Jenna Yates, For The Miami Student

The Miami University Middletown (MUM) computer and information technology department is in the process of creating a new major that plans to draw in students who are interested working in the health care field.

On Monday, March 1, Miami University Middletown received $185,000 grant. According to Cathy Bishop-Clark, dean of the department of computer and information technology, the grant is from Health Careers Collaborative (HCC), an organization that MUM is a part of.

Bishop-Clark said HCC was offered a $4.9 million grant in federal stimulus funds and awarded $185,000 to MUM. With that $185,000 grant, the information technology department is creating a plus-two degree in health information technology

A plus-two degree is a degree that requires students to complete two additional years of education after completing their associate’s degree in order to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Bishop-Clark said this is an area where there is a demand.

This new degree would be for people who have an associate’s degree in the medical field or technology and want to earn a bachelor’s degree in health information technology.

According to Liz Howard, vice president of academic affairs and professor of computer and information technology at MUM, the grant will give the department a chance to move into a new area and work with healthcare professionals in that area to develop that curriculum.

Bishop-Clark is hoping the new degree will be popular with students at the regional campuses.

“If you look at the needs of the state, this is an area where there are going to be a lot of jobs,” Bishop-Clark said.

The department speculates a successful outcome.

“Everything we read says there is going to be quite a demand for this because of all the hospitals who are moving toward electronic record,” Clark said.

Jordan Purcell, a student at MUM, feels similarly about the importance of technological smarts in the work force. Jordan attends all three Miami campuses and says each Miami campus has a different way of going about things.

“I’m a marketing major with a minor in communications so we try to use technology to the best of our abilities,” Jordan said.

Jordan said in his work and classroom experiences, he worked frequently with technology.

“Our hope is to begin offering courses in fall of 2011,” Bishop-Clark said.