When is a background check completed?
A background check is conducted at the request of the Health Sciences program. ACC has contracted with an outside agency to perform the screenings. Health Sciences program applicants are charged a nonrefundable fee to cover the cost of the screening.
What backgrounds result in ineligibility?
The following disqualify an applicant from ACC Health Sciences program admissions:
- Registered sex offenders
- Felony convictions
- Felony deferred adjudications involving crimes against persons (physical or sexual abuse)
- Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General list of excluded individuals, U.S. General Services Administration excluded parties list, Employee Misconduct Registry, U.S. Treasury – Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN), Texas Health and Human Services Commission, excluded providers in Medicaid and Title XX provider exclusion data
Why should something that may have happened 20 years ago affect a student’s eligibility for a Health Sciences program?
Clinical agencies are required to protect the safety of patients in their facilities. Students who wish to pursue a Health Sciences education have the option to appeal their ineligibility to the appropriate licensing/credentialing organizations by way of a declaratory order process.
Why should anything other than a student’s academic performance matter to ACC?
Clinical rotations are the hallmark to ACC’s Health Sciences programs, and students have significant patient contact during these rotations, which take place at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare agencies throughout the area.
If a student’s criminal background check includes a disqualifying history, do they have an avenue of appeal?
ACC does not review a student’s ineligibility; however, students may contact the appropriate licensing/registry body to request a review of their ineligibility. If the licensing/registry body approves the individual for the body’s licensing/credentialing exam, the individual is then eligible to participate in clinical rotations and can be admitted to ACC’s Health Sciences programs.
What are a student’s transfer options to other programs at ACC if declared ineligible to continue in Health Sciences?
ACC offers a wide variety of education opportunities outside Health Sciences. Students can explore these with an ACC counselor or advisor.
Where can I find more information about background checks for ACC students?
You can find the latest information on the Health Sciences Student Resources page.
What happens when a class is closed that I really need for my program/degree?
Dr. Espinosa, Department Chair, will no longer be able to add students to classes that are closed. Please read below for the policy on getting into a class that is closed.
“During registration, the established college procedure is followed. If a desired course is filled, the student should continue to check for openings during the drop/add period and register for the desired class if an opening occurs. At the end of the drop/add period, students who can provide documentation of need for a co-requisite course in order to maintain program admission status will be referred to the assistant dean. Her name is Nan Walters (email: email@example.com). In rare instances, these students may be admitted to the required co-requisite course on a space available basis.”
What if I register for a class because it is the only one that has openings in which I do not plan to attend? I plan on attending a class that is currently closed.
You will not be allowed to attend a class in which you are not enrolled. This is college policy and will be strictly enforced. The student needs to continue to monitor the website for openings for the section in which they want to enroll.
Can I take Anatomy, or Intro to Anatomy and Physiology and Pharmacology (HPRS 2300) in the same semester?
No. You must take Anatomy and Physiology I or BIOL 2404 Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology and pass with a grade of “C” or better, or take the Pre-Pharmacology Assessment Exam prior to enrolling in Pharmacology.
No exceptions will be allowed. You must know the anatomy and physiology of the body prior to learning pharmacology. In other words, you must know how the body works before learning how the drugs work on the body.
What are the prerequisites for Pharmacology, HPRS 2300?
Human Anatomy (BIOL 2304/2101) OR Human Physiology (BIOL 2305/2102) OR Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL 2404) OR BIOL 2401 Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credit hours) with a grade of C or better OR pass a pre-pharmacology departmental assessment exam over Anatomy and Physiology course objectives. You must bring proof of prerequisites to orientation or your first class meeting (grade report, transcript).
What are the prerequisites for Pathophyisology (HPRS 2301 or HPRS 2201)?
Completion of 4 credit hours of BIOL 2304 and BIOL 2101 or BIOL 2404 or BIOL 2401; AND HPRS 1106 or HPRS 1206 or HITT 1305. Bring proofs of prerequisites to first class meeting or orientation (grade report, transcript). There will be no exceptions.
Can I take a class without meeting the prerequisites for the course?
You will not be allowed to take a course without meeting the course prerequisites. The prerequisites are in place for students to have the opportunity for student success. No exceptions.
What if I have taken Cellular Biology or Microbiology? Will this count as my A&P I course prior to taking Pharmacology?
No. You must know the anatomy and physiology of the body prior to learning the pharmacology.
What is the difference between HPRS 1106 and HPRS 1206? They are both titled "Medical Terminology."
HPRS 1106 is a survey course required of the Physical Therapy Assistant, Radiology, Medical Lab Technicians, and Pharmacy Technician Programs. This is a one credit hour course.
HPRS 1206 is a comprehensive 2-credit hour course designed for Sonography and Surgery Technologist programs. Please refer to the course description for more information. This course is offered via hybrid, traditional, and Online.
Do I need to have comprehension of English in order to pass Medical Terminology?
Yes, student must have comprehension of reading, writing, and speaking the English language for successful completion of this course. Students not proficient in English should contact Retention and Student Support Services for remediation and assistance.
What is the Pre-Pharmacology Assessment Examination?
The assessment is in place as an alternative entry of meeting the Anatomy and Physiology pre-requisite for the Pharmacology Course. If a student passes the assessment, this does not count for credit of the actual pre-requisite course.
Who is a candidate to take the Pre-Pharmacology Assessement Examination?
Any student who has prior and comprehensive knowledge in Anatomy and Physiology.
How can I find out more about the Pre-Pharmacology Assessement Examination?
Please click here for guidelines for the Allied Health Science Pre-Pharmacology Assessment Examination.
Who do I contact in order to get some information on the health science programs that ACC has to offer?
A list of the Health Sciences programs is listed on the ACC Health Sciences Home Page. You can also contact the Health Sciences Admission Office at:
- In person: Eastview Campus, Building 8000, Room 8356. Walk-in basis, Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- In person: Round rock Campus, Building 3000, Room 3105. Walk-in basis, Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Phone: (512) 223-5700
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What does ONL mean as a classroom mode?
ONL stands for On-line Course Learning. The student enrolled in this course should have basic computer skills in order to successfully complete the course. Most ONL courses are conducted entirely via internet, email, or blackboard, which is an online delivery system. Students view the course content on the internet or by visiting the library to view the videotapes of the lectures. ONL courses require that you do a mandatory online orientation, in which all of the course information is explained. The course has deadlines for assignments and exact dates to take exams. The student is responsible for watching all lectures, keeping up with the assignments and quizzes, and taking exams by the deadlines given. The exams are taking at the testing center of the ACC campus of your choice. The professor will help in facilitating the course and answer any questions that may arise.
What is a hybrid course?
A hybrid course is a course in which a significant portion of the learning activities have been moved online, and time traditionally spent in the classroom is reduced but not eliminated.
How will a hybrid course be conducted?
Once a week students attend class/lecture in a classroom, which represents 55% of the course time. On other select days, students complete class related activities on the internet, which represents 45% of the course time.
I want to take an online course through distance learning, but I do not live near or in the Austin area. Is this possible?
This is an option but a form for remote testing must be completed by the student and submitted to the distance learning department for approval. This will also require instructor approval.
Are there courses that I can challenge in this department? If so, what are the requirements in order to do so?
Courses can be challenged by a student if the student meets the required prerequisites established for the course. The following courses currently have challenge examinations: HPRS 2300 – Pharmacology for Health Professionals, HPRS 1106 and HPRS 1206 – Medical Terminology, and HPRS 2301 – Pathophysiology. If you are interested in challenging one of these courses, the student must be a current ACC student with a least 1 credit hour at ACC. In order to take these exams, you must meet the established prerequisites for the course. The prerequisites can be found in the college catalog. For Challenge Exam process information visit the Allied Health Sciences Student Resource Page.
Interested students should contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office at 512.223.5700 for more information regarding the process. For a list of prerequisites for the courses above, please visit the Allied Health Sciences course description page.
How long is the Dental Hygiene Program?
The Dental Hygiene Program is 2 years in length which includes the summer session between the first and second year. In addition to the 2 years of dental hygiene specific course work, there are at least 2 semesters of required prerequisite course work.
If I finish the Dental Hygiene Program will I receive a degree?
Yes. Students that successfully complete the Dental Hygiene program of study are awarded the Associate of Applied Science degree.
How many times a year does ACC admit a new dental hygiene class?
Our program, like most in Texas, admits one class per year in the Fall semester.
When do you accept applications for admission to the Dental Hygiene program?
