HIT Grads to Benefit from New Articulation with ECU

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College administrators announced this month an agreement with East Carolina University is now in place regarding the transfer of Health Information Technology (HIT) graduates.

According to PCC HIT Director Ashleigh Walker, the bilateral agreement means students can begin their education at Pitt, where they can complete an associate degree in HIT and earn their Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential. She said students can then move on to ECU for a bachelor’s degree and Registered Health Information Administrator credential.

“With PCC and ECU being in one another’s backyard, this is an efficient and effective way to get the best education for the money,” Walker said.

PCC Health Sciences Dean Donna Neal said the agreement with ECU “has been a very long time coming” and thanked Walker for her efforts to make the ‘2+2’ arrangement a reality.

“For years, our HIT graduates have found it difficult to advance their health information training,” Neal said. “Now, students can seamlessly progress from the associate degree-level of HIT training to a four-year degree and finish with a master’s degree.”

Walker explained that many graduates of PCC’s HIT program are eager to move into bachelor’s degree programs and above because opportunities in the health information field abound. She said those individuals have been forced to attend out-of-state colleges and universities, because North Carolina has been without a Health Information Management (HIM) program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) for several years.

“After a short hiatus to focus on the master’s program in informatics, ECU reinstated its nationally-recognized, CAHIIM-accredited Health Information Management program in the fall of 2017, giving our Health Information Technology graduates the opportunity to pursue a four-year HIM degree,” she said.

Neal said she expects interest and enrollment in HIT programs will grow as a result of the bilateral agreement.

“The program will be small for now, since the agreement with ECU only pertains to graduates of our HIT program, but that will likely change if it is expanded and offered to other HIT graduates,” she said. “It’s exciting that PCC is part of leading the effort to make that happen.”

PCC has a long and distinguished history of producing RHIT-credentialed Health Information Technology graduates who live and work in eastern North Carolina and across the state, and Walker says this new initiative will keep the tradition going strong.