December 15, 2018

Kirtland gains accreditation for established program

Program only one of its kind offered in Michigan

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ROSCOMMON — Kirtland has recently become the only community college in the state to offer an accredited health information technology program completely online.

Director of Public Information Sarah Holecheck said the accreditation process took roughly two years from start to finish. She said this is a boon to not only the educational institution, but its students as well.

“It is much more challenging to find a job without accreditation,” Holecheck said. “If you are a potential student looking into choosing school A or school B for a specific program, you’re going to choose the accredited institution.”

Holecheck said as the program is completely online it provides the flexibility needed for those unable to dedicate significant amounts of time to their education. She said as the program is able to be completed in two years, it is an exceptional choice for those looking to switch to a new career path.

“Between life, work and family, people can’t find the time to take classes face to face,” she said. “This is for those looking for a program that’s flexible enough for their needs.”

Holecheck said the health information technology field is ever-growing, and many who go into the field have the option of working from home after gaining enough experience in a medical office of some kind.

“This is the person who negotiates between the patient and the insurance provider,” she said, describing the career field. “So the insurance company gets paid, and the person does not have to pay more than they should be.”

The program was available for students for roughly five years before it became accredited. While those who took the program previously are not grandfathered into the accreditation, Holecheck said the school is looking at ways to help those who previously took the program to get up to speed for the national certification test required of health information technology officers.

“We certainly don’t want to leave anyone hanging out in the wind,” Holecheck said. “We want to make sure everyone who goes through the program is as employable as possible.”

Holecheck said the accreditation will not increase the price of the classes required for the program.

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