college and transfer it in to meet this requirement?

A:  YES.  The requirement is that it be a college level 5 credit Human Anatomy and Physiology.  It should include a lab. See the TCC College Catalog online for detailed course description. You must be sure you are taking this from a regionally accredited college so that it will transfer over to TCC.  If in doubt, contact our transcript department at 253-566-5048.

Q:  I have completed classes at another college, but they weren't in HIT or medical related, do you want to know about them?

A: YES.  It can be very important and helpful to advise you properly that we have information about any and all prior college level coursework.  If you have prior college level coursework you will need to send a set of official transcripts to TCC for review and verification.  An unofficial copy to me directly would also be helpful in speeding up the process.

Q:  I find that I do have to take some English, Math, or Biology classes.  Can I start taking any of the HIT classes as I am working my way through some of these prerequisites?

A:  NO. You must complete all prerequisite courses before beginning the HIT core courses. 

Q: My English, Math, or Biology is from more than 10 years ago. Do I need to retake it?

A: Maybe. It is not enought to merely have these classes on a transcript. You must actually possess the skills from these courses. If you have been using these skills consistently since you last took them then you have those skills and do not need to retake the classes. If you have not used the skills in quite a while then it may be in your best interest to retake them. Botom line is that we expect you to have those skills and we do not reteach them in the program. It is up to you to determine your needs in this area. Do what you need to do to be successful.

Q:  When do classes meet?  Do I have to "attend" at some regular class day or time each week?

A:  Maybe.  Traditional campus classes are delivered in what is known as the "synchronous" method, meaning that there are regularly scheduled class meeting times with the instructor.  Online classes are often delivered in an "asynchronous" method, meaning there are no regularly scheduled or required meeting times involving the instructor and the students of the class.  However, the instructor may offer or require "virtual" meeting times as part of a class. In a virtual meeting you meet with the instructor or the class synchronously through your computer. If your course has a virtual meeting requirement you will be notified either through the course catalog or through your syllabus. In addition, a few select classes will have a required orientation, where you must attend live - either in person or through a live streaming video (HIT 110 has an orientation, as does our graduating course - others may as well - look in the footer of course descriptions in the catalog when registering for classes).

Q:  Since the courses are online are they "self-paced"?

A:  NO!  Our courses are only delivered online, they are definitely NOT self paced NOR self directed.  Classes progress from week to week or unit to unit as directed by the instructor.  The student is required to act just like in a traditional campus class and follow the schedule of studies and syllabus to complete the course.  Failure to maintain pace with the course means failure!

Q:  Who is my advisor?  When are we supposed to meet?

A:  The HIT faculty are also the HIT Advisors. Prior to registering for the entry quarter courses, you will continue to work with general advising. Once you have successfully registered for HIT 110 you will be switched over to an HIT faculty advisor.  You will work closely with your advisor to work out your educational plan. 

Q:  Where can I learn more about ctcLink?

A:  The new ctcLink system at Tacoma Community College has completely changed the way students learn about (and register for) courses. We highly recommend you check out this resource page maintained by the State which is a great starting point for any student who has questions about the system:


Q:  How am I supposed to know which classes I should take in the first quarter, second quarter and so on?

A:  The entry courses for the HIT program are HIT 110 and HIT 125. Once you have enrolled in these courses, you will be assigned to an HIT program advisor and you will work with that HIT advisor to set up your educational plan.  After your initial plan is set up you will continue to work with your HIT advisor in the following quarters to ensure you are still on track for graduation.  Ultimately, it is your responsibility to pay attention to the pre-requisites to make sure you are prepared to take the next quarter of classes.

Q: When I try to register for a course it is asking me for a Permission Code – what is that?

A: If you have taken your pre-reqs somewhere other than TCC and/or you took classes that are not exactly the same pre-requisites (perhaps you took a higher level) then the computer may not correctly read your transcript and may deny you access. A permission code will allow you to bypass the pre-requisites. In order to obtain a permission code you must speak with an HIT advisor (Jonathan Eastabrooks or Corinne Jarvis).

