Southern Union State Community College

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any prerequisite courses required to be eligible to apply to the program?

No, students must simply meet the RAD program admission requirements. However, students who take the general education courses prior to applying to the program will receive points which may increase their chance of being accepted in a competitive admission pool. (You should note in the admission requirements that students required to complete remedial courses in math, English or reading must complete those requirements before they will be eligible to apply.)

Is there a pre-admission test I must take before I apply for the program?

Yes. The ACT National or Residual is required for application to the program.  There is no expiration date for when the test was taken, but you must have a minimum composite score of 18.  You must take the test BEFORE submitting an application for the RAD program and you must attach a copy of your test score to your application.  See the ACT Residual for more details about the test.

How do you decide who will be admitted to the program?

All applicants who meet the admission requirements will be rank-ordered for acceptance. The rank-order process is explained in detail at the required Health Sciences Information Session. Approximately 30-32 students are admitted annually to begin in fall semester.

If I have completed all of the general education courses before applying for the program, what will I take each semester and how long will the program take?

If all general education courses are completed with a grade of C or higher, students are required to take only the RAD courses in the curriculum for that semester.  If you need more hours to be fulltime for financial aid reasons, you may choose to take additional courses as long as this is acceptable by your financial aid program and does not interfere with class, lab or clinical times.  The program will take five (5) semesters to complete after admission.

The curriculum indicates I need a humanities elective. What course(s) will count as a humanities elective?

Most courses from Area II of the Alabama General Studies Curriculum (AGSC) can be used to satisfy the humanities elective requirement. The courses taught at SUSCC that can be used for the elective are: ART 100, Art Appreciation; MUS 101, Music Appreciation; THR 120, Theater Appreciation; IDS 102, Ethics; HUM 101, Introduction to Humanities; SPA 101 or 102, Introductory Spanish; HPS 113, Spanish for the Healthcare Professional; ENG 271 or 272, World Literature; REL 151, Survey of Old Testament; or REL 152, Survey of New Testament. If you are transferring from other colleges or universities, you should check with an Academic Advisor regarding transfer of your course(s) .

Why are students required to have a criminal background check and drug screen?

Southern Union is contractually obligated to comply with requirements set forth by agencies used for clinical rotations. All health sciences students are required to have negative background checks and/or drug screens to meet the requirements of clinical agencies in accord with the Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) standards.

Can the courses be taken in the evening or weekends?

No, the program is offered in the daytime, Monday through Friday.  That is when the majority of imaging procedures are done, allowing for students to become competent prior to graduation.

Is the program accredited?

Yes, the program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).  The JRCERT is the only agency recognized by the United States Department of Education for the accreditation of traditional and distance delivery educational programs in radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.  Accreditation of an educational program provides students, as graduates, assurance that the educational program will provide them with the requisite knowledge, skills, and values to competently perform the range of professional responsibilities expected by potential employers nationwide.  It also assures they will be eligible to take the national certification examination at the completion of the program.

When will clinical rotations begin?

Clinical rotations begin during the first semester of the program and continue throughout each semester.

Will I be able to choose where I go for clinical?

Efforts will be made to meet reasonable requests regarding having to travel great distances from their homes, but students may be scheduled at any clinical site.  Variety in clinical experiences strengthens the students’ skills and for that reason, students need to travel to many different clinical sites.

Where are the clinical sites for the program?

Students enrolled in the Southern Union State Community College Radiologic Technology Program will be scheduled to rotate through the various rooms and/or departments within the clinical affiliates of the program. Clinical sites may change at any point in the program.

Is radiation dangerous?

Although radiation hazards exist in this occupation, they are minimized by the use of lead aprons, gloves, and other shielding devices, as well as by instruments monitoring exposure to radiation. Technologists wear badges measuring radiation levels in the radiation area, and detailed records are kept on their cumulative lifetime dose.

What is the role of a Radiologic Technologist?

Radiologic Technologists are medical personnel who perform diagnostic imaging examinations and administer radiation therapy treatments. They are educated in anatomy, patient positioning, examination techniques, equipment protocols, radiation safety, radiation protection and basic patient care. They may specialize in a specific imaging techniques, such as: bone densitometry , cardiovascular-interventional Radiologic Technology , computed tomography ,  mammography , magnetic resonance imaging , nuclear medicine , quality management, sonography or general Radiologic Technology. The Radiologic Technologists who specialize in radiation therapy, which is the delivery of high doses of radiation to treat cancer and other diseases, are radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists.

Where can I get more information about radiologic technology?

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182, or visit its Web site at www.jrcert.org

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists at www.arrt.org

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists at www.asrt.org

Many organizations play key roles in the professional lives of radiologic technologists.  To find out more about the roles, relationships and acronyms of the organizations, download the brochure Alphabet Soup, A Guide to Organizations in Radiologic Technology. Click here to download Alphabet Soup.

Does SUSCC have a job placement office?

No, however during the program, students attend clinical agencies where they make contact with potential employers and during the final semester of the program, potential employers recruit students on campus.