Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Admissions: Step 5

Complete prerequisite classes and earn points toward admission

The following prerequisite classes are available at Portland Community College. If you believe you have met the core requirements of any of these classes at other colleges, please contact healthca@pcc.edu to have your transcripts "unofficially" evaluated to determine completion of requirements. Your classwork may need to be evaluated by the Department Chair, as well, before you will be advised on whether your previous coursework meets PCC class requirements.

  1. WR 121 – English Composition
  2. MP 111 – Medical Terminology
  3. MTH 65 – Introductory Algebra - 2nd term, or MTH 58 – Math Literacy I
  4. CAS 133 – Basic Computer Skills/MS Office

All prerequisite classes must be passed with a grade 'C' or above. Prerequisite may be in progress when you submit your application but must be complete by the end of the application period.

Students are expected to be comfortable and confident in navigating an online classroom format, such as PCC's Desire to Learn. This often requires more reading on the part of students, as well as comfort with computer technology, so please make sure you have taken at least one online class. MP 111 is often a good online class to see if this is a format that works with your learning and personal style.

Since the program is fully online, include labs that may utilize a web-based electronic health record, students should be competent in the following areas:

  • Handling problems with their home computer.
  • Utilizing a browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome, including accessing websites, downloading files, installing browser add-ins, and searching for resources.
  • Utilizing Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Opening files in Acrobat Reader.

Since most HIM jobs expect competence in applications such as Excel, the courses within the HIM program are using these programs extensively.  Some skills you may need to demonstrate in course assignments are:

  • Microsoft Word
    • Formatting documents, reports, and policies and procedures.
  • Microsoft Excel
    • Creating formulas.
    • Using functions, such as VLOOKUP.
    • Creating charts.
    • Creating Pivot Tables.
    • Formatting spreadsheets.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
    • Creating and editing presentations.

If there are features you are unfamiliar with, resources will be provided to help you.  If you are uncomfortable learning specific skills independently, you may wish to register for additional Computer Applications coursework prior to beginning the program.

Receiving admission points

  • Students will receive admission points for grades in prerequisite classes, two short answer essays, and experience working and volunteering in four different areas. Students who have applied before in the past two years but not been accepted will receive an additional point.
  • Admissions decisions will be made before the end of spring term. If any prerequisite classes are in progress during spring you will be given points based on a C grade and, if you are admitted but do not pass that class, you may have your admission rescinded.
  • For detailed information on the point system used for admission see the advising guide.
  • Students will be ranked in order of points and time of application, so it is to your advantage to get your application in early in case your points put you at the cutoff for admission. 
  • See the Health Information Management Application for more information on the essays and the format used for documenting experience. (see step 6).