Health Information (Medical Coding)

Contact Information 

Dr. Kaila Givens, RHIA
department chair

Delivery Methods 

Face-to-Face: Wahpeton
Online: All Classes

Coders review medical documentation, using classification system software and assign medical codes. The codes are used for billing, research, statistics, reporting, and administrative purposes. Work settings include hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, long-term care, insurance, consulting and auditing firms, and healthcare software companies. With appropriate experience, coders may be employed remotely (at-home).

NDSCS offers North Dakota’s only medical coding certificate approved by the AHIMA Professional Certificate Approval Program (PCAP).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health information technicians (classification includes medical coders) is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Coding guidelines will be studied in detail, as well as concepts in insurance and reimbursement concepts, including payment systems.

Students can easily continue their education by completing the additional courses in the Health Information Technician AAS degree program option. Additional coding certifications are desirable after the graduate attains work experience, for further advancement in the profession.


Academic training includes online learning laboratories. At the end of the program, students will complete a capstone virtual practicum, coding a variety of types of authentic health records, using encoder/grouper software.

Delivery Options

The program is available both online and in a traditional campus environment. Online students complete all courses online, while on-campus students complete HIT prefix courses online and most related/general education courses in a traditional classroom.

Transfer credit will be evaluated per college policy.

This program requires access to a personal laptop and printer, capable of completing the assignments/testing required by the program, with a current operating system and webcam/microphone. Tablets and Chromebooks are not compatible with online classes/testing.

Admission Requirements*

The applicants must be high school graduates or equivalent. Helpful courses to prepare for this program are computer applications, anatomy, and medical terminology.

Submit official ACT and/or Placement testing results to Enrollment Services

Applicants must have the ability to perform the Essential Program Requirements as listed in the Health Information Program Information FAQ file on the college website www.NDSCS.edu.

*Program Admission Requirements are subject to revision. Please check the department or program website under Program Admission Requirements for current information.

Curriculum Requirements

A grade of “C” or above must be achieved in all courses in order to advance in the program and prior to taking the practicum course. Required computer skills including ability to use email, upload and download files, install software and navigate the internet. The program is sequenced with pre/co-requisites.

Program Approval Statement

The North Dakota State College of Science comprehensive coding program is approved by the AHIMA Professional Certificate Approval Program (PCAP). This designation acknowledges the coding program as having been evaluated by a peer review process using a national minimum set of standards for entry-level coding professionals. This process allows academic institutions to be acknowledged as offering an AHIMIA Approved Coding Certificate Program.

“Value for Students” Statement

The valuable AHIMA PCAP approval designation:

  1. Identifies specialized programs that meet established coding educational standards.
  2. Stimulates improvement of educational standards through faculty development opportunities, and by involving faculty and staff in program evaluation and planning.
  3. Promotes a better understanding of the goals of professional coding education.
  4. Provides reasonable assurance that practitioners possess the necessary job skills upon entry into the profession.

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Published in program handbook.


Upon successful completion of the required courses, students will be awarded a certificate in Health Information with an emphasis in Medical Coding.

AHIMA sponsors a voluntary entry-level coding certification examination, the Certified Coding Associate (CCA). The CCA credential distinguishes coders by exhibiting commitment and demonstrating coding competencies across all settings, including both hospitals and physician practices. Completion of an AHIMAapproved coding program (PCAP Program) is one of the training and recommendations listed on the AHIMA website (www.ahima.org).

Total Required Credits