Information For


 Why HIT?

 CSUSM HIT Program

Schedule & Application

Financial Aid

Advisory Board


Cost & Financial Aid

Program Length & Classes

Job Outlook


Future of CSUSM HIT Program/Master's Degree

Information Sessions


1) Why did CSUSM decide to launch an HIT program? The program was launched in response to a regional demand for people who are trained to help improve healthcare access, quality, safety and efficiency; to facilitate greater accuracy and safety in medication delivery; and to rein in escalating healthcare costs. >back to top

2) Why consider the HIT program at CSUSM? There are a wide range of jobs and internship opportunities in demand in nearly every healthcare organization with this skill set. The convenient Saturday class schedule allows flexibility for working students as well as those who have families. The course format which includes conferences, lectures, and hands-on learning. The Faculty includes both practitioners and university professors. The HIT program will provide students with networking opportunities with local healthcare organizations and Advisory Board members. We focus on the three criteria for gaining employment in healthcare: experience, healthcare lingo, and domain knowledge. See what our current HIT students are saying: visit the Testimonials page. Unique to Cal State San Marcos, we will soon offer a second certificate in Health Information Management, focusing on data analytics, big data infrastructure, eHealth, and HIT management skills. Candidates who successfully complete both(HIT and HIMM) certificates and a practicum experience will earn a Master of Science in Health Information Management degree.>back to top

3) When does each term begin? What do I need to do to apply? Cohorts begin every Fall. View the program calendar page for the latest schedule. Applications will be accepted each year through August 30 or once the cohort has been filled (25 students). Requirements for admission include a bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of relevant experience and education, mathematical proficiency at a minimum level of college algebra, submission of official transcripts for all prior college/university coursework, and submission of the online HIT application. There is no application fee and your application goes directly to Extended Learning. Successful applicants will be contacted with registration information once officially admitted to the program. >back to top

4) Is this program financial aid eligible? Yes. Students with a BA degree may apply for federal loans. Students who are still working towards a BA may be eligible for various grants. Submit FAFSA online. This program has also been approved for WIA funding (Workforce Investment Act). Visit your local one-stop career center to apply. Click here for basic WIA information. We also accept MyCAA (Military Spouse) funding and most military awards. Payment plan also available.  >back to top

5) Who are Advisory Board members and why are they important to the program’s success? They are vital to the program’s success because they will serve as mentors and advisors to our students in addition to providing us with course content that is relevant, meaningful and applicable in the marketplace. The panel helps the faculty team address two questions: what does the healthcare industry need, and what skill sets does a student need to have to establish a career in "HIT"?  Although a short certificate program can never cover all aspects of HIT skills, the program's top priority is student's career. Advisory Board members include: David Brailer, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; Robert Felder, Area Physician Leader, Kaiser Permanente; Ken Lawonn, CIO Sharp Health; Valarie Williams, Security Consultant; Anette Asher, CEO, Glenner Memory Care Cntrs; Bevey Miner, Principal & Co-Founder, Tenzing Group; Daniel Friedland, CEO SuperSmartHealth; Ahmed Ghouri, CEO, Anvita Health; Scott Khann, CIO, Illumina and Kathy Topp, Director of Informatics, Tri-City Hospital.   >back to top

 6) Who are the HIT Faculty members?  Faculty backgrounds range from Management Science and Finance to Information Systems and Operations Management as well as Nursing and Computer Science faculty. Several of our faculty members are trained and experienced in HIT. Visit Faculty Bios page >back to top

 7) How much does it cost? Is Financial Aid available?$500 per unit plus the cost of parking, books and campus fees. See Program Cost Page for more information and financial aid options. >back to top

 8) What classes will students take and how long will it take to earn the certificate? Can it be done amidst a full-time job?  This program is structured to accommodate working adults.  The program can be completed in two semesters. Each term begins with an Opening Conference followed by all-day Saturday courses, and concluding with a Closing Conference.  Both conferences will include presentations by healthcare experts, entrepreneurs, and students. Upon acceptance into the program, Extended Learning will contact you with instructions on how to register. Each term consists of three courses. See the academic calendar and course descriptions.>back to top

9) What kinds of jobs can students expect to secure once they have the certificate? Students will acquire skills relevant to a range of healthcare industry sectors including providers, insurers, government agencies, plan sponsors, HIT support and training organizations, and HIT new ventures. This program will prepare students for careers in healthcare process imrpovement, project management, technology management, and "Big-Data" as well as entrepreneur for organizations and new ventures.  In addition, we encourage students to look into career beyond hospitals. There are many other market niches such as memory care centers and adult care centers. >back to top

10) What’s the long-term job outlook for HIT grads and how much can people with this training expect to make? The long-term outlook for HIT grads is excellent. Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator of Healthcare Technology predicts that 50,000 new healthcare IT jobs will be created in the next several years to support digitized medical record systems. Further fueling the demand for HIT, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides incentives for Medicare and Medicaid healthcare providers to adopt electronic medical record (EMR) systems – and even imposes penalties on those which fail to do so. There are simply not enough trained practitioners in the field to meet demand and healthcare will continue to be one of the fastest-growing occupations for at least the next decade. In 2011 the average salary for the HIT professional was $81,327, ranging from a high of $109K for a data architect to a low of $72K for a web developer. >back to top

11) What are future plans/goals for the CSUSM HIT program? This program is just the first step in developing a center of excellence for education and research in HIT management; ideally a Center for Health Care Information Sciences. Our goal is to have an HIT center that can be both a resource for information for the community, a source of challenging research opportunity for our faculty and a center for both certificate and degree coursework and ongoing networking for our students. We will soon offer a second certificate in Health Information Management, focusing on data analytics, big data infrastructure, eHealth, and HIT management skills (planned for Summer 2015). Candidates who successfully complete both certificates and a practicum experience will earn a Master of Science in Health Information Management degree. The industry experience component will be built into the program through a "residency" requirement.  In other words, the program will place students with a healthcare organization.>back to top

12) Information Sessions- The next cohort begins Fall 2015. Please check back Spring of 2015 for posted information sessions.

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