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Frequently Asked Questions about the Radiologic Technology Program

Q: How difficult is it to get into program?
A: The program consistently has more applicants who are eligible each year than can be interviewed or accepted. The Advisory Committee will interview 50-60 applicants annually. There may be 100+ applicants but not all applicants will be interviewed.

Q: How many students are accepted each year?
A: The average class size over the past few years has been 26 students. Exact enrollment is determined based on combined clinical education center capacities.

Q: Is financial aid available?
A: Rad Tech students are eligible for any assistance programs offered to Columbia State students. In addition, several designated scholarships are awarded annually to qualified students in the program.

Q: What about job placement for program graduates?
A: For the past several years, approximately 95% of graduates have secured jobs within 6 months of graduation. This includes those graduates who elect to continue their formal education and do not seek full time employment. This also includes those in PRN positions who work in a radiology department on an "as needed" basis.
As faculty members are made aware of employment opportunities, they pass information to graduates but there is no formal placement program.

Q: Are students able to work while enrolled in the program?
A: Many Rad Tech students find it necessary to work while in school. Schedules are set at the beginning of each semester, allowing students to give ample notice of availability to employers. Students will be scheduled for evening clinical a portion of each semester. Accommodating school schedules requires a flexible employer. Students’ schedules will not be altered to meet employment needs. Some affiliate hospitals actually hire students for support positions in their Radiology departments.

Q: Are there part-time or evening options for program completion?
A: At this time, the program is only offered full-time with didactic classes scheduled during the day.

Q: What if I have completed some or all of the general education courses prior to program enrollment?
A: This does not shorten the length of the program but may mean a student is technically a part-time student during the first year of enrollment. Courses are offered only once each year and must be taken in sequence.

Q: Are there courses at Columbia State in any of the advanced imaging areas?
A: At this time, Columbia State does not offer degree or certificate courses in any advanced imaging area (i.e. Ultrasound, Mammography, MR, CT, Nuclear Medicine, etc.) Faculty members assist students in obtaining application materials in areas of interest for nearby programs whenever possible.

Q: What do applicants do about Fall registration in April before knowing the results of interviews?
A: Applicants are encouraged to register for any remaining general education courses at the earliest available pre-registration time. Arrange the schedule not to conflict with Rad courses as listed in the course schedule. Some courses fill quickly once registration opens (i.e. Anatomy & Physiology). Students must take courses during or before the semester outlined in the curriculum. For example, not being able to take Anatomy & Physiology during Fall of the first year in the program could prevent a student from being able to continue in the Radiologic Technology program. There will be sufficient seats in all Rad courses for students offered admission.

Q: What are the interviews like?
A: The program interview is conducted by a group of Advisory Committee Members and Clinical Instructors. The questions asked are similar to an employment interview. Committee members score applicants based on professional appearance, academic potential, experience in the medical field, interpersonal skills, reasoning skills and motivation.

Q: Are you required to have experience in the medical field to get in the program?
A: Medical field experience is not a requirement for admission to the program. The interview committee asks about healthcare experience to determine a student’s understanding of the unique aspects of the medical professions. This is a minor component of the interview score. Experience may include volunteer and paid positions 

Q: What is the typical student schedule while enrolled in the program?
A: This depends on each student’s need for general education courses. Prior to program enrollment, students may take any courses in the curriculum that do not have the “RAD” prefix. A student who has some or all of the general education requirements completed prior to program enrollment will have a lighter load throughout the first year. Beginning the second summer all students will be involved in program courses approximately 37.5 hours per week. Students enrolled in the program must schedule remaining general educational courses in a manner that does not conflict with Radiologic Technology class and clinical education. This may mean courses additional days of the week and/or evenings.

Click here to view a template of the typical course schedule if only Rad Tech courses are needed

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