Health Information Technology FAQs

Consult the drop down menu for answers to frequently asked questions (HIT FAQs) about the Health Information Technology Program.

What is the OTC Certificate in Coding Specialist?

Don’t confuse the OTC certificate with a coding credential!

 If you receive the OTC “Certificate in Coding Specialist” you may have met the education requirements  to sit for the AHIMA “ Certified Coding Specialist (CCS or CCS-P)” credential exam.

Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, a CCS credential has become an implicit industry standard.

 Link to the AHIMA CCS and CCS-P test-taking requirements:

Is the HIT Program completely online?

Yes. A student can complete the HIT program online from start to finish!

Are there seated classes in the HIT program?

Yes. OTC offers seated general education courses.

Do HIT courses have prerequisites?

Most of the HIT courses do have prerequisites.

The only exceptions to prerequisites are:

  • HIT 110 Introduction to Health Information Technology
  • HSC 120 Medical Terminology
  • HIT 116 Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology.

How many students currently are in the HIT program?

Currently we have around 166 students enrolled in the HIT Program.

Do I need to apply for admission into the HIT program?

No. HIT is an “open admission” program.

Do I need to be a full time student to be in the HIT program?

No. You can be a part time or full time student. You should anticipate completing the program within 3 ½ years.

What are the student grade requirements in the program?

HIT has a demanding curriculum to assist student success in future career goals.  In the HIT courses, a 75% (“C”) or better is considered passing.

What is the course repeat policy?

Required science courses (Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology) over five years are not accepted.  Students in this repeat situation can easily fulfill their science requirement with HIT 116 Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology.

If this is student’s third attempt, they are requested to email the Program Director, Denise Baer.

Do HIT students have College Navigators?

Yes. All HIT students are assigned a college navigator to assist them with various needs.

College navigators are content experts in your field of study. When you apply to OTC, you will be assigned a college navigator specific to your program of interest. Your navigator will connect personally with you every semester to review your academic plan and financial aid status and help you plan for the future. Your college navigator is also available to help connect you with any non-academic resources you may need, such as hardship and emergency assistance.

If you have any questions regarding your student account, financial aid, scholarships, or academic planning, you may contact your navigator anytime through email, phone, or by visiting your personal navigator course in Canvas. They are happy to help!

Should I attend a HIT Program Informational & Academic Advising Session?

Click HERE to find further information on HIT informational sessions.

Where is information about financial assistance or student services available?

The Student Affairs office is responsible for Student Development, Financial Aid, Records and Registration, Student Services and Veteran’s Affairs. They work diligently to provide students with the resources they need to make the college process easier, friendlier and more pleasant. If you have any questions:

What is the HIT Civility Policy?

Will I have the opportunity to participate in a professional experience in the program?

Yes, you will! The HIT 290 Professional Practice Experience facilitates supervised field-based learning in affiliated healthcare and health-care-related agencies. The course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to integrate classroom and clinical experience with the Health Information Management Department and other associated departments. Students will be expected to complete a defined number of hours of nonpaid practical experience.

HIT 290 Professional Practice Experience

HIT 290 Professional Practice Experience is the cumulation of the student’s hard work in acquiring the knowledge and skills throughout the program.

HIT 290 is taken in your last semester of the program. It is only available in Spring and Fall.

HIT 290 has an application process you must follow to register (you cannot register for this course on your own – you must be approved to register).

HIT 290 includes:

  • Review of AHIMA Domains (competencies) to reinforce HIT knowledge
  • Professional practice experience (clinical rotations). These are student experiences to connect knowledge and understanding into action).
    • The clinic rotations are key to this course – students will receive the best available clinic site experience in a five-week, forty-hour practicum (one day a week – 8 hours).
    • Clinic sites are assigned by the course instructor, with some exceptions for students who live outside Springfield, MO (over 60 miles)
  • Comprehensive Program Exam


Students are eligible to apply by meeting the following requirements: 

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50
  • Grade of “C” or higher in all previous HIT program courses


Application Process: 

  • Complete an application (announced in HIT courses every semester and emails from navigators)
  • Student approval status will be emailed to students.
  • If approved, an invitation to a “mandatory” orientation meeting reviewing course requirements such as, but not limited to:
    • AHIMA Membership (student responsibility cost – you can find more information on student membership and sign up HERE.
    • Criminal Background Check and Random Drug Test (no student cost – covered in student fees)
    • Immunizations REQUIRED!  (student cost – you can view the immunization requirements for the HIT program in the  Vaccination Requirements Document)
    • Clinic site assignments

Does the AAS degree transfer to other colleges?

Yes, after you complete your AAS you can continue your education in Health Information by transferring to a four-year institution. You can find these institutions in the CAHIIM program directory HERE.

How do I know if my courses from another institution will transfer to OTC?

OTC provides a transfer equivalency guide on the OTC website HERE.

For more information regarding the HIT Program, please contact:

Denise Baer
HIT Program Director