PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Peirce College announced expansion of its portfolio of degree programs with a particular emphasis on Healthcare. The rapidly growing healthcare services and other life sciences industries play a major role in the economy and employment of the Greater Philadelphia region.
The College is implementing an Associate in Science degree in Health Information Technology (HIT) to serve what is one of the fastest growing fields within the healthcare profession.
Peirce is also introducing a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration this fall. This new degree program is designed to help students prepare for management roles with a solid grounding in management concepts and skills integrated with comprehensive knowledge of today’s healthcare industry.
The introduction of these two degree programs is Peirce College’s continuing response to the increasing demand for professionals in healthcare-related businesses and organizations in the region. The healthcare programs will be available online and at the College’s Center City Philadelphia campus.
Peirce President and Chief Executive Officer James J. Mergiotti said the College is building a complete portfolio of degree programs and courses that will meet those needs. “There are many who want to enter the healthcare field or advance in the field and there is going to be a greater need for qualified people in the field. We have a responsibility to provide them with the requisite credentials,” he said.
“As part of our new strategic plan for the College, we will be implementing a richer, broader delivery of degree programs for changing and evolving markets. Our Health Information Technology and Healthcare Administration programs are a good fit.”
A leading provider of education for working adults in the region, the addition of these healthcare programs is intended to position Peirce College as a major participant in healthcare information technology and healthcare administration education. Healthcare is the largest industry in the U.S. and the second largest employer, with more than 11 million jobs. Virtually all new private sector jobs over the past five years came from healthcare and the sector continues to grow faster than most others.
Both healthcare information technology and healthcare administration education opportunities are expanding, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, in which federal stimulus funds are set aside to enable institutions to construct certificate programs that will help ready the workforce to operate in an electronic health record environment. Once those programs are in place, they are intended to be used in a trickle-down effect by institutions of higher education to support certificate and advanced degree training. The nation’s health information technology initiative is meant to help streamline and structure the electronic management of healthcare data and improve the integrity of patients’ records.
Peirce College’s two-year Health Information Technology program is a new degree program designed for students who are reevaluating their priorities and are looking for a career change or advancement, as well as those who see this as a growing, stable career opportunity.
“Currently, Peirce is one of only a few institutions that offer courses both on campus and online,” said Patricia A. Rucker, Ed.D., Senior Vice President, Academic Advancement and Provost at Peirce. “For those already in the healthcare industry, the fact that we have the entire Health Information Technology program online is a big plus and enables them to fit their studies into their already busy schedules.”
Peirce’s Health Information Technology program presents a specialized combination of scientific and technology courses to provide students with the analytical and practical skills needed for a number of positions in various settings at hospitals, insurance providers and even law offices.
Typical positions include documentation specialist, consultant, cancer or disease registrar and quality improvement specialist. Some of the duties include the collection, maintenance, analysis, validation and application of policies and procedures to ensure accuracy and timeliness of healthcare data and patient records.
After completing the associate degree, students are able to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam. In addition, Peirce Health Information Technology graduates will have the necessary academic preparation for professional growth into supervisory and other leadership roles in the Health Information Management field.
Peirce’s Healthcare Administration is a bachelor’s degree program in the healthcare field—with business management focus for working within a healthcare organization at an administrative level.
Employment opportunities are expected to grow faster than average for medical and health services managers on the national, state and Philadelphia region levels. Entry levels for assistant administrators or department managers in large facilities require a bachelor’s degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, future medical and health services managers must be prepared to deal with the integration of healthcare delivery systems, technological innovations, an increasingly complex regulatory environment, restructuring of work and an increased focus on preventive care. In addition to more traditional careers in healthcare administration, graduates work in many other areas including: pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, management consulting, banks and other financial institutions, long-term care facilities, professional societies and state and Federal agencies.
An undergraduate degree in healthcare administration can serve students in a variety of ways. For the student confident in wanting an administrative career in a sector of the healthcare industry, the undergraduate program can provide the basic knowledge, skills and applied studies needed for certain entry-level positions. It can also be the springboard to a graduate program for those seeking higher-level positions in healthcare administration. For the clinician, the undergraduate program can provide a course of study in healthcare administration and prepare them for leadership positions within their clinical specialty. The undergraduate degree could also serve as a general management program that can be applied to other service industries.
About Peirce College
Peirce College offers bachelor’s and associate degree programs in the areas of Business, Healthcare, Information Technology and Paralegal Studies. Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104 (phone: 267-284-5000). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs accredits the College's business program and the Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association.
For more information about Peirce College, call 888.GO.PEIRCE, or visit www.Peirce.edu.
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