Applications are accepted from September 1st – February 1st. The application packet must be submitted by the close of business on February 1st (or the next business day if the 1st falls on a weekend), including transcripts from courses taken the previous Fall semester.
Where do I send my completed application?
Send your complete application packet addressed to:
Austin Community College
ATTN: Health Sciences Admissions
Program: Dental Hygiene
3401 Webberville Road
Austin, Texas 78702
Phone: (512) 223-5700
How many students will be admitted to the program each year?
Our enrollment is limited by the capacity of our clinic. Therefore we admit 18 students per class.
Do I have to have prior work experience in a dental office to be considered for admission?
No. However, it is helpful to do some research about the dental hygiene profession to see if the roles and responsibilities of the dental hygienist match your personal goals. Applicants to the Dental Hygiene program are required to observe some selected dental/dental hygiene procedures as part of the admissions process for the purpose of introducing the dental team. This observation will help you determine if dental hygiene is the right profession for you. It is important to note that verified work experience in a direct patient care role such as a chair-side dental assistant may afford you some bonus points in the application process.
Is there an entrance examination required to get into the Dental Hygiene program?
No specific aptitude tests are required to be completed to apply to the Dental Hygiene program. You do need to meet the admission requirements of the College and meet the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements to be considered for admission to the Program.
Do I have to take the ACT or SAT examinations to be considered for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program?
No specific aptitude tests are required to be completed to apply to the Dental Hygiene program. You do need to meet the admission requirements of the College and meet the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements to be considered for admission to the Program.
How are the students selected for admission to the Dental Hygiene program?
We consider those applications that are submitted by the application deadline and identified as complete. The Department of Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee develops a ranking score for each application. The ranking score formula consists of:
- calculating a grade point average (GPA) for the required prerequisite courses. We then take that GPA and multiple it by 200;
- assigning 20 points for each degree plan non-DHYG course successfully completed by the application deadline (such as Statistics or Introduction to Sociology);
- assigning corresponding grade recognition points for the completed non-DHYG courses (3 points for an A; 2 points for a B; and 1 point for a C grade);
- assigning additional bonus points as applicable, such as 10 points for an applicant that applied in the past, was qualified however not offered admission. Graduates of an accrediting dental assisting/laboratory program and nationally certified dental assistants and individuals with direct patient care work experience receive bonus points as well.
The applications are then ranked in order of the respective ranking scores. The top 18 individuals are offered admission to the Program. Approximately the next 10 applicants are placed on an alternate list for consideration for admission should one of the 18 persons decline his/her offer of enrollment. Academic counseling is offered to those that are qualified but not competitive for admission to the program.
What kind of grades do I need to have to be considered for the Dental Hygiene program?
You need to have an overall college grade point average (GPA) of at least a C average, 2.0 based on a 4.0 scale. You will also need to have successfully completed each of the prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better. Since our enrollment is limited, the admissions process will be selective. Additionally positions in the dental hygiene class are highly sought after. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that a prerequisite GPA of at least a 3.5 will be needed to compete for a position in the class.
Do I need letters of recommendation to be considered for acceptance to the Dental Hygiene program?
Letters of recommendation are not required as a part of the admissions process and will not be considered when selecting the class.
I am a dental assistant. Is my experience considered in the admissions process?
Possibly. Dental assisting (and laboratory) experience is considered if you have graduated from an ADA accredited program and/or are DANB certified and/or submit verified direct patient care work experience.
I am a foreign trained dentist. What do I need to do to be accepted to the Dental Hygiene program?
In order to be considered for our Dental Hygiene program you will first need to be admitted to the College and your coursework evaluated for transfer to the College. For information about admission to Austin Community College, please visit the International Student Services page.
When will I know if I have been accepted to the Dental Hygiene program?
The review of the applications and selection process for the Dental Hygiene program takes about 4-6 weeks. Our goal is to inform you of your status in writing around the beginning of May. Admissions results will not be communicated over the phone.
If I am not accepted into the Program this year, will I be placed on a waiting list?
No. Each application cycle is a new selection process. You will need to submit a new application form and compete against those that apply for that admissions cycle.
May I challenge Dental Hygiene courses for credit?
Yes, no, and maybe. Once you have been accepted to the program you will receive information about the courses available for challenge. It is important to understand that to challenge out of a course, you will need to demonstrate the same level of competence as someone taking and passing the course.
What is the typical weekly schedule?
Plan on class or clinic commitments 4 to 5 days a week. The daily schedule will be 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Do you offer Dental Hygiene classes in the evening?
No. Currently we are a typical daytime program. The daytime schedule best meets the needs of the patients that we are serving in our dental hygiene clinic and leaves the evenings available for use by the ACC dental assisting program.
How hard is it to work and attend the Dental Hygiene program at the same time?
The Dental Hygiene program requires a significant commitment in time. Aside from classes and clinic sessions, a good bit of time is needed to study. Many students do end up working part-time while attending school, however if at all possible we advise you to try and not work. We have tried to package the program so that summer between the first and second year of the program will allow some time to work. Contact the College’s financial aid office for advice in this area.
I took my prerequisites many years ago. Do I need to take them over?
Yes, no, and maybe. Science is foundational to the study of dental hygiene and your success in the program. That is why courses like Anatomy and Physiology need to be current. Current is defined as taken within five years of admittance to the program. The English Composition and Psychology courses do not have time limits. If you have completed multiple biology related courses, e.g., you completed the prerequisites for dental school, or you are a foreign trained dentist, the time requirement may be waived based on a review of your academic history. You must request this consideration in writing to the Department Chair.
What courses do I need to take to be considered for admission to the Dental Hygiene program?
See Step 3 on the Application Process Page for this information.
If I don’t finish all the prerequisites can I still enroll for the Dental Hygiene program?
No. The content of these courses create a foundation necessary to support your success in the first year of the program. If you do not complete the required prerequisites by the February 1 deadline, your application will be considered incomplete and thus will not be considered for admission to the Program.
What do you do if I repeated a prerequisite course?
Understanding that students need an opportunity to improve what may have been a “false start” in college, repeated course grades will be considered. If a course is repeated, the higher of the two qualifying grades will be considered in the admission ranking formula. For example, the two attempts for a course like Human Anatomy need to both be current, successfully completed at a grade of C or better within 5 years of admittance to the Program. Beginning with the 2014 admission’s cycle (beginning September 1, 2013), ONLY the first two qualifying attempts of a course will be considered. So using Human Anatomy as an example again, if the prospective student took the course a 3rd time, only the higher of the first two attempts will be considered.
What types of financial aid are available to me?
The counselors here at ACC are more than happy to help you investigate funds available for your education. For information about financial aid, go back to the ACC home page and click on the tuition and financial aid link.
How much will it cost to complete the Dental Hygiene program?
The two year program will cost an in-district student about $17,000. That cost figure considers your tuition, lab and clinic related fees, uniforms, books, dental instruments, and fees to take the registration and licensing examinations.
What is the average salary for a dental hygienist and are there jobs available?
An excellent source of this type of information is the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook or Health Career Explorer.
May I transfer a course into the program?
Courses will more than likely transfer into the program as long as you successfully completed the course receiving a grade of C or better at a regionally accredited college or university. The Department of Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee will review your transcripts for transfer courses. In terms of graduation requirements, the Admissions and Records personnel perform the formal, official review. If you attended ACC prior to 1999, you need to request that the Admissions and Records office post your transcripts from your other institutions to the electronic system we are now using.
I am currently attending another dental hygiene program. May I transfer to the ACC program?
Yes, no, and maybe. Program transfers are managed on a case-to-case basis depending on space availability. To see the Request for Transfer Process to the Dental Hygiene Program, please click here.
How do I register?
To register, you must first be an ACC student. Contact ACC’s Admissions and Records division to enroll as a student. Once you have done that, then consult the Course Schedule guide to find the class you want to take. You must participate in an online information session to receive an application for the EMT-Basic classes.
Once your application has been approved through the Dean’s Office, you will be informed to begin your criminal background check. When your criminal background check is completed you will be notified to register for class. During your registration period, sign up for the class. Don’t forget to pay by the tuition deadline or the college will drop you from the course.
What are the requirements to take an EMS class?
- All students must be at least 18 years old at the time of application. No exceptions can be made to this rule.
- All students must meet certain immunization requirements.
- All students must meet certain CPR requirements.
- All students must pass a criminal background check.
- All students must pass a Drug Screening.
- Students must be in good academic standing; students on academic probation will not be accepted.
- For training beyond the EMT level, students must be currently certified as a Texas EMT-Basic, or have proof of current enrollment in an EMT class, or be eligible for National Registry Testing.
