While I realize that what we do doesn't require the same level of expertise as someone graduating medical school, if many of these academic coding programs really showed students what to expect, that might prevent people from making a professional and personal mistake. We (as a profession) are adapting to be "assessed" on everything. It makes sense that we might as well expose those students to assessments early on--for example, taking one before they begin classes. This way, they are far more comfortable with the concept of being tested and it may point people toward another direction if this is really something they are not interested in doing.
This thread has shown that people who are initially interested sometimes back out when they fully understand what is required of them. Most HIM, Coding and Cancer Registry programs do not have students submit to any form of assessment to gain entry into the program. There might be academic standards, like GPA, but that is really it. We might be better served to have some additional elements of selection criteria to prevent our industry from being oversaturated and also helping people find out if this is or is not the job for each of them.
Kevin B. Shields, RHIT, CPCO, CCS, CPC, COC, CCS-P, CPC-P, CPC-I