INA – The Illinois Community College Board recently gave Rend Lake College the go ahead for its new Radiologic Technology Program.
According to Kelli Lewis, Chair of the Allied Health Division at RLC, the ICCB approved the program for Fall 2007 and placement testing for students will begin as early as this coming spring.
The program will be located on campus at a site slated for renovation in the Advanced Technology Center. Once renovations are complete, the space will house the state-of-the-art equipment similar to the systems used in a hospital radiology lab and a classroom fit to accommodate the training of future radiologic technicians.
The area is about 4,000 square-feet – 2,000 of which would be used for the new Radiology Technology program, according to RLC Physical Plant Manager Randall Shively.
“The remaining 2,000 square feet allows us to have room for expansion,” he said. “The remaining space will be ideal for future classrooms or offices.”
During their October meeting, the RLC Board of Trustees approved to begin bidding procedures on high-tech equipment for the program. The DS-3 Radiology System – a digital imaging system estimated at $50,000 to $60,000 – will be partly funded through a federal Perkins Grant and partly through institutional funds, should the Board approve a responding bid.
“With the level of equipment that is going to be installed into this program, students can expect exemplary training that will enable them to graduate with the skills to go out into today’s health care workforce and get a job of their choice,” Lewis said.
A tentative schedule provided by Shively calls for the renovation project to be advertised for potential bidders in mid-January, Board approval at the Feb. 13 meeting and demolition work commencing by April. Each step will require the consent of the Board of Trustees for the College.
“We want to try and have all of the equipment set and all of the staff training done by mid-July. Everything will be up and running by August if these goals are accomplished, ” Shively said.
Should Murphy’s Law be avoided and everything goes as planned, the Radiologic Technology program at RLC will begin training future technicians by the fall semester in 2007.
RLC Vice President of Instruction Jim Hull said the college is adding Radiologic Technology to its curriculum schedule because of the demand for the program within District 521.
“Currently, we are sending, on average, 20 to 25 students per year out of our district to similar programs at neighboring community colleges,” Hull said. “That level of outsourcing warrants Rend Lake College, on its own, to fill the need locally. We know that radiologic technology is a high-demand field within the health care industry. We know that, as the baby boomers age, the health care sector will be one of the biggest sectors in the economy to grow both locally and nationally. We see the Allied Health Division as an area of growth for the college because of all these factors.” “
Hull added that the future looks bright for any focus within RLC’s Allied Health Division.
“The outlook is good for any Allied Health program – whether it is Nursing, Health Information Technology, Occupational Therapy or Radiologic Technology, “ Hull said.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for radiologic technologists and technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014, as the population grows and ages, increasing the demand for diagnostic imaging. The Bureau also reported that radiologic technologists and technicians made an average annual salary of $43,350 in May of 2004.
Lewis added that the number of radiologic technicians demanded by the workforce now will continue to rise with an aging population and technological advances.
To inquire about placement testing for the program, or for more information about this release, one may contact Lewis at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1225. The RLC Counseling Center can be reached at Ext. 1266.