Does my CPR qualify?
Consult the Student Resources page for answers to CPR certification questions.
What vaccinations do I need?
Consult the Student Resources page for answers to immunization requirement questions.
Do I need to go to an Information Session meeting?
EMT students are required to participate in an online information session in order to enroll in an EMT class.
How much will it cost?
Costs vary depending on how you enroll and your residency status. Consult the appropriate guide (college credit catalog) to calculate your tuition. You will take the EMT class as a 5 hour lecture/lab class and a 1 hour clinical class. Please note that there are insurance fees associated with these courses in addition to the tuition and building service fees listed. You may also contact the college’s Admissions and Records department for assistance in calculating tuition. The EMS department is unable to provide students with any information on costs.
A detailed cost report is available here.
I have a criminal record. Will that keep me from becoming certified?
All Health Sciences students (including EMT) that attend clinicals must pass a criminal background check prior to going to any clinical site. The requirements on this check may be viewed on the Student Resources page. You may contact the Health Sciences Compliance Coordinator, Lisa Enloe at email@example.com if you have specific questions that are not answered on the website.
When applying for certification as an EMT, you must discuss your criminal record with the state certifying agency (Texas Department of State Health Services EMS Division) in order to have your individual record evaluated. Convictions do not necessarily prevent certification; however, failure to disclose a criminal record may result in revocation of your certification, if issued.
When do classes meet?
In the Fall and Spring semester classes usually meet twice each week for 4.5 hours at a time. Classes are currently held on Monday and Wednesday evenings (5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.) at the Eastview campus (EVC) and Tuesday and Thursday evenings (5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.) at the Cypress Creek campus (CYP).
In the Summer semester, classes meet three times each week over the 11 week session for 4.5 hours at a time. The classes are currently held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at both the Eastview campus and the Cypress Creek campus.
Required clinicals are attended outside of class time. Clinical orientation is scheduled one of the first two Saturdays of the semester, and attendance is mandatory. Clinical schedules are chosen by the student from available dates/times provided on FISDAP® the computerized software used for all ACC-EMSP clinical scheduling.
There may be at least two other weekend dates required during the semester to cover state mandated hours for skills or extrication practice. These dates would be considered class dates and are mandatory. The dates will be provided by the lead instructor on the first day of class.
Which classes do I sign up for?
Enroll in EMSP 1501 and EMSP 1160. You must sign up for both classes.
Registration for the EMT program requires prior departmental approval. Please visit the EMT online information session pages in order to get an application for admission into the EMT program.
I will turn 18 years old during class. Can I still sign up?
No, you must be 18 years old in order to apply to the program. This is a requirement of our clinical sites and is not flexible.
I want to be a firefighter and I was told I need to take the EMT class first. What class is the correct one?
Enroll in EMSP 1501 and EMSP 1160. You must sign up for both classes.
Registration for the EMT program requires prior departmental approval. Please visit the EMT online information session pages in order to get an application for admission into the EMT program.
How often are classes offered? Will you be offering a class during ______ semester?
The EMT program is one semester in length and is offered every Fall, Spring, and 11-week Summer semesters.
I want to become a Paramedic. Do I need to take an EMT class?
In order to be accepted into our advanced training program, you must hold a current Texas EMT certification, show proof of current enrollment in an EMT class, or be eligible to take the national registry exam.
What can I do with an EMT certification?
Certification as an EMT is the entry level for a career in EMS and is a required certification for admission into the advanced (EMT-Intermediate/Paramedic) training program at ACC. EMS certification is also a requirement for anyone seeking a commission as a firefighter in Texas.
In the local area, EMTs with paid and volunteer first responder organizations provide medical care at emergencies while awaiting an ambulance. EMTs may also be hired by hospital emergency rooms in supportive patient care roles. There are also several non-emergency and a few emergency ambulance services in the area that hire EMTs. Local pharmaceutical research companies hire EMTs to assist in research. Starting pay varies from $7 to $15 per hour, depending on the employer.
Are there extra items I need to buy?
There are a few things that students will need to purchase beyond books. Students must have a uniform, and other equipment. These equipment needs are explained in class, usually during the first meeting. Equipment costs are approximately $50 – $75.
I was dropped from the course because I missed a payment deadline, and now it's full. Can you re-register me?
No. Students forfeit their opportunity for a seat as the slot is given to the next person on the list.
Can the class be overloaded?
No. Classes cannot be overloaded because we have a limited amount of time/space available in our clinical sites. Class sizes are set based on clinical availability, so if we overloaded a class, there would not be enough clinical times available for every student. Since all clinicals are required to complete state certification regulations, students wouldn’t be able to become certified.
Do I have to wait until I have completed the prerequisite courses, EMT, before I apply for admission into the advanced training program?
No. Once you have attended the Information Session, you may begin the application process. You will not be granted admission into the program until currently certified as a Texas EMT or have proof of current enrollment in an EMT class or be eligible for National Registry Testing.
Can you make an exception and overload the EMT class so I can complete my prerequisites?
No. Classes cannot be overloaded because we have a limited amount of time/space available in our clinical sites. Class sizes are set based on clinical availability, so if we overloaded a class, there would not be enough clinical times available for every student. Since all clinicals are required to complete state certification regulations, students wouldn’t be able to become certified if we overloaded the class.
Who do I contact about applying to the advanced training?
Use the contact information below with questions about applying to the advanced training:
Health Sciences Information and Admissions Office
Building 8000, Room 8356
3401 Webberville Road
Austin, TX 78702
Phone: 512.223.5700 or toll-free 888.626.1697
Assistant Department Chair Ginger Locke-Floyd is an alternate contact.
Applications to the advanced training are at the end of the Advanced EMT – Paramedic online information session.
What skills do I need?
Health Information Technologists/Medical Coding specialists must be able to:
- Demonstrate accuracy and attention to detail
- Understand technical reading material
- Work at computer monitors for prolonged periods
- Communicate effectively in English
What are the requirements for admission into the Health Information Technology programs?
- Complete the testing requirement
- Complete the prerequisites
- Present documentation of program required immunizations
What assessments do I have to take for Health Information Technology programs?
Students must have one of the following:
- Passing scores on a placement test for Reading, Writing, and Math
- Complete or Exempt status on the Reading, Writing, and Math portions of the TSI requirement
Visit a campus advisor to determine status.
How many hours are required in the clinical?
The first clinical is 96 hours, the second clinical is 128 hours and the third clinical is 192 hours in the appropriate semesters. The clinicals are done two days per week at a clinical site and one day per week internally (in lab, online or via Blackboard) during the Fall and Spring semesters and three days per week at a clinical site and one day per week internally in the Summer.
What are the prerequisites before I can sign up for the Health Information Technology degree classes?
- A student must complete Essentials of Medical Terminology (1-hour class, note that effective Fall 2015 prior completion of HITT 1305 will also be accepted), Anatomy & Physiology, and Health Data Content & Structure for admission into the Medical Coding Certificate Program.
- A student must complete Essentials of Medical Terminology (1-hour class, note that effective Fall 2015 prior completion of HITT 1305 will also be accepted), Anatomy & Physiology, and Health Data Content & Structure, and BCIS Business Computer Applications for admission into the Health Information Technology AAS Degree program.
- Application review begins on June 1st each year for admission during the following Fall semester. Admission is conditional on successful completion of each prerequisite course and Criminal Background Check.
Are there any challenge exams for any of the courses?
Yes, you may challenge HITT 1301 Health Data Content & Structure.
How many classes are in the program?
There are 25 classes in the Health Information Technology Associate Degree program.
Can I take continuing education or credit classes?
Yes, the Medical Coding Certificate can be completed through Continuing Education.
I have taken classes under continuing education, how long do I have to convert these classes to credit?
You have two years from the time you finish your class.
Where do I go to get this done?
Go to Highland Business Center on the 4th floor Continuing Education department to get this converted.
Why are class sizes so small for Health Information Technology and for Medical Coding?
Due to limited clinical sites.
What are challenge exams?
- Challenge exams afford students the opportunity to take the final exam for a course without having to attend class; an A or B is required to pass. There is a $10 per credit-hour fee for challenge exams.
- There is one HITT class you may challenge: HITT 1301 Health Data Content & Structure
What can I expect to earn?
Salaries for graduates of ACC’s Health Information Technology program may earn between $22,000 and $35,000 a year depending on education and/or experience.
Is there a deadline for taking challenge exams?
Yes, you must complete any challenge exams by May 1st if you intend to enroll in the Fall semester of that year.
