Here are some tips for you to take when choosing your ultrasound tech school.
An Accredited or a Non-Accredited Ultrasound Tech School?
While students may be interested in a particular ultrasound school because of a convenient geographic location, flexible scheduling, online course offerings, or other practical considerations, they should also consider the quality and reputation of the sonography program and how successful its graduates are at finding a job as an ultrasound technician. Training at an accredited institution, as opposed to a non-accredited school, can streamline a student’s career path and offer an advantage in the competition for jobs and even for sonography scholarships and grants. This is because accredited ultrasound college programs are required to contain curricula in accordance with acknowledged professional standards for classroom and clinical content in order to receive recognition from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Known within the field as CAAHEP, this is the largest organization providing accreditation for diagnostic medical sonography programs within the U.S. For a list of all CAAHEP-accredited ultrasound technician training programs, you can go to A List of Accredited Ultrasound Tech Schools. It is an interactive chart, so you can easily search and find your best program by state, by city and by degree.
Prospective students with compelling reasons to opt for a non-accredited school should choose one with a curriculum similar to that found in typical accredited ultrasound technician schools and should be prepared to devote an extra year working in a clinical setting to fulfill the clinical requirements to become a registered sonographer.
Online or On-Campus Learning?
Another choice facing students is whether to consider taking courses or even a whole program through one of the many ultrasound tech schools online. Some on-campus programs offer the flexibility to complete some coursework online from home, but many ultrasound tech schools are entirely based online and offer their complete online programs via remote access. An online degree or certificate can be convenient and cost effective, and it can give students more flexibility over when and how quickly to complete requirements. Since the quality of online education varies widely, prospective students should be sure to select a program that is reputable and has a strong record of graduating students and of successfully placing them into ultrasound jobs upon graduation.
Campus life, both its social and academic aspects, are an important part of the educational experience for many sonography students who prefer to study in person rather than online. Commuting students and those who live in residence incur extra expenses and must follow a less flexible learning schedule. However, the opportunity to be immersed in a college setting with professors and other students for support and camaraderie is an important consideration for many. What is important to understand is that students have a range of choices, both online and on-campus, designed to meet a wide variety of needs and learning styles.
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