Aug 10, 2011

FVCC to Launch Five New Programs this Fall

Flathead Valley Community College will introduce five new programs to its curriculum this fall, giving Flathead Valley residents more opportunities to receive training and education in careers of high demand in the area.

The college will launch a two-year associate of science degree program in biotechnology that prepares students for transfer to Montana State University in Bozeman.   Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding field of academic research and industry that develops new approaches to treating diseases, finds new pharmaceutical agents, develops renewable energy source and improves food production.  The field provides opportunities for graduates to develop new products aimed toward solving some of society’s urgent problems.

This fall, FVCC will break ground in Montana by offering the first emergency management degree in the state.  The two-year associate of applied science degree provides students the skills and understanding of Montana state law in relation to emergency management, hazard mitigation and preparedness and emergency management law and ethics.  This fast-growing field presents opportunities for individuals who are interested in employment in various capacities related to fire service, emergency management services, emergency communications operators, hospital personnel, business safety personnel, municipal government planners, security personnel and risk managers.

In response to an estimated need for 10,000 new health information technology (HIT) professionals, the college will introduce a health information technology implementation and maintenance specialist program geared toward professionals working in information technology, health information or related fields or college graduates who obtained degrees in those fields.  As employment in medical records and health information technicians is projected to increase by 20 percent through 2018, the one-semester certificate will prepare students to assist in the transition of the nation’s health information management from paper-based systems to electronic medical record applications. 

To address the growing demand of health care professionals, the college will begin offering a patient relations specialist program to provide students with entry-level skills for the health care industry.  The one-year certificate serves as a springboard into other medical office careers.  Students who successfully complete the program will be able to perform a variety of professional skills from scheduling appointments and filing to formatting documents necessary in a medical office setting.   

With the Montana Department of Labor and Industry projecting that employment in medical office professions will grow 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, FVCC will introduce a two-year associate of applied science degree in health care office management.  The program will prepare students to be successful health care office managers.  Those who complete the program will be well versed in medical office operations including billing, coding, collections, appointment scheduling and medical records maintenance. 

A complete overview of FVCC’s transfer and career and technical programs is available online at or by calling 756-3847.  Registration for fall semester credit classes will take place August 25 and 26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for new and returning students.    Registration is currently open to returning students with complete admissions files and can be completed online on the college’s Web site.  Classes fill on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Classes will begin August 29.  The course schedule is available online to view at  For more information, call 756-3848.