Can I find my own clinical site?
No. The ACC faculty schedules the clinicals and there are various rules and regulations that we must follow. ACC faculty must have an affiliation agreement with the facility prior to going to the clinical affiliation.
Is the clinical during the day?
Yes. Clinicals are held during daytime hours, Monday through Friday for 8 hours a day. They are not held on weekends, evenings, or holidays. The AAS has 3 clinical courses.
What is credentialing?
A process by which a non-governmental agency or association recognizes the competence of individuals who have met certain qualifications as determined by agency or association. To achieve certification from the American Health Information Management Association, individuals must meet the eligibility requirements for certification and successfully complete the credentialing examination.
Why become credentialed?
Credentialing is important because it:
- demonstrates to colleagues and superiors a dedication to the healthcare field.
- sets a person apart from non-credentialed job candidates.
- sets the individual as a professional that strives to achieve excellence.
- adds recognition to a candidate’s capability while ensuring expertise.
Where do I become credentialed?
The following organizations provide credentialing for Medical Coders and Health Information Technicians. There are other organizations as well that offer specialty credentials.
What are the credentials?
The following certifications are currently offered by AHIMA. If you are interested in taking a certification exam, please visit this website for more information on the following:
- CCA Certified Coding Associate
- CCS Certified Coding Specialist
- CCS-P Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based
- CHP Certified in Healthcare Privacy
- CHS Certified in Healthcare Security
- CHPS Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security
- RHIA Registered Health Information Administrator
- RHIT Registered Health Information Technician
When do I need to apply for Graduation?
Please refer to this page for all graduation information.
Will my classes transfer to another college?
Yes. All Health and Kinesiology classes are transferable.
I have taken yoga several times. Can I repeat the class again?
Yes. Most of our activity courses are exempt from the Rule of Three.
What is the Austin Community College (ACC) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Program?
The ACC MRI program is a two semester advanced certificate program. The MRI program is designed to prepare the student to take the post primary certification examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The MRI program is offered for college credit and continuing education. The courses offered are traditional classroom instruction. This is not an online program.
Who can apply to the MRI program?
The MRI program is offered to imaging professionals with a primary current certification in one of the following areas: Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT), Sonography (ARRT or RDMS), Nuclear Medicine R.T.(N)(ARRT or NMTCB), or Radiation Therapy R.T.(T)(ARRT).
Please note that the ARRT requires the candidate must hold primary pathway registration with the ARRT (or in some cases, NMTCB or ARDMS) in an appropriate discipline and document completion of specific clinical experience requirements.
How many students are accepted into the MRI program?
The number of students that we accept is based on the number of clinical training facilities that we have available. Typically, we accept 8 – 10 students to start in the Fall.
Is the MRI program offered every year?
The program is offered on an as needed basis. It is dependent on MRI faculty staffing and having 70% student enrollment to make the program. If there are not sufficient applications, the program will not be offered. The program only starts in the Fall semester.
What is the difference between college credit and continuing education?
Continuing Education Credit (CE credit) – These courses are offered under the CE credit option. This option contains the identical courses that are offered for college credit. Admission to the college is not required, however please be advised of the documentation required for MRI program admission.
Upon completion of the course(s), a certificate of course completion is awarded. Please note that CE credit courses will not be accepted by the ARRT for CE credits towards your required 24 CE credit biennium.
College Credit – These courses would require admission to Austin Community College.* These courses are identical to the continuing education credit courses. Upon completion of the course(s), a letter grade is awarded and posted on the student’s college transcript.
The ARRT will accept college credit courses towards your 24 CE biennium, since the course, date taken, and grade will be documented on your school transcript.
* Admission to Austin Community College does not guarantee admission to the MRI program.
What is the difference between declared and undeclared student?
Declared – Declared applicants are classified as students who require the clinical and didactic component. These students are eligible to enroll in the three didactic courses and two clinical courses covered in the Fall and Spring semester. This option can be taken for college credit and continuing education.
Undeclared – Undeclared applicants are classified as students who do not require the clinical component. Undeclared means that only the didactic coursework is required. These applicants may already work in the MRI field or have made personal arrangements for clinical training, and only are seeking the didactic portion of the coursework. This option can be taken for college credit and continuing education.
As an undeclared student, do I have 2 years to complete all the procedures?
Yes, the ARRT policies and guidelines apply to both declared and undeclared applicants. Both students will have 24 months to complete the ARRT competency requirements.
From ARRT.org: Candidates for ARRT post-primary certification and registration must — within the 24 months before submitting their applications — complete and document specific procedures as outlined in the clinical experience requirements (see Appendix B).
Please visit www.arrt.org for more information on the MRI post primary pathway option.
Where do I get the MRI application packet?
The MRI application can be downloaded online by following this link.
When is the MRI application deadline?
The deadline is July 5.
Where do I submit the MRI application?
There are two Health Sciences locations where you can submit your completed application:
Eastview Campus Health Sciences Office
Building 8000, Room 8356
3401 Webberville Road
Austin, TX 78702
or toll-free 888.626.1697
Round Rock Campus Health Sciences Office
Building 3000, Room 3105
4400 College Park Drive
Round Rock, TX 78665
I do not have a medical imaging background. Can I apply to the MRI program?
Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the ACC MRI program. You must be an imaging professional that holds a current primary license in one of the following areas: Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT), Sonography (ARRT or RDMS), Nuclear Medicine R.T.(N)(ARRT or NMTCB), or Radiation Therapy R.T.(T)(ARRT).
I am a Limited Radiologic Technologist (LMRT) and hold a current state license. Can I apply to the MRI program?
Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the ACC MRI program. The state license allows you to be employed in that state to perform limited radiography. The state license and ARRT certification are two separate entities.
You must be an imaging professional that holds a current primary certification in one of the following areas: Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT), Sonography (ARRT or RDMS), Nuclear Medicine R.T.(N)(ARRT or NMTCB), or Radiation Therapy R.T.(T)(ARRT).
Please note that the ARRT does administer a Limited Scope of Practice in Radiography Examination. The ARRT administers the examination to state approved candidates under contractual arrangement with the state and provides the results directly to the state. This examination is not associated with any type of certification by the ARRT.
I have a certification from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). However, my employer requires a certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Can I apply to the MRI program?
Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the ACC MRI program. The MRI program is designed to prepare the student to take the post primary certification examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). You must be an imaging professional that holds a current primary certification in one of the following areas: Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT), Sonography (ARRT or RDMS), Nuclear Medicine R.T.(N)(ARRT or NMTCB), or Radiation Therapy R.T.(T)(ARRT).
I am a new radiology graduate. Can I apply to the MRI program?
Yes, you can apply to the ACC MRI program. You must hold a current ARRT radiology certification by the start of the MRI program in late August. You must submit a copy of the ARRT card prior to the start of the program. If you have not tested or passed your ARRT examination in radiology by the first day of class, then your application will be withdrawn and you will not be eligible to start the MRI program.
I am a new graduate in one of the following areas: Nuclear Medicine, Sonography, or Radiation Therapy. Can I apply to the MRI program?
Yes, you can apply to the ACC MRI program. You must hold a current ARRT certification in your discipline by the start of the MRI program in late August. You must submit a copy of the ARRT card prior to the start of the program. If you have not tested or passed your ARRT examination in your discipline by the first day of class, then your application will be withdrawn and you will not be eligible to start the MRI program.
I am a new imaging graduate. Is patient care experience in imaging required?
Patient care experience is preferred, but not required. You will find that patient care experience is extremely helpful in the MRI environment. Patient care experience used to rank applicants is defined as employed either full-time in radiology, sonography, nuclear medicine, or radiation therapy. Clinical patient care experience as a student will not be accepted in the applicant ranking process. Applicants with zero to less than one year will receive zero patient care experience points in the ranking process.
I have been employed in the imaging field for more than one year. How does this help me in the ranking process?
Full-time employment will help you in the ranking process. You must submit a current resume and a patient care experience form completed by a supervisor or human resources representative to verify employment as an imaging professional. Points will be awarded as follows:
- New graduates and/or less than one year full time work experience = 0 points
- 1-5 years full time employment = 1 points
- 6-10 years full time employment = 2 points
- 10 years & over = 3 points
I hold a primary ARRT certification, but I have never been employed in the imaging field. Can I apply to the MRI program?
Yes, you can apply to the ACC MRI program. Please note that the absence of patient care experience may lower your overall ranking score against other applicants. Clinical patient care experience as a student will not be accepted in the applicant ranking process. Applicants with zero work experience in the discipline will receive zero patient care experience points in the ranking process.
