Sep 24, 2020  
College Catalog 2019-2020 
College Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Foundations of Health Career, A.S.

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Rebecca Lewis 413.552.2426,


The Associate Degree in Foundations of Health Career Option is designed for students interested in a health-related career, whose focus is on direct-entry into the workforce. Students begin by taking HTH 101 , along with general education requirements. Students will work closely with their advisor to place into appropriate courses guided by their strengths and personal career goals. Students who desire fast entry into the workforce have the option to complete a certificate in Community Health Worker, Direct Care Worker, Medical Billing & Coding, or Medical Assisting as part of this degree. The corequisites for selective programs in health are embedded in this major. Selective programs include Nursing , Practical Nursing Certificate , and Radiologic Technology . Each of these programs requires a separate application process along with attendance at the appropriate information session.


Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Effectively utilize terminology related to the health care field
  • Apply basic clinical/professional competencies in a health care setting gained through completion of the Certified Nurse’s Aide license in HTH 210 , in addition to applying leadership strategies and critical thinking
  • Understand the intersection of psychological and sociological components of human development and aging as they relate to healthcare practice
  • Possess an understanding of the physiological makeup of the human body (nutritionally and biologically)
  • Think critically about the health care system including current policies, events, and considerations related to entering a health career and public health practice
  • Describe the duties of different types of health care professionals and how each contributes to the healthcare system
  • Obtain one of the following academic certificates as part of the degree, which will ensure employment into a healthcare or public health entry-level position: Community Health Worker, Direct Care Worker, Medical Assistant, or Medical Billing & Coding
  • Work with diverse populations and demonstrate an awareness of diversity and cultural humility that aligns with the goals inherent in being a Hispanic Serving Institution and a health professional
  • Communicate effectively through active listening and speaking, and will convey health-related knowledge accurately, clearly, and in culturally aware and responsive ways to supervisors, coworkers, patients, and others
  • Understand their ethical obligations in the health care and public health professions
  • Demonstrate a foundational skill set in quantitative and qualitative reasoning that can be applied to a career in a health-related field

** Criminal Offense Record Act (CORI), Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI)**

Foundations of Health students enrolled in HTH 210  or applying for Selective Programs are required to complete a CORI/SORI background check prior to program/course enrollment. A positive finding may prevent students from successfully completing the HTH 210  course, applying for Selective Programs, or graduating with a Foundations of Health Degree due to clinical site requirements. The College policy can be found in the Student Handbook.

Inability to attend orientation for the HTH 210  course and meet requirements for clinical orientation and placement will result in Administrative Withdrawal from HTH 210 . There is a SEPARATE CORI/SORI application you must complete online if you have lived outside of the state of Massachusetts in the past 10 years; failure to disclose all relevant information may result in an inability to complete the HTH 210  course. Out of state CORI/SORI fees vary. If you have had legal issues in the past or have any legal affairs pending, you must contact Clare LaMontagne, Dean of Health Sciences, immediately.

Drug Testing

The Work Connection at Holyoke Medical Center has been selected as the Division of Health Science’s exclusive laboratory for student drug testing. Students are required to participate in the drug screening process prior to enrollment in the HTH 210  course.  A positive finding may prevent students from successfully completing the HTH 210  course, applying for Selective Programs, or graduating with a Foundations of Health Degree due to clinical site requirements.


Prior to enrolling in HTH 210  or applying for Selective Programs students are required to provide proof of immunizations.

Vaccines must be documented with month, day, and year of administration and be on MD office letterhead and/or stamped with facility address and phone number. **If antibody titers are done in lieu of vaccines, documentation of the official copies of laboratory reports must be provided - MD flow sheets are not acceptable.** Records for the following requirements must be submitted to the Student Health Services Office in Frost Building Room 105 when you register for the HTH 210  course:

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) - two doses (28 or more days apart) are required OR Positive (+) titers for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
  • Hepatitis B - three shot series is required OR Positive (+) titer for Hepatitis B.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) - two doses (28 or more days apart) are required OR Positive (+) titer for Varicella.
  • Pertussis containing vaccine - Tdap (dated 2006 or later). Note: Tetanus Toxoid (TT) or Tetanus Diphtheria (Td) does not suffice.
  • TB (Mantoux) skin test - 2-step* (at least 10 days between test #1 and test #2).  **If TB test result is positive, a copy of a recent negative chest X-ray report is required.
  • Current HCC Health Affiliate Physical Form - signed and dated by MD
  • Annual influenza vaccination

If you have any questions about the immunization process please contact Student Health Services at 413.552.2401


Student must complete all program requirements listed above and choose one of the 4 certificate options below


Required only if selecting the Direct Care Worker Certificate option above; sufficient to complete 60 credit graduation requirement

  • Program Elective Credit(s): 42



1Heritage Spanish speakers do not need SPA 111  or SPA 112 - they are required to take SPA 203 . This course prepares heritage speakers for use of Spanish in a professional setting.

2Select from the following prefixes: BIO, HFN, HSV, HTH, NTR, PSY, or SOC. Students must discuss academic plan with advisor for appropriate selection.

Some courses may appear in both the Foundations of Health degree and certificate programs; these courses only need to be taken once.

Students wishing to transfer to a four-year school program should not complete this option, but should complete the FOH Transfer Option.

Medical Assistant - Students who have completed BIO 111  or BIO 217  and BIO 218  with a grade of C or better, within the last 7 years do not need to take MEA 109 . MEA 150  will be waived as students will complete HTH 130 , a FOH degree program requirement.

Medical Billing & Coding- Students who have completed BIO 111  or BIO 217  and BIO 218  with a grade of C or better within the last 7 years do not need to take HMC 107 .

The following four certificate programs can be completed as part of the FOH Career Option: Community Health Worker Certificate , Direct Care Worker Certificate , Medical Assistant Certificate , and Medical Billing & Coding Certificate . Some of these certificates require course waivers (e.g. Medical Assisting has comparable courses to HTH 130  and BIO 217  and BIO 218  so these courses will be waived in place of MEA Coursework). Additional certificates may be completed in conjunction with this degree as determined by Department Chair.

The number of General Electives required for this major will vary depending on which Certificate program the student chooses to complete under Program Requirements.

Medical Assistant & Medical Billing and Coding - Students wishing to apply to a program or certificate requiring selective admission should work closely with their advisor and should also contact the Health Sciences Division office at the Center for Health Education or call Kathy Trombley at 413.552.2467 for additional information based on the prerequisites listed for the following:

Medical Assisting

Medical Billing & Coding

Nursing (ADN)

Nursing (LPN)

Radiologic Technology

Veterinary Technology

  • Complete: ENG 101 ; MTH 095  with a grade of C- or better or adequate score on the Math Placement Exam
  • Completion of BIO 107  with a C or better
  • Attend Veterinary Technology Information Session

Depending on course selection, 50% of this program can be completed online. Go to Online Learning  for more information.


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