Sep 11, 2023 2:33 PM

SCC, Great River Health ink partnership for radiologic technology training program

Posted Sep 11, 2023 2:33 PM
Great River Health President and CEO Dr. Michael McCoy (left) and SCC President Dr. Michael Ash (right) ink a partnership for the Radiologic Technology Training Program. (Photo submitted)
Great River Health President and CEO Dr. Michael McCoy (left) and SCC President Dr. Michael Ash (right) ink a partnership for the Radiologic Technology Training Program. (Photo submitted)

Southeastern Community College and Great River Health have announced a partnership to launch a radiologic technology program. The 24-month program is scheduled to start in the fall of 2024.

Students will graduate with an associate of applied science degree, or AAS, in Radiologic Technology. They will take general classes at either of SCC’s West Burlington or Keokuk campuses. Coursework specific to the program will be offered at Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center in West Burlington.

The curriculum includes anatomy and physiology, radiobiology, pathology, medical imaging, radiation physics, patient care procedures, and medical ethics.

Program enrollment will be capped at 20 students for each year of the two-year program for a total of 40 students.

“This is good for our institutions, our students, and our communities,” said SCC President Dr. Michael Ash.

In addition to housing the program classroom, simulation lab facilities, and staff offices, Great River Health will underwrite the cost of two faculty positions and offer a limited number of student sponsorships.

Ash said that if not for the partnership, the college wouldn’t be able to offer the program.

“The startup costs to purchase the equipment alone would be well over a million dollars,” explained Ash. “Not only are we able to reduce our costs to offer the program, students will train on the very same equipment used in hospitals today and be immersed in a working diagnostic imaging department environment.”

Students who successfully complete the program will be ready to enter occupations such as MRI technologist, sonographer, radiation therapist, radiologic technologist, and cardiovascular technologist. Graduates must pass a licensure test before they can begin their careers.

Job prospects for graduates are bright. The median salary for the region is $60,000 per year with a national projected job growth of 6% annually.

In addition to broader statistics, Greg Fields, vice president of diagnostic imaging for Great River Health says that it is becoming more difficult to maintain the current staff of over 100 employees in the department. “Over the past few years, we’ve averaged anywhere from 8 to 10 openings each year, and that’s a trend we expect to continue.”

Students in their second year of the program will be eligible to be selected for sponsorship by Great River Health and receive a learning stipend. Sponsored students who successfully complete the program and secure licensure will be guaranteed an interview for employment at one of Great River Health’s locations throughout the region. Complete details will be released in the coming months.

Second-year SCC nursing student Emilia Sorrell said that sponsorship monies provided through the current nursing partnership have helped her focus on her coursework and not work quite as many hours.

“I work part-time and go to school full-time,” Sorrell said. “For me, the stipend is about two months’ rent. For some of my fellow students, it could be six months of utility bills they don’t have to worry about.”

Beyond providing benefits to SCC, Great River Health, and students, Dr. Ash explained how the partnerships benefit the region.

“Programs like this help us keep the people we have and even attract new people to the region,” said Ash. “That’s important because they buy houses, they buy groceries here, they participate in what’s happening in our communities.”

Great River Health President and CEO Dr. Michael McCoy is excited about the novelty of the program made possible by the partnership. “I’m looking forward to our first class of students coming next fall. It’s a very unique environment. If I were a student, I’d find this more appealing than any other program.”

Persons interested in the radiologic technology program can contact the SCC Admissions office at (319) 208-5155.