What is the MRI ranking process?
The MRI ranking process helps determine which applicants will be accepted into the MRI program. The process uses grade points that are awarded for supporting coursework. Patient care experience points are awarded based on documented paid work experience in radiology, nuclear medicine, sonography, and radiation therapy. The completion of the information session will be added into the ranking process.
What supporting courses are used in the MRI ranking process?
Supporting courses are used to award grade points in the application process. You must submit school transcripts that clearly show the grade awarded. Transcripts that do not clearly show grades awarded will not be accepted in the MRI ranking process. The following courses are supporting courses that are used to rank MRI applicants:
- College Algebra/Equivalent or Passing math placement test
- Introduction to Speech Communications
- Introduction to Computing
- Patient Care Course
Grade Point Distribution:
- A = 4 grade points
- B = 3 grade points
- C = 2 grade points
- D = 1 grade point
- F = 0 grade point
- CR = 2.5 grade points
Prerequisite Course(s) not taken earn 0 grade points.
I have not taken one or more of the supporting MRI courses? Can I apply to the MRI program?
Yes, you can apply to the ACC MRI program. Please note that the absence of one or more of the supporting courses may lower your ranking amongst other applicants. Absent supporting courses will receive zero grade points in the ranking process.
What courses are in the MRI degree plan and when are they offered?
The Fall courses are:
- RADR 2271 – Sectional Anatomy and Patient Care
- MRIT 2330 – Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- MRIT 2460 – MRI Clinical
RADR 2271 and MRIT 2330 are the didactic courses and they are offered only in the Fall semester. They are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Round Rock Campus. Class times are 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (RADR 2271) and 7:10 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (MRIT 2230).
MRIT 2460 Clinical is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Clinic times typically are 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Clinic times vary from site to site. Clinicals are offered in the Austin metro area. The clinical training sites consist of hospital and outpatient clinic facilities.
The Spring courses are:
- MRIT 2276 – Magnetic Resonance Physics and Procedure
- MRIT 2461 – MRI Clinical
MRIT 2276 is the didactic course that is offered only in the spring semester. It is offered on Tuesday evening at the Round Rock Campus. Class time is 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
MRIT 2461 clinical is the second semester of clinical training. MRIT 2460 Clinical is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Clinic times typically are at 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Clinic times vary from site to site. Clinicals are offered in the Austin metro area. The clinical training sites consist of hospital and outpatient clinic facilities.
The MRI clinical times conflict with my current schedule. Can I change my clinical training hours or days?
Unfortunately, clinic training days and times cannot be changed or altered.
As a declared student, can I do clinicals at my current place of employment?
No, you are not allowed to do clinicals with your employer. You will be assigned to a different site.
How are clinic hours structured?
Clinic hours are structured and are not flexible. There may be a slight variation on start and end times depending on the clinical site, but it will be during the day and on M-W-F (ex. 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., or 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., or 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.).
Will I be assigned to more than one clinical facility while in the program?
Yes. Typically you will be assigned a different clinic site for the Fall and Spring semester. However, the option to stay at the same site may be requested by the student or the clinic staff. If this option can be accommodated, then the student may remain at the same clinical site for the duration of the program.
Are there any safety concerns with training in the MRI environment that will prevent me from applying to the MRI program?
Yes. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field that can create a dangerous clinical environment for some applicants. Students with cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators, neurostimulators, and some aneurysm clips will not be allowed in the MRI suite. Other metal implants or devices will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If you have a metal implant or device, and you are unsure if it is MRI safe, please contact the ACC MRI Faculty prior to submitting your application.
Who can I contact if I need more information?
Please feel free to contact MRI program faculty member, Teresa Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information. You may also contact the Health Sciences Office:
Eastview Campus Health Sciences Office
Building 8000, Room 8356
3401 Webberville Road
Austin, TX 78702
or toll-free 888.626.1697
Round Rock Campus Health Sciences Office
Building 3000, Room 3105
4400 College Park Drive
Round Rock, TX 78665
What are the minimum requirements to become a qualified applicant for admission into the ADN Program?
See the Application Process page.
How are applicants chosen for admission after meeting the minimum admission criteria?
The formula for reviewing candidates for admission is based on:
- Cumulative GPA in all courses taken within the degree plan
- Total number of courses completed toward the degree
- Number of reviews for which the candidate has been qualified for admission
- HESI Admission Assessment points
What is a "review?"
A review is the process of reviewing the completed files of qualified applicants for possible acceptance for admission into the ADN program. Only complete files are reviewed and ranked using the formula described in the question above.
How long is the waiting list?
While there may be a wait to be admitted to the ADN Program after completing all admission requirements, the ADN Program does not have a “waiting list.” Applicants who are not selected for admission must re-apply during each review period to be re-ranked and considered for the next admission. The applicant’s rank may change from one review to the next. The length of the wait for admission is affected by the following factors:
- The higher your Nursing degree plan GPA, the faster you will be accepted.
- The higher the number of courses you complete in the Nursing degree plan, the faster you will be accepted.
- The longer you stay in the pool, you do accrue points but they do NOT have the impact that a good GPA and high number of courses taken can contribute.
Because of the limited clinical facilities available to the students and the large number of applicants, qualified applicants wait an average of one semester before their rank is high enough for admission.
Should I retake courses to improve my GPA?
The decision to repeat courses is up to the individual candidate. The higher the GPA, the higher the candidate’s ranking in the applicant pool.
How is the size of the admitting class determined?
The total number of students that can be admitted to a class is determined by rules and regulations mandated by the Board of Nursing for the State of Texas. The rule governing class sizes states: “The number of students admitted to the program shall be determined by the number of qualified faculty, adequate educational facilities and resources, and the availability of appropriate clinical learning experiences for students.” (Rules & Regulations 215.15a)
When are the reviews administered?
- Traditional – February and June
- Mobility – May
Who does the review?
Information from the student’s application is entered into a computerized data base system that calculates cumulative ranking points from highest to lowest. The number of applicants accepted depends on the number of spaces available in the class.
Can I take non-nursing courses listed on the degree plan before being accepted into the ADN program?
Students awaiting admission into the ADN program are encouraged to complete all non-nursing co-requisite courses from the degree plan during the waiting period.
If I am a transfer student, how do I know my classes/credits will transfer?
For help on this matter go to the ACC Transfer information for colleges and univerisities. This site will supply you with all the applicable information.
Previous course work satisfactorily completed at accredited institutions of higher education will be evaluated for transfer and may be applied toward a degree program at Austin Community College. Students must complete at least one course in residence before the evaluation results will be recorded on the official transcript.
Official transcripts will be evaluated within one semester after they have been received by ACC. An official transcript is required for each college attended. Transcript request forms are available at any ACC Admissions Office. Once the request form is processed, the student will receive via mail an official transcription of all the submitted course work that is considered transferable.
Discrepancies will be dealt with on a case by case basis requiring the student to submit to the Health Sciences office two items:
- A course description of the class from the appropriate institution. The course description should contain a concise paragraph about the specifics of the course in question.
- If you have completed the first semester of any nursing program, you must also submit a letter to the Associate Degree Nursing Program Coordinator requesting that the course in question be substituted. The letter shall contain all the information pertinent to the student such as name, address, social security number, etc.
Can I substitute upper-level biology courses such as BIOL 2421 - Microbiology?
Yes. This course is acceptable.
I am thinking about a B.S.N. transfer, what do I need to do?
A student should contact the academic institution(s) of desired transfer for information. Texas Tech University has an RN-BSN Program and ACC students will be provided with a “seamless” access to assist them in transferring from ACC to Texas Tech.
Are there classes in the summer?
- Traditional 2-year program – NO. There are no required nursing courses to be taken in the summer. However, optional nursing courses are offered and any co-requisite course(s) may be taken during that time.
- Mobility – YES.
Do old courses taken over five years ago count for credit?
Yes. But there are a few exceptions: Microbiology, Introduction to Microbiology, and Human Physiology. These exceptions have a five-year period in which the time requirement must be satisfied by the time the student submits his/her complete application.
What do I do if I have a change of address or other student information?
Submit any change in student information or academic status to any ACC College Admissions Office.
What are the estimated costs of the ADN Program?
Please see the estimated cost breakdowns at Health Sciences Program Costs.
Can I submit an application even if not all my immunizations are complete?
No, the student must submit a copy of the immunizations record indicating completion of all required immunizations before submitting an application.
What if I had a criminal conviction as a juvenile-do I still have to report it?
