INA – The first class to graduate from the Radiologic Technology program at Rend Lake College will do so at commencement ceremonies on May 15. Out of the 21 freshmen who made up the inaugural class two years ago, 86 percent are now sophomores expected to be conferred Associate in Applied Science degrees.
RLC’s Rad Tech program heralds the maximum level of accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, meaning these students will meet the certification requirements to take the national certification examination for radiologic technologists and move on to a rewarding career in the healthcare industry.
Since its inception at RLC less than two years ago, the program has grown to more than 40 students, attended its first ACERT National Conference and honored U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) for his support of the CARE bill, which called for the establishment of minimum standards for personnel who perform procedures.
The program is a dedicated Associate in Applied Science program offering quality education in the field of radiologic science. It’s prominence in the region comes from a superior staff of educators with advanced degrees who have 10-17 years of field experience, possess multiple credentials and carry several years of teaching experience.
Director Kim Robert holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in management and a master’s in business administration from Webster University. She activley serves as a committee member of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists; is past Board Chair, Vice President and President of the Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technologists; and holds an appointment by the Governor’s office to the Illinois Radiologic Accreditation Advisory Board. Last year, ASRT officials presented Robert with the organization’s 2008 Outstanding Grass-roots Advocacy Award.
Joan Laughhunn has a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science from Midwestern State University, which is specifically required to teach current rad tech program materials. That, coupled with an associate’s degree in business management and 17 years of field experience – 14 of which involved teaching radiology – makes Laughhunn perfect for the Clinical Coordinator position she holds at RLC. She also holds credentials in mammography and computed tomography.
The latest transplant to RLC’s Rad program is part-time instructor Bria Robinson who will begin instructing computed tomography in the summer term. Robinson is a registered computed tomographer and has been a radiologic technologist since 2000. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science from Midwestern State University with a focus on the education and teaching methods of radiologic technology.
According to local employment dynamics from the U.S. Census Bureau, jobs in the Illinois healthcare industry – hospital employment in particular – grew by more than any other sector from 2007 to 2008. RLC Rad Tech approaches its mission from a qualitative perspective as opposed to a quantitaive one. Only 20 to 22 exclusive slots are available to select students each year. These students are the future radiologic technologists who will meet the needs of the economy and local employers.