APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The approach is to update the health information program into a career ladder allowing for different exit points based on employment opportunity levels in the field. Several items will be added to the program to provide improved retention, ability to complete and job placement: 1) Comprehensive support services to provide immediate assistance in access academic support needs; 2) Collaboration with business partners for externships and placements; 3) A referral to local one-stop and community organizations for personal support services.
In order to ensure we are meeting market demands, two of our partners, the Pima County One-Stop and Pascua Yaqui Tribes, will be providing industry information that will be used in revamping of the program, providing student referrals to the program, and providing support services once the program is operational. Several health care providers will be providing the technical support for updating the program, as well as the externship and job opportunities for the students.
In order to recruit participants, PCC does outreach to local employers, community organizations, and to the public. It utilizes a variety of methods including direct mailings to all Pima County residents, media advertisements, presentations at various events, print media and brochures, and direct contact to various organizations. Direct contact occurs through employer human resource and managers where information on educational opportunities is provided directly to staff. Communication with community organizations is similar and both areas include ways to reach PCC contacts for additional information.
All students interested and who meet admissions requirements such as a HS diploma or GED or pass the admissions exams at college ready are eligible to participate in the program. Some students may be sponsored through one of the local community-based organizations, sponsored by one of the local healthcare organizations, or one of the College's grants such as the Health Professions Opportunity Grant. Job placement is a five tiered process: 1) Employers visit various courses in the program providing students information on employment in their facility, 2) Both PCC and employers have job boards with this information, 3) Externship opportunities provide employers with the chance to meet students and for students to meet an organization and sometimes employment arises from that interaction, 4) Sponsored students are frequently provided job developers by the sponsoring organization who assists them in job placement, 5) as part of this program PCC will be testing an expansion of its comprehensive student services model that it utilizes for some programs currently, this model provides job placement assistance as a student support service, thus all students in the pilot stage of the program will receive this service and if the expanded model is successful future students will also benefit from this service.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Implementation plan includes:
1) Program update and development, Fall 2011-Spring 2012. Output will be updates to the HIT program and complete career ladder.
2) Pilot Classes. Summer 2012 and Fall 2012. Pilot classes that include new content areas such as electronic health records.
3) Pilot the Ladder. Spring - Fall 2013. Pilot the entire ladder with cohorts of students. Reporting on retention and completion and lower certificate levels.
4) Feedback on the program and fine-tuning classes. Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.
5) Full implementation of program, Fall 2014. Reporting continuing on retention and completion, with progress towards degree completion. The first degree completers may be possible in Spring 2014. First degree completers and reporting out on any updates to the plan that were needed during the pilot and early implementation. Final reports are planned for fall 2014.
1) Update the health information program to include both clock-hour and credit options with articulation between the two in order to improve access and capacity.
2) Create a comprehensive career ladder for the entire health information program area at the associate's degree and lower in order to improve entrance, progression, and completion rates.
3) Utilize the comprehensive support service model for improved access, retention, and job placement.
4) Utilize partnerships to improve the curriculum to meet the new requirements in health information and meet local workforce demands.
5) Utilize partnerships to provide student support, referrals, and employment options.
Metrics include: Increase in program interest/understanding of the field; Increase in enrollment/accessibility; Increase in retention/completion of students; Increase in placement; Increase employer satisfaction.
Access to health information employment opportunities is limited by individuals' ability to obtain appropriate education due to personal barriers, financial access, limited academic readiness, lack of computer readiness, and lack of understanding of the career ladder. Employment growth within the project period for health information is projected to be 12-14% in Tucson and Pima counties and 14-16% in the state of Arizona. Currently, the unmet demand for health information personnel in the local area is a 20-30% vacancy rate.