BCBS Tennessee's health IT workforce program touts 100% retention, doubled applicants

The BlueSky Institute, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's new college degree and training program aimed at fostering IT talent for the payer, has achieved a 100 percent retention rate in its first year, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Dec. 6

According to the report, BlueSky has maintained its entire inaugural class of 32 students and applications for the next class have doubled since last year.

In August, the first round of students started meeting with BCBS executives at the payer's Chattanooga campus to begin preparing for the 27-month program, which will be made up of classes and hands-on IT applications.

Though the year-round program will take place on the BCBS campus, the students are enrolled at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City and will receive a bachelor's degree in computer science once completed. Curriculum will be based on the university's ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in Computing with a concentration in information systems.

The program is free and offers paid internships in the second year. Students will be assigned a student success officer and an individual executive and IT mentor from BCBS. Upon completion, BCBS is looking to hire the graduates in IT positions, which have been difficult to fill.

The program is accepting applications for its next class of students through Jan. 19.

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