Frequently Asked Questions
Does all general education coursework have to be completed to be accepted?No, the general education coursework does not have to completed before being accepted into the program. If you are accepted into the program without your general education coursework being complete, you will need to show proof of completion with an official transcript prior to June 1st of the year of enrollment. All general education coursework must be completed with a letter grade of “C” or better by June 1st of the year of enrollment.
Do you guarantee employment after graduation?There are opportunities available for new graduates. The long-term employment projections still show that there will be a need for qualified sonographers as our population continues to age.
The sonography field is growing at a much faster rate than average and the job outlook remains promising. However, please keep in mind that no academic program can guarantee employment after graduation.
What do you look for when evaluating candidates?We look for individuals who have a strong background in biological sciences and mathematics (and good grades). This will come from regionally-accredited college-level coursework. We also look for work experience with customer contact and service-oriented emphasis. Candidates should possess good interpersonal communication skills and a discernable interest in health care.
Due to the limited number of spaces within the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, we look for a candidate that is knowledgeable about the field and is confident that this is the career path they are truly passionate about.
How can I enhance my chances of being accepted?Given the tremendous interest in our program, we cannot guarantee that any candidate will be accepted. The program will stop short of prescribing a specific plan to any or all candidates. Each candidate is expected to evaluate his/her own strengths and weaknesses and to establish a plan that will address relevant weaknesses. Should a candidate not be accepted, we are always happy to discuss with a candidate our perceived strengths and weaknesses.
The ideal candidate will possess a healthy balance of characteristics and skills deemed desirable by the faculty. The ideal candidate:
- Has a proven record of academic success, particularly in math and sciences
- Has work experience with the public in the service sector
- Is knowledgeable of the field of sonography, including the less-than-desirable aspects
- Possesses a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and caring demeanor desirable of a health-care giver
- Communicate well verbally and in writing
- Is knowledgeable of his/her own strengths and weaknesses
With concerns to travel, is it worth it?The program faculty is sensitive to the inconveniences of traveling for classes and clinical assignments and makes every reasonable effort to minimize the travel expectations. However, traveling is a necessary and reasonable expectation given the learning opportunities that result. We are proud of the comprehensive education in medical imaging that we provide, which will greatly benefit our graduates as they seek employment opportunities.
The program does have a central classroom located at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. Additionally, the program requires some traveling to clinical sites in Carmel, Fishers, Anderson and Kokomo during the program.
To help offset the expenses of travel, the program keeps tuition and book expenses very reasonable. While the tuition costs of some local programs can reach $14,000 annually, our tuition is a very reasonable $3,200 annually. We encourage candidates to inquire about all programs regarding their travel expectations and to weigh the costs of travel with tuition and textbook expenses.
We believe that our program is one of the most cost-effective programs in this region that is able to offer a comprehensive approach to education in varying settings and access to state-of-the-art technology to ultimately making our graduates highly marketable!
What is starting salary for sonographers?Sonographer salary varies throughout the country and depends on what credentials you obtain following graduation from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program. The average full-time salary for sonographers in Indiana is about $58,000-$62,000. For more information, see www.asrt.org/main/news-research/research-studies-and-surveys or www.sdms.org/resources/salary-calculator.
If you have completed previous courses from another institute, why do I have to complete these courses in your program?Although courses may have similar names and subject matter, the program courses are presented with an emphasis on material that is relevant to sonography.
Can I get financial aid, scholarships or tuition assistance?The program does not participate in Title IV financial funding and therefore does not offer financial aid opportunities. Thus Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and other state and federal-sanctioned aid do not apply. As a result, the program does keep tuition and textbook expenses very reasonable.
We encourage candidates to seek scholarship opportunities throughout their local communities and local civic organizations. We will be happy to work with any third-party payer who will guarantee tuition or textbook payment on behalf of an enrolled student.
Can I work full-time while attending this program?This is a very common and poignant question and an issue we cannot emphasize enough to be seriously considered by each individual applying to the program. Although we cannot dictate what a student does outside of the program, past experiences have demonstrated that it is extremely difficult to successfully meet the requirements of the program while working a full time schedule. Some factors to consider beyond an individuals personal stamina and abilities are:
- Physical and mental demands of the job.
- Flexibility of work schedule
weekend vs after program hours
ability to reduce/switch hours to accommodate program demands
- Additional personal/family responsibilities
- Study time requirements outside of program hours
- Are you a quick learner or an individual that needs to spend a fair amount of time to master material
Many students do work part-time while in the program. The program faculty, while sympathetic and understanding of the situation, cannot lower the performance expectations of a student. Ultimately it is for each individual to honestly evaluate their abilities, both physical and academic and determine if after the commitment to the program hours and the hours to the job that there is enough time left to eat, sleep, study, travel, and for family while still meeting the requirements of the program…for 16 week
How difficult is it to be accepted into the program?The increased interest in sonography over the past few years has indeed resulted in an increased number of applicants applying for a limited number of positions in the program and has therefore made the application process more competitive. For any applicant to be considered for acceptance they will need to demonstrate a history of successful academic performance as well as a personality that is compatible with both the academic and healthcare environment. Our selection panel evaluates many factors when selecting candidates for the program and has found that there is no one “model” for the ideal student. There is no one factor or attribute that can guarantee acceptance into the program.
Do you allow students to attend part time?The program is full time and two years in length. During the week a student will spend 2-3 days in the clinic usually from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and 2-3 days in the classroom usually from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The program is unable to accommodate applicants seeking any form of part-time education.