Yes, the Board of Nursing requires you to reveal all eligibility issues. The Board of Nursing may deny licensure to individuals who answer “Yes” to one of the following questions:
- Have you been convicted, adjudged guilty, plead guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to any crime in any state, territory, or country, whether or not a sentence was imposed, including any pending criminal charges or unresolved arrests (excluding minor traffic violations)? This includes expunged offenses and deferred adjudication with or without prejudice of guilt. (Please note that DUI’s, DWIs, and PIs must be reported and are not considered minor traffic violations.)
- Do you have any criminal charges pending, including unresolved arrests?
- Has any licensing authority refused to issue you a license or ever revoked, annulled, cancelled, accepted surrender of, suspended, placed on probation, refused to renew a professional license or certificate held by you now or previously, or ever fined, censured, reprimanded or otherwise disciplined you?
- Within the past five (5) years, have you been addicted to and/or treated for the use of alcohol or any other drug?
- Within the past five (5) years have you been diagnosed with, treated, or hospitalized for schizophrenia and/or psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, paranoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder or borderline personality disorder?
Applicants who answer “Yes” to any of these questions should contact the Board of Nursing at (512) 305-7400 to clarify their status and may be required to submit a Declaratory Order; the form is located on BON Web site.
Can I receive any credit if I am currently a certified nurse aide?
No, we do not give credit or advanced placement for students who are certified nurse aides, however, those experiences will be valuable as you begin your skills and clinical courses.
What are the deadlines for applying?
Deadlines for consideration for Fall and Spring semesters are January 10th and June 1st respectively. The prospective student must take the TEAS V Differentiated Skills Examination prior to submission of an application to the program. The program, reviewing performance on the TEAS V examination, information session attendance, submission of an application and prior completion of science courses, uses a ranking system in which to consider prospective students for admission into the program.
Is there a waiting list?
Qualified students are given the next available space in a class; it is possible that the space will not be in the next admission class (see previous question).
Can a student attend the program on a part-time basis?
No. When a student is accepted, they are required to take and complete all courses in the level during the same semester.
How much can I work while I am in school?
While in the program, the student will have class or clinical three to four days a week (21-27 hours/week). In addition, the student will need to study and complete homework assignments. We encourage students to limit their working to less than 20 hours a week.
Is there financial aid assistance available?
Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships. Students are encouraged to contact the financial aid office at the Eastview Campus for assistance.
What times/days are classes and/or clinical?
The days and times of class and clinical depend on the level of the student. Most theory classes begin at 8 a.m. and may last to 5 p.m. Clinical times also vary and students are advised to set aside time from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. as there are day, evening and weekend clinicals.
Can I select my clinical sites because of childcare and/or transportation issues?
Students are advised to have arrangements for childcare and transportation that would allow them to be at a clinical site as early as 5:30 a.m. Clinical sites are located across Austin, Round Rock, Buda, Kyle, and Georgetown. Clinical placements are made by the program based on the level of the student and the facility that is available, not by student request.
Do students have to have their own health insurance while in the nursing program?
Currently, students are required to provide proof of health insurance. Students can enroll in individual health coverage. More information can be found on the Health Sciences Student Resources page.
How can I get more information about this program?
You may contact the Health Science Admissions office by calling (512) 223-5700 or (888) 626-1697, or by emailing email@example.com.
Where can I get an application for the Pharmacy Technician program?
When is the deadline for applications?
The deadlines for applying to the Pharmacy Technician program are:
- Fall Admission: Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis but must be received by July 1 for consideration for the Fall semester.
- Spring Admission: Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis but must be received by November 1 for consideration for the Spring semester.
- Summer Admission: Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis but must be received by April 1 for consideration for the Summer semester.
When does the program start?
The program admits a new class each semester. Refer to the Austin Community College course schedule to determine the official start date for each semester. Students are welcome to get a jump start on the program by taking any of the four courses that are available prior to acceptance into the program. Those courses are:
- HPRS 1106 Essentials of Medical Terminology
- HPRS 1171 Student Success for Health Professionals
- PHRA 1201 Introduction to Pharmacy
- PHRA 1309 Pharmaceutical Mathematics
Note: PHRA courses require department approval via completion of the online student petition.
How long is the program?
The certificate program can be completed in as little as two semesters. However, some students may wish to take as long as 3 or 4 semesters depending on their personal work/life schedules. Students in the AAS degree plan will earn their certificate after completing the ten courses that comprise the certificate program, and which is embedded within the AAS degree. Upon earning their certificate, students will be eligible to take the national certification exam and become a registered technician. This allows the student to work as a registered pharmacy technician while they complete their AAS degree. The AAS degree plan (which includes the certificate program) can be completed in five semesters.
How much does the program cost?
A detailed cost breakdown document is available here. Fees and tuition are subject to change. Please check the current college catalog for more details and up-to-date information.
Is the program accredited?
Yes. The Austin Community College Pharmacy Technician Program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). In addition, our program is an ACPE Accredited provider of continuing pharmacy education for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). We are the only college-credit transferrable, dual accredited program (program level and college level), that is also an ACPE accredited provider of continuing pharmacy education, in Texas; and one of only a few such programs in the United States.
What is a Block Schedule?
Beginning in Fall 2016, we will being offering a Block Schedule option. This exciting opportunity offers students the convenience of knowing exactly when and where all of the classes in the program will be held. It also allows students to complete the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program in just two semesters. Students selecting the Block Schedule option will take all of their classes at the Eastview campus, and can expect to be in class each morning from approximately 8 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. This allows students the opportunity to have afternoons and weekends free so that they can maintain a full-time work schedule, and/or take care of family, social, or other life obligations.
Can any of the Pharmacy Technician courses be taken online or through distance learning (DIL)?
Yes. All of our courses, except the Practicum externship, are available as internet-based, distance learning or hybrid (combination DIL and live) course options. Check the Austin Community College course schedule for current and future course offerings. Be advised that certain courses also have a required laboratory component which will require the students’ attendance on campus during scheduled lab meetings. In addition, testing for all DIL courses is administered at ACC testing centers which can be found at any ACC campus.
Are any of the courses available on the weekend?
Yes. Our distance learning (DIL) courses that have a laboratory component hold lab sessions on Saturdays on various dates throughout the semester. Check the ACC course schedule for current and future weekend course offerings.
Are there any prerequisites?
No. At this time there are no prerequisites to enter the program; however, students are encouraged to take HPRS 1171, Student Success for Health Professionals and HPRS 1106, Essentials of Medical Terminology, as soon as possible to ensure a firm base of knowledge when entering the program. Students may also take PHRA 1201 Introduction to Pharmacy, and PHRA 1309, Pharmaceutical Mathematics before applying to the pharmacy technician program. PHRA 1201 Introduction to Pharmacy, and PHRA 1309 Pharmaceutical Mathematics require department approval prior to being allowed to register for the course(s). Fill out the student petition to request permission to take a PHRA course.
Do I have to take Medical Terminology before I start the program?
No. You do not have to take Medical Terminology, before you start the Pharmacy Technician program. However, you may find it helpful to take HPRS 1106 Essentials of Medical Terminology well as HPRS 1171 Student Success for Health Professionals either prior to entering the program, or during your first semester in the program, in order to ensure a firm base level of knowledge which will be the foundation for all other courses in the program.
Can I take any courses before I submit my application?
Yes. There are four courses that you may take prior to submitting your program application. Students are welcome to get a jump start on the program by taking HPRS 1106 Essentials of Medical Terminology, HPRS 1171 Student Success for Health Professionals, PHRA 1201 Introduction to Pharmacy, and/or PHRA 1309 Pharmaceutical Mathematics prior to submitting their program applications. Note that even if students elect to take one or more of these courses prior to being accepted into the Pharmacy Technician program, all students are encouraged to submit their program application as soon as possible, as students who have submitted their applications receive priority registration and have best choice of courses and sections.
I have “math phobia” and/or I am concerned about being able to do the math that is required in your program. Will I be able to get through your program?
First of all, don’t panic! Believe it or not, many students have this same fear or concern regarding math. It is generally based on a bad experience they had in the past, or due to the fact that it has been a long time since they took a math course, and/or performed mathematical calculations.
Our program will require the application of pharmacy math skills to real-life clinical situations; however, we will teach you the pharmacy math that you will use in those situations. The Pharmaceutical Mathematics course (PHRA 1309) will build upon foundational, basic math skills that most people develop some level of proficiency in during high school. This generally includes the following basic math skills: addition/subtraction/multiplication/division of fractions and decimals, percent, and ratio-and-proportion. Even if it has been awhile since you have performed these types of math skills, a brief refresher at the beginning of the semester is generally enough to help set the stage for most students to successfully learn all of the pharmaceutical math concepts taught in our program.
