Health Information Technology Associate Degree

Pursue a career in health information such as Coding Specialist, HIM Department Manager or Supervisor, Clinical Data Analyst and more.

Electronic Health record Specialist

Program Overview

If you have an interest in both health care and computer technology, a career as a health information technician could be for you. Health information technicians organize and manage health data to ensure accurate, complete, and secure medical records. If you are detail oriented and analytical, and have strong interpersonal and technical skills, you have the skills needed to be successful in this field.

Students participating in the Health Information Technology program will learn to manage, process, and analyze health data to ensure an accurate and complete medical record; apply health information policies and systems that meet with all national and state laws and regulatory guidelines; apply principles of management; code procedural and diagnostic data ensuring optimal reimbursement, compliance with third party payer guidelines, as well as maintenance of the revenue cycle.

Students who attend the Health Information Technology Program through iHealth@NECC will complete most of their course work online and come to the iHealth@NECC facility at our Lawrence Campus once or twice a week for in-class meetings and laboratory sessions.

Career Opportunities

Graduates will have employment options that include: Coding Specialist, HIM Department Manager or Supervisor; Clinical Data Analyst; Privacy, Information Security or Compliance Officer, Quality Improvement Specialist, and others. Choices for employment range from hospitals to physician practices, ambulatory care centers, rehabilitation facilities, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, consulting firms, software and IT vendors and government agencies.


The program is currently applying for Candidacy Status and accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Once accredited, HIT graduates will be eligible to take the national qualifying exam for certification as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Program Requirements

Starting in the fall of 2014, any student enrolled in an associate degree program who is new to NECC and has no academic history at the college, must take at least one course designated as intensive in each of NECC's six core academic skills in order to graduate. In most cases, the program's core required courses include these intensive courses. Plan to see an advisor for more complete information about this graduation requirement.

Program science courses must be completed within (5) years prior to the anticipated start date of the program to count toward completing the Associate Degree. Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses. A minimum of 68 credits are required for graduation.

Admission Criteria

2014 Admission Criteria Packet (PDF)
2015 Admission Criteria Packet (PDF)

Technical Standards Document for Currently Admitted Health Professions Students.

Drug Screening

Students enrolled in this academic program may be required to pass a drug screening analysis.


Students are required to complete a health evaluation, including the Hepatitis B immunization series, prior to final acceptance to the Program.

Student Professional Liability Insurance

Students are required to carry professional liability insurance. The premium is to be paid at the time of course registration.


Students interested in participating in this program may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, a Criminal Records Central Repository (CHRI) check, and a Sex Offender Record Information (SORI) check. For more information, visit

Northern Essex Community College is committed to the success of every student. Students with legal issues in their background will meet with a committee as part of the CORI/SORI/CHRI process and will receive guidance and counseling throughout the review of their records. NECC personnel make every effort to help students prepare for careers in their chosen field. Students are encouraged to seek assistance and support.

Required Courses
Course # Course Name Credits Comments
BIO121 Anatomy & Physiology I 4 Prerequisite
BIO122 Anatomy & Physiology II 4 Prerequisite
ENG101 English Composition I 3 Prerequisite
ENG102 English Composition II 3 Prerequisite
HES108 Introduction to Healthcare Services 3 Prerequisite
HES115 Medical Terminology 3 Prerequisite
HES201 Healthcare Law & Ethics 3 Prerequisite
HES207 Clinical Pathophysiology 3 Prerequisite
MAT125 Statistics 4 Prerequisite
MGT201 Principles of Management 3 Prerequisite
MRT100 Introduction of Health Information Practices & Procedures 3 Prerequisite
MRT117 Basic Diagnostic Coding 3 Corequisite,
Prerequisite: CIS 110
MRT118 Procedure Coding Systems 3 Corequisite,
MRT202 Healthcare Data Collections & Analysis 3 Corequisite,
MRT203 Quality Improvement & Management Techniques 3 Corequisite,
MRT204 Reimbursement, Compliance & Coding Issues 3 Corequisite,
MRT217 Intermediate Diagnostic Coding 3 Corequisite,
MRT218 Intermediate Procedural Coding 3 Corequisite,
MRT297 Health Information Technology Practicum 3 Corequisite,
CIS112, or
CIS 113
Computer Elective 3/4 Choose one:
CIS110, CIS112, or CIS 113
Psychology or Sociology Elective 3 Choose one:
SOC101, PSY101
Humanities Elective 3 ART104, ART105, DAN147, Foreign Lang ( not ASL or ESL), LIT224, LIT263, LIT271, LIT272, MUS112

Program Notes | Mission, Goals and Student Learning Outcomes | Print this Brochure