In order to receive a permission code you must indeed meet or exceed the pre-requisite requirements. A permission code does not guarantee you a spot in the HIT program, it simply allows you to register if space allows.

Q:  I already know a lot about the content of one (or more) HIT Classes, do I really need to take them?

A: MAYBE.  You will need to prove that you do in fact already KNOW the material taught in that class.  You prove this by challenging courses:

  1. Course Challenge. A course challenge allows you to show that you already meet the learning outcomes outlined in the course by passing a series of tests. You pay a small fee ($7.50 per credit) and if you pass the assessments then you get the college credit for the course. If you wish to challenge a course please contact the program chair for specific information on the procedure. There are limited challenge courses available...not every TCC course will have one.

Q: I need classes like MATH 146 and/or Biology &175 Human Anatomy/Physiology and they aren't available online, or not offered in the quarter that I need or I can just never seem to get into them. What am I supposed to do?

A: Get the class from another regionally accredited college OR Get the class from Washington ONLINE (WAOL).  If in doubt contact the transcript review office at 253-566-5048  PLEASE NOTE BEGINNING FALL 2016 THE MATH PRE-REQ IS CHANGING FROM BUS 110 TO MATH& 146

Q: What is WAOL?

A: WAOL is a consortium of all the Washington State Community Colleges and it offers ONLY online classes.  They offer all kinds of classes each quarter and they are taught by qualified faculty from across the state.  They are treated just the same as any other campus class because they ARE college classes.  You take it from WAOL it transfers to TCC and the HIT Program – check it out @ http://www.waol.org/prospective_students/index.aspx

Works for your out of state students TOO!

Q: I already have a Bachelor of Science Degree - are there any options for a Post-Baccalaureate Degree in the field of HIM? 

A: Absolutely! It is important to understand that the program at TCC is an Associate of Applied Science Degree and that successful completion of this program allows you to sit for the RHIT credential. The Bachelor level credential is an RHIA. There are a number of colleges that have a Post-Bachelor certificate that will also allow you to sit for the RHIA credential. The RHIT and RHIA have a different focus, so be sure you decide which it is that you want - that will help you determine which path is right for you. You can find out more about the distinction at http://www.cahiim.org/directoryofaccredpgms/programdirectory.aspx (check the option for "Health Information Management : Baccalaureate Degree (Certificate of the Degree)" to find programs that would help you on this journey).

Q: Is the HIT degree accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)?

A: ABSOLUTELY and has been for over 25 years!

Q: After successful completion of the Accredited Associate Program am I eligible for RHIT certification through AHIMA? 


Q: What is the RHIT pass rate for TCC HIT program graduates?
A: TCC consistently rates above the AHIMA national mean for the pass rates of our graduates.

RHIT First-Time Candidates Average Score Comparison
YearAHIMA National MeanTCC HIT Students
10/1/2015 - 9/30/201683.1086.68
10/1/2014 - 9/30/201586.5292.45
10/1/2013 - 9/30/201486.5892.75
 Total Possible:130
 Pass Rates Comparison First Time Candidates
Exam PeriodAHIMA National MeanTCC HIM Program

Q: I have a criminal record, should I still consider taking the HIT degree program?

A: It completely depends on what your criminal record is for and how long ago it was. Having a record does not preclude you from completing the HIT program or from sitting for your RHIT credential. However, it may preclude you from Professional Practice Experience (PPE) placements or future employment. Your best bet is to talk with Jonathan Eastabrooks before you decide to start the program to find out what your options are.

Q: Does the TCC HIT degree program have an Advisory Committee?

A: Yes - we have a very active Advisory Committee that meets bi-annually. Membership on our advisory committe includes individuals from the following local employers:

  1. St. Joseph Medical Center
  2. The VA
  3. DOC
  4. VA American Lake
  5. Western State Hospital
  6. Franciscan Health Systems
  7. Franciscan Medical Group
  8. Comprehensive Life Resources
  9. Greater Lakes Mental Health
  10. General Electric
  11. Multicare Medical Group
  12. Multicare Medical Center


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