Most students in the process of reviewing local schools that offer ultrasound technician programs will eventually decide to visit one or more of the campuses. Planning ahead for the visit will ensure each student makes the most of the time spent on campus, getting information important to the final selection. Sonography students will consider general factors such as the campus setting, the range of student services and the structure of the ultrasound technology program.
Not All Alike: Schools that Offer Ultrasound Technician Programs
Every sonography program on the list of potential programs for attendance should be CAAHEP accredited. That immediately narrows the list of colleges that offer ultrasound technician degrees. The accredited programs have been assessed as to how well they meet standards so the student is assured that any of the programs will provide a high quality education. Of course, the student will also consider:
- Tuition rates
- Faculty qualifications
- Type of Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees or certificates offered
- Graduation rates
- Job placement rates
- Faculty-student ratio
- Required course load
The research up to this point has focused on the program facts. At some point, the student will want to visit the top two to three campuses.
Making a Program Visit
Many of the schools with CAAHEP accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs require applicants to attend an information session on the program. For example, Loma Linda University’s School of Allied Health Professions requires students to attend one of several sonography information sessions or its annual open house. Prospective students can use these sessions to:
- Visit the campus
- Tour the school
- Interact with administrators, faculty, students and health professionals
- Personally talk to practicing sonographers
- Learn more about clinical sites
- Ask specific questions about the program, like type and age of sonography instructional equipment
These sessions are good for getting additional information about the sonography program. Just as importantly, the attendee can get a good feel for the camaraderie between students, faculty professionalism and program setting.
Make a Campus Visit
Preparing in advance to visit a campus makes sense. Each school offers a host of student services designed to help the student with financial aid, counseling, career planning, campus activities and clubs, and so on. While making a personal visit to the schools that offer ultrasound technician programs, the student can:
- Join a campus tour to see the layout, type of building architecture and better understand the relationship of the school housing the sonography program to other schools on campus
- Visit various departments, like financial aid, and request information packets or ask questions
- Assess the atmosphere or ambiance of the campus, i.e. relaxed, fast-paced, modern, historical, etc.
- Visit frequently accessed student areas such as the student center, dining hall, bookstore and library
- Visit areas of particular interest like the fitness center
- Tour available dorms or assess off-campus housing
- Talk to currently enrolled students and ask how they like the school and campus, and their instructors and classes
- If commuting, assess the parking situation or the means of campus access via public transportation
Walking around a campus is a good strategy for really getting an appreciation for the school. Not every campus is a good fit for every student. Some students prefer a small school offering a quieter student lifestyle, while others prefer schools with large student bodies and a wide choice of student activities.
All of the CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technician training programs have limited enrollments. The reason is so each student is able to get a quality education on a planned course of completion. Once admitted, sonography students know they will be able to get into required course, access available labs and have equal opportunity to complete clinical training. Choosing one of the schools that offer ultrasound technician programs is an important student and career decision. Do thorough research, visit the campus and do not hesitate to ask questions. The best Diagnostic Medical Sonography program will become apparent.