Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Fincher, Mark E.

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher Clayton

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 3 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


In 2010, the Office of National Coordinator (ONC), a branch of the federal government, launched a program called the IT Professionals in Health Care Program. The Program was intended to address the anticipated shortage of skilled workers in health information technology (HIT) and electronic health records (EHRs). According to the National Opinion Research Center (NORC, 2014), the ONC estimated a shortfall of 51,000 HIT workers over 5 years in terms of the number that would be needed to fully support health care providers and facilities in the adoption of EHRs. The growing demand for HIT professionals did not match the number of graduates that the health institutions were releasing into the job market. This pattern necessitated the training of more HIT professionals to reduce the predicted market deficit. The need for persons with specialized skill in HIT once again placed the community colleges in a central role in providing training of a workforce that can meet the market demand for employees with knowledge, skills and competencies in HIT. The current study is intended as a follow-up to that evaluation and seeks to identify the sustainability of the preparation programs initiated through the IT Professionals in Health Care Program in Region D colleges, which are those colleges in a consortium of 11 southern states. The study was conducted as a qualitative study in which 6 program directors at 6 of the 20 participating community colleges in region D were interviewed regarding their perceptions of the sustainability of the Health IT Workforce Development Program. In addition, websites and curriculum guides were analyzed so that the data could be triangulated with the interview responses. Interviews of the 6 program directors revealed that difficulties arose when employers questioned if students completing the program would be ready to take on the responsibilities necessary for the demanding positions that were available in the healthcare IT workforce. The 6 program directors interviewed stated a key area of improvement would have been to add a practicum that allowed for hands on experience as well as ensuring a suitable workload to for the program.



Health IT||Funding and Sustainability