The best thing that you can do to help you overcome any math fears or concerns you may have is for you to do a bit of preparation ahead of time. The actions listed below will help you position yourself for success in Pharmaceutical Mathematics (PHRA 1309), as well as in all areas of our math-intensive program.
If you haven’t already done so, you are encouraged to (as soon as possible, and prior to taking PHRA 1309) do the following:
- Become TSI complete in Math (as well as in reading and writing).
- TSI completion means that you have achieved minimal levels of competency in Math, Reading, and Writing, as identified by a variety of markers established by the Texas Success Initiative (TSI).
- Learn more at ACC’s TSI Assessment page.
- You can easily determine your TSI status by meeting with an ACC advisor at any ACC campus.
- If the ACC advisor determines that you are not TSI complete in Math, consider checking out the MATH ACCelerator at the Highland Mall Campus. By taking MATD 0421 which will quickly and efficiently get you to TSI completion in Math at a pace that is just right for you. You can learn more about the Math ACCelerator on the MATD 0421 page.
Prior to your first day in the Pharmaceutical Mathematics class (PHRA 1309), get prepared by doing the following things:
- Get your textbook well in advance, be sure that you have the correct edition of the book (the bookstore at the Eastview campus is the place to get your books).
- Check out the online course materials that will be available on Blackboard prior to the first day of classes (usually on the Friday prior to the start of the semester, but this varies somewhat). Print your syllabus and course schedule, and any assignments that are due the first week of classes.
- Get organized prior to coming to the first class. Purchase notebooks, pencils, erasers, and a large-button, basic function calculator.
- Prepare a calendar for the entire semester listing all of your homework, assignments, quizzes, and exam due dates. You may choose to do this on an electronic calendar; however, most people seem to be better able to track everything on a printed, hard-copy calendar.
- Schedule in time to study and do your math homework at least four days per week. Successful students spend a minimum of 2 hours four days a week in order to complete their math homework and study for quizzes and exams.
Once classes start:
- Stay on top of due dates.
- Be prepared! Come to class with all of your homework finished, and well prepared by having read the preparatory information for the day’s lesson.
- If you don’t understand a particular problem, be sure to ask the instructor to demonstrate how to do that problem in class.
- Attend instructors’ office hours to get assistance.
- Organize and/or participate in study groups with fellow students.
- Make use of the Pharmacy Technician program tutor. Free of charge; may require appointment to be made in advance.
- Make use of the ACC learning lab tutors. Free of charge, no appointment necessary.
- Register for and attend the optional, free-of-charge, Dosage Calculation Workshops offered throughout the semester.
- Arrange to meet with your instructor for one-on-one assistance as needed.
- Maintain a positive attitude, keep breathing, and ask for help if you need it. Be sure to always put in your best effort, and take each day/each assignment/each problem one at a time, and you will most likely breeze right through it, and do even better than you ever imagined.
How many students are admitted into the program?
The number of students admitted each semester is dependent on the availability of clinical placements. This may change each semester. Typically, we admit around 28 students in the fall and spring semesters, and 14 students in the summer semester.
How are students selected to be in the program?
Students entering the program are selected by ranking that considers the students’ timely completion of the following:
- Created profile per instructions on Health Sciences webpage
- Uploaded immunization document per instructions on Student Resources webpage
- Completed the Pharmacy Technician Program Online Information Session and post-test; printed the “Information Session Completion forms” often referred to as the “blue form” and the “yellow form”; uploaded completed forms as required per instructions on Health Sciences webpage
- Met with Pharmacy Technician Program Department Chair (by appointment; call (512) 223-5941 to schedule) and/or the ACC Health Science counselor at either the EVC or RRC campus prior to submitting program application
- Timely submission of the completed program Application for Admission to the Health Science admissions office
- Department Chair evaluation of program application and Applicant Admission Ranking Score Sheet (see ranking criteria score sheet in the Pharmacy Technician Application for Admission)
Should I take the Pharmacy Technician Certificate program or the AAS degree program? Is there an advantage in one or the other?
Students are strongly encouraged to select the AAS Degree – Pharmacy Technician as their major. Doing this will give you several advantages including: higher ranking on the Program Applicant Raking worksheet – potentially improving your chances of getting into the program in your desired semester; potential for financial aid and/or scholarships that are only available to students who have declared a major that leads to an AAS degree or higher; core curriculum courses (as well as some PHRA courses) in the degree plan are more likely to be transferable to a 4 year (or higher) degree at any college or university.
It makes sense for most students to select the AAS Degree – Pharmacy Technician as their major since it will afford students with the greatest number of potential benefits, and no likely drawbacks. ALL students – both certificate plan and AAS degree plan – will complete the same courses in the same order for the first two semesters of the program. After completion of the first two semesters of the program, ALL students – both certificate plan and AAS degree plan – will earn their program certificate, be eligible to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, and then begin working (should they wish to do so) as a registered pharmacy technician. At the completion of the second semester, all students will meet with the department chair to determine whether they wish to continue on to earn the AAS degree (which is entirely optional, but which most certificate students elect to do as they clearly see the potential benefits of earning the degree), which you can do so at a pace that works for you and your schedule (ie. full-time student, part-time student, or just a single course here or there).
Should I take the Pharmacy Technician program for college credit or as a continuing education student?
The vast majority of students would be advised to take the courses in our programs as college-credit students. Not only will you earn recognized college credit toward your certificate and AAS degree, but many of the courses in our program (especially those in the AAS degree plan) are transferrable to a 4 year college or university to apply toward earning an advanced degree should every choose to do that in the future. In addition, college credit courses generally cost much less than continuing education courses.
I have previous college coursework, military experience, and/or healthcare-related employment experience, would any of this count toward my certificate or AAS degree in the pharmacy technician program?
Possibly. In order to determine this, your college transcript, along with your resume or CV will need to be evaluated by the Pharmacy Technician Program Department Chair. For more information, call (512) 223-5941.
Are there opportunities for financial aid or scholarships?
Probably. In order to determine if you qualify for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, Veteran’s Assistance programs, and federal student loans, you are encouraged to meet with a financial aid advisor at any ACC campus. Drop-ins are welcome, no appointment necessary. You can also learn more at the ACC financial aid webpage.
In addition, you may qualify for other programs that offer assistance with tuition, books, childcare, etc. Learn more about those opportunities by checking out ACC’s Capital Idea and Career Services webpages.
I hear that your program offers advanced pharmacy specialty certifications. What are these and how can they benefit me?
The advanced pharmacy specialty certifications are granted under our ACPE Accredited Providership to qualified individuals who have met all of the course requirements which generally include didactic education and clinical skills process validation.
Students who complete the 2nd semester course, PHRA 1345 Compounding Sterile Preparations and Aseptic Technique, are eligible to earn a nationally recognized, ACPE-accredited specialty certification in Sterile Compounding and Aseptic Technique. This is commonly referred to as “IV Certification”. This specialty certification is required in order to work in a hospital or compounding pharmacy in the State of Texas.
Students who complete the following four, advanced pharmacy courses that are embedded in the Pharmacy Technician AAS degree plan will also qualify to earn specialty certifications in the following:
- Basic Extemporaneous Compounding (non-sterile); PHRA 2271
- Chemotherapy Compounding; PHRA 2372
- Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) Compounding; PHRA 2373
- Pediatric Preparations; PHRA 2374
I have heard that I need to complete continuing education in order to maintain my certification and registration. How is this accomplished?
At this time, pharmacy technicians are required to complete 20 hours of ACPE accredited continuing education every two years in order to maintain their PTCB certification. Texas State Board of Pharmacy requirements also mandate that both pharmacists and technicians complete a specified amount of ACPE accredited continuing education every two years. Refer to www.ptcb.org for specific requirements for PTCB recertification. Refer to www.pharmacy.texas.gov for specific requirements for pharmacist and pharmacy technician registration renewal.
ACC Pharmacy Technician Program graduates, as well as any other registered pharmacists or pharmacy students, and registered and/or certified pharmacy technicians or technician students are encouraged to stay up-to-date with current pharmacy practice standards by completing high-quality, relevant, continuing pharmacy education (CPE). When considering which CPE activities to pursue in order to meet your CE requirements, there are several factors that you must consider:
- Is the group that is issuing the CE credit for the activity an ACPE accredited provider of continuing pharmacy education for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians? This is important as only ACPE accredited activities are guaranteed to count toward your renewal and recertification requirements.
