In the last semester of the Bachelor of Science Health Information Management program, students enroll in HIMS 455A Applied Research Project in Health Information Management.  This is the Capstone Course and serves as the student’s final culminating project to showcase their academic accomplishments in the HIM baccalaureate degree program.

A co-requisite course that students take along with HIMS 455A Applied Research Project in Health Information Management is HIMS 455B Advanced Professional Practice Experience.  HIMS 455B is the course component of the capstone project in which students work with their Advanced Professional Practice Experience (PPE) Site Supervisor in an actual work setting and apply their skills to investigate issues and solve challenging problems in the health information management community.

The student’s applied research or “capstone” project is designed by the student and the PPE Site Supervisor, with the approval of the HIM Program Director.  Projects must be linked to the CAHIIM baccalaureate-level HIM competencies.

Unlike the professional practice experience in a associate degree Health Information Technology program in which you may have rotated through the various functions of a health information management department, in the bachelor’s degree Health Information Management program you will be working with a host PPE site to develop a HIM project, conduct research, apply skills learned in the classroom, interview various departments and staff, and collect data and materials for your written applied research “capstone” project.

Students who have found a “host” site for their research project and who have met all of the health and safety requirements, will be permitted to register for HIMS 455A and HIMS 455B in the last semester of the program. 

Yes.  Students must meet Shasta College Health Sciences Programs Health & Safety Requirements by the given deadlines in order to be eligible to register for HIMS 455A and HIMS 455B.


The HIM Program Director and faculty will work with students to help them find a host PPE site, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the student to find and arrange his or her own PPE placement.  

Student placement at a PPE site facility must be approved by the HIM Program Director, and a legal affiliation agreement between the site and the college must be in place.

Determine which health information facilities are close to you and begin contacting the HIM Director or Manager to introduce yourself and inquire as to the possibility of having them host your professional practice experience and research project.  Remember, the PPE site does not have to be a traditional HIM facility, i.e. acute care hospital.  Extend your search to non-traditional HIM facilities as well. 

In order to meet HIM professionals that may be interested in hosting your professional practice experience and research project, consider:

  • Attending HIM professional association meetings, conventions, and educational sessions, such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the California Heath Information Association (CHIA), or your local HIM chapter/association.
  • Becoming a committee volunteer or volunteering for a HIM related event.
  • Asking your supervisor, if you are already working in the HIM field, to introduce you to managers in other departments that interact with health information professionals, health records, and/or healthcare data.
  • Asking the HIM Program Director, or your Shasta College instructors, if they may have any contacts with HIM professionals in your community.
  • Networking with your student peers that are working in the healthcare field and ask them if they may be able to provide you with names of HIM professionals to contact.

Although not encouraged, students already working in the HIM field are allowed to complete their applied research project and professional practice experience at their place of employment if they are not paid for their PPE hours and they are not performing their daily job duties as part of the professional practice experience.  Work hours do not count toward PPE hours.

Advanced PPE is conducted as a non-paid experience.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 54 hours at the PPE host site.

The sooner the better! In order for a student to be placed at a PPE site facility, a legal affiliation agreement between the PPE site facility and Shasta College must be in place. This process can sometimes take up to 6 months to complete.                           

At the end of the student’s first semester in the program, the HIM Program Director will initiate communications with program students as to the process, course expectations, and provide deadline dates that must be met in order to be eligible to register for HIMS 455A and HIMS 455B.

​Students are responsible for:

  • Tuition and course fees
  • Fees associated with completing the health and safety requirements
  • Transportation to and from the PPE site
  • Parking fees, if any
  • Meals while working at the PPE site.