Are there prerequisites to the program?
Yes. Students coming into the program are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and computer proficiency.
How long is the program at Everett Community College?
The program is four quarters long (12 months). If your computer and keyboarding skills need some brushing up, you may need to take additional classes before starting the program.
What is the cost of the program and what does it include?
The cost of the program is $5925. This includes access to online courseware published by Career Step. It is your responsibility to purchase the required textbooks from the booklist.
Some suggested links are:
Is the program eligible for financial aid?
Yes. Everett Community College participates in the Pell Grant, SEOG (Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant), Stafford Loan, and Washington State Need Grant programs. You must be a Washington State resident to be considered eligible for the State Need Grant. If you wish to apply for financial aid, please do so at least six to eight weeks before you plan to start the program.
Is the program self-paced?
No. This is a college-level program that culminates in a 37-credit college certificate. There are scheduled start and end dates to each quarter and specific due dates for assignments. In addition, there is an online participation requirement.
How many hours per week does it take to complete the program?
You will need to dedicate approximately 30-40 hours per week to complete all the material.
Is there a minimum grade point average to pass this program?
Yes. You must receive a "C" (2.0) or better in ALL classes - equivalent to 77% or better.
What if I don't pass a class with a "C" or better?
If you fail to earn a "C" in any class, you may repeat that class (up to two additional times) in order to raise your grade to passing. The cost of a "retake" class will be prorated, based on the number of credit hours you are repeating.
Will I be a certified medical coder when I graduate?
No. You will receive a "certificate of completion" when you finish the EvCC program, but this is not the same thing as being "certified." The only way to become a Certified Coding Associate (CCA) or a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) is to pass an exam given by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). Generally, students finishing the program voluntarily take the CCA exam. After working as a medical coder for at least two years, the CCS exam can be taken.
What is the projected job market for MCs in the future?
Right now and into the foreseeable future there is a shortage of qualified MCs in this country. The Department of Labor statistics predicts that employment and/or self-employment opportunities for MCs will continue to grow for the next several years. While there are opportunities for coders, graduates without experience should expect to start in an entry position requiring coding and patient chart knowledge.
Does EvCC offer job placement?
No. The program, however, includes a practicum that will give you practice using your coding skills. Scoring well on the practicum is a good indicator that you are ready to take the CCA (Certified Coding Associate) exam. Potential employers will be more inclined to interview a new medical coder with CCA certification than one without. While there is a high demand for medical coders, as with any job, it may take time to find the "first" job.
Where might I expect to find employment?
Medical coders typically work in medical clinics, physician offices, hospitals, and insurance offices. Job titles may vary and could include any of the following:
- Outpatient Coder
- Inpatient Coder
- Certified Patient Account Technician
- Medical Claims Review Specialist
- Claims Reviewer
- Claims Processor
- Medical Coder
- Certified Professional Coder
- Certified Procedural Coder
- Claims Assistant Professional
- Claims Analyst
- Coding Analyst