- Is the course or activity “technician-specific”? The CE activity must indicate if it is applicable to only pharmacists, only technicians, or both pharmacists and technicians. Technicians cannot claim CE credit for an activity that is identified as a “pharmacist-only” activity (and vice-versa).
- Is the cost of the activity reasonable given the number of hours and the type of activity? In general, practice-based activities for which you will earn a significant number (ie. 4 — 40 hours) of hours, credits or CEUs, and activities that include an experiential or hands-on component, are significantly more expensive than short (ie. 1 or 2 hours), self-study, knowledge-based CE activities.
- Is the topic something that interests you and/or something that will improve your ability to work safely and effectively within your scope of practice?
The ACC Pharmacy Technician Program offers a variety of affordable, practice-based, application-based, and knowledge-based ACPE accredited CE activities for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. We offer live (16 week semester with multiple live workshops), hybrid (requires one weekend in Austin and extensive online coursework), distance learning, and self-study CE activities on numerous topics of interest for pharmacists and technicians. Current CPE topics may include: IV certification, chemotherapy certification, pediatric and neonatal parenteral preparations, TPN compounding, non-sterile compounding certification, USP<797> Update, USP<800> Update, and Medication Safety.
For more information about our ACPE Accredited CPE program, please follow this link.
Once you are on our ACPE CPE webpage, scroll to the bottom of that page, and then click on the link to access the online Petition Form. Fill out the online petition form in its entirety, including as much detail as possible. Submitting the online petition is the fastest way to ask questions (including available course dates, location, and cost, as well as to register and/or pay for a course) about any of our ACPE Accredited Continuing Education Activities for Pharmacists and Technicians.
Due to the number of inquiries received by our CPE program, attempting to circumvent the petition by instead opting for direct email or phone call will delay the process. All initial inquiries and potential student registrations will be instructed to complete the online petition, as this is the process that captures students’ contact information, and which serves as a queue should the student wish to register for a course that is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The average response time for an online petition submission is five (5) days. Please be patient, your petition will be responded to in the order in which it was received. Our program offers CE activities for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students from around the United States. The ACC Pharmacy Technician Program is an ACPE Accredited Provider of continuing pharmacy education.
What is a “practicum”?
PHRA 2266 the Pharmacy Practicum is an unpaid internship where you will have an opportunity to apply all the knowledge and skills you have attained in our program by working in the “real world” in two pharmacy settings. The practicum is the capstone course of the certificate program (as well as the final course in the 2nd semester of the AAS degree plan; since the certificate is embedded within the AAS degree).
Prior to registering for the practicum course, you will meet with the department chair to select from a list of affiliated pharmacies throughout central Texas. You will select your preferred locations for two, different pharmacy practice settings that may include hospital, retail, or mail order pharmacy. The Pharmacy Department Chair will work with site-based preceptors to set up two, separate practicum rotations of 158 hours each (256 hours total) which will be completed over a 16 week period (in the fall or spring semesters; 11 weeks in the summer semester). An attempt will be made to place students in their preferred sites; however, due to the varying availability of placement sites, and the number of students needing placement, as well as the strengths and aptitudes of each student, no guarantee can be made with regard to site selection.
Can I do my practicum at my present pharmacy job?
No. The practicum is an unpaid, field-based internship where students gain valuable clinical experience in a live pharmacy setting. As a course requirement, students are not allowed to receive reimbursement for services rendered while in the practicum. Due to labor laws, this may present a conflict of interest if you wish to complete your practicum at a place of employment; therefore, students are not allowed to complete their practicum at their place of employment.
What do pharmacy technicians usually make?
Entry-level pharmacy technicians who complete our certificate program generally earn $14.00 to $16.00 per hour. Graduates of our AAS degree plan generally start out $2.00 or more higher than certificate-only students.
What are the job prospects in Austin and central Texas after graduating?
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists the job prospects for Pharmacy Technicians for the time period through 2022 to be very good, with significantly higher anticipated job growth than the national average.
Do you offer job placement?
Many students receive one or more job offers from the employers where they complete their practicum internships. Faculty work closely with students to be sure that they have developed outstanding resume’ and interview skills, and we utilize a number of proven methods to connect students and graduates to local job opportunities. Area employers are known to seek out graduates from our program due to their reputation for comprehensive knowledge and excellent clinical skills.
Can other courses be substituted for the prerequisite PTHA 1409 Introduction to Physical Therapy?
This course covers specific information and skills that students will need in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. It is taught in both a lecture and lab component and it is a 4 hour course. Due to regulatory agencies, this course can only be taught by accredited PTA programs. Any course that would be considered as an equivalent must be: 1) taught at an accredited PTA Program, 2) be a four hour course with a lab, and 3) have objectives that are comparable to the ACC PTA Program’s course.
How are bonus points awarded in the selection process?
Applicants with completed course work will have additional bonus points added to their ranking score. The following courses are eligible for bonus points:
PTHA 1409 Introduction to Physical Therapy
- “A” = 1.5 bonus points
- “B” = .75 bonus point
- “C” = 0 bonus points
PSYC 2314, SPCH, Language, Philosophy, and Culture/Creative Arts
Only two (2) of these co-requisites with the highest grades are selected.
- “A” = .5 bonus point
- “B” = .25 bonus point
- “C” = 0 bonus point
BIOL 2305/2102 (Human Physiology) or Anatomy and Physiology II
Any students that have completed BIOL 2304/2101 Human Anatomy and BIOL 2305/2102 Human Physiology, or are transferring A&P 1 and 2 from the same school, are eligible for additional bonus points, as indicated below.
- “A” = 1.5 bonus points
- “B” = .75 bonus point
- “C” = 0 bonus points
This bonus point system is in place for two reasons.
- Students that enter the program with all co-requisites completed are more likely to be academically successful in the program
- Strong academic performance in PTHA 1409 and BIOL 2305 correlate with success in this program.
Does the PTA Program schedule "Information Sessions" for prospective students?
Yes. The PTA program requires attendance at an information session as part of the application process. There are regularly scheduled information sessions during the fall and spring semesters in Room 9307. While a face-to-face information session is recommended, students have the option of completing the PTA Information Session online.
Is a waiting list maintained for the PTA Program?
Based on the past four years (2010-2013), the average number of applicants was 40 of which we accepted 20. The program does not maintain waiting lists. Students that applied and did not gain admission into the program and want consideration for admission the following year must submit a new application. No additional consideration is given to the number of times an applicant has applied to the program. New classes enter in the fall semester and the application deadline is March 31 of any year.
How much time is recommended for study purposes?
Students in the PTA course of study should expect to spend at least 12-18 hours per week for study time in addition to class time.
What is the class schedule like?
The general schedule is as follows:
- Fall Semester: late morning, afternoon, and evening classes
- Spring Semester: all day
- Fall Semester: morning and afternoon classes, clinical 240 hours
- Spring Semester: clinical 240 hours (2)
Class schedules may change without notice because of our reliance on adjunct faculty and clinicians with expertise in specific patient care areas.
Is there any lab equipment that I will need to purchase?
Yes. You will need to purchase the following equipment:
- Blood pressure cuff
- Gait belt
- Plastic, 12-inch goniometer
- Minimum 1GB SD card
These supplies are approximately $75-$95 on various online sites.
Where are the clinical education sites located?
All students must successfully complete clinical rotations as part of the requirement for graduation from the PTA Program. All students complete these rotations within the ACC service district. All students are expected to arrange their own transportation to the clinics as assigned.
Is there a required uniform for clinicals?
PTA students are required to wear khaki pants, a solid colored polo shirt, and closed toed shoes when in clinics. Other facilities, such as hospitals, may required specific-colored scrubs. ID badges will be obtained through the college.
Will jobs be available when I graduate?
While we cannot predict the job market with 100% accuracy, sources indicate considerable growth in PTA jobs. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Physical Therapist Assistants rank 8th among the top 20 fastest growing occupations in the U.S.
What is the salary for a PTA?
Generally speaking, PTAs earn 75-80% of what a PT earns. A reasonable expectation for a new graduate can be between $38,000 and $48,000/year based on full-time employment. Please keep in mind that pay scales vary depending on the setting and because Austin is a favorable place to live, salaries are generally lower than in other parts of Texas. Graduates that are willing to relocate can expect higher starting salaries. Salaries for Texas PTAs can be found on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Page.
Is there a licensure exam required to practice when I graduate?
