The new, four-year degree is in health-care technology and management at Bellevue College.
Bellevue College has added a third bachelor’s degree program to its roster of degree offerings.
The community college will begin offering a bachelor’s degree in health-care technology and management starting in fall. Most of the coursework will be delivered online.
“The intent is to offer this for the entire state,” said Kevin McCarthy, dean of Bellevue College’s Health Sciences, Education and Wellness Institute.
The college also offers a bachelor of applied arts in interior design, and a bachelor of applied science in radiation and imaging sciences. It’s one of a handful of community colleges around the state with limited number of four-year degrees.
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The new degree program will prepare students to develop and manage systems that record electronic-health information. The field is expected to grow rapidly as more re medical records become computerized.
One medical association estimated that as many as 200,000 workers will be needed nationwide to satisfy the job demand.
“This is going to be a huge growth area,” McCarthy said.
Health information-technology jobs pay about $61,000 a year, on average. McCarthy said students who already have an associate degree in information technology or information systems, or in health science, would be a good fit for the program.
Students who already hold an associate degree will pay about $13,500 in tuition for six quarters of coursework to obtain the degree, plus books and fees, McCarthy said. The college expects to enroll 45 students the first year.
Before Bellevue College could offer the degree, it needed permission from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, as well as authorization from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Bellevue College is the third-largest educational institution in the state, in terms of the number of students it serves, after the University of Washington and Washington State University. It serves about 38,000 students a year.
Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @katherinelong.