The Start IT initiative is based on the Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) concentration. It features professional work experience while studying HIT. The knowledge acquired though practice enhances the lessons learned in the classroom. The potential for work experiences also brings the opportunity for financial assistance.
The Start IT initiative was originally conceived to provide financial aid to dislocated workers without a computing background seeking to start a career in HIT. It received recognition in an article published in the Milwaukee BizTimes. (Link to the article).
A key aspect of the initiative was an informal partnership between government agencies, healthcare providers, and Marquette. There were two powerful outcomes from this connection between the academic community and HIT organizations:
Healthcare providers began a journey to meaningful use of HIT systems a few years back. The resulting growth in the demand for HIT knowledge amplified signals of a shortage in the workforce. The Start IT academic initiative took up the challenge to provide knowledgeable workers. We provided a Boot Camp to enable a quick start and added work experience during study to make the impact immediate. We learned that we could leverage the shortage of workers to provide financial compensation for professional work assignments. We saw that we could define a second Boot Camp experience for those with a computer science background. Through this Boot Camp and our professional placements, students may enter graduate studies in HIT with hope of financial assistance and a promising career.
Start IT continues to provide a career path for dislocated workers, but we are expanding the Start IT initiative. The result serves those with or without a computer science background and can provide financial assistance for all.
Sample assignments include assisting in the implementation of electronic health records and connecting medical operations to health information networks. These assignments provide financial aid for 18 credits per academic year and can fully cover the tuition expense of a two-year 36-credit MS in Computing degree. Placement is always dependent on the decision of the healthcare provider, but the reputation of our program and the qualifications of our students have led to successful placements.
Acting as HIT professionals, students serve in key roles while still early in their careers
To prepare students to act in these roles, the MS program offers two flavors of a Boot Camp experience.
The admission and entry process is different for these two options.
|Career Change Boot Camp||HIT Boot Camp|
|Background||Little academic or work experience in computing or healthcare.||Qualified in three areas: programming, data structures, and algorithms|
|Application process||Apply to the Marquette Graduate School for Temporary Status and provide Start IT with a Statement of Interest in HIT.||Apply to the Marquette Graduate School for Degree Status and provide Start IT with a Statement of Interest in HIT.|
|Admission||Temporary status in the MS in Computing program (valid for one term) and invitation to the Career Change Boot Camp.||Degree status in the MS in Computing program and invitation to access the HIT Boot Camp learning materials.|
|Matriculation||Attend the Career Change Boot Camp. After completion, matriculate into the degree program in the following term.||Begin zero-credit, zero-cost HIT Boot Camp. May begin classes while studying the online Boot Camp materials.|
|Scope of study||HIT professional skill, programming, data structures, and algorithms||HIT professional skills|
|Certification||AHIMA CHTS PRO (formerly HIT Pro) or CAHIMS certification is required to complete the Boot Camp successfully|
|Professional Experiences||Working with local healthcare providers, we have been successful in finding placements for our Start IT students. This may begin in the first term after certification. Students interview with HIT organizations for placement in work experiences.|
|Part-time||Half-time professional experience can be augmented in the final term when a full-time Practicum becomes an option.|
|Practicum||A full-time professional assignment/internship during your final term in the program receives six credits and contributes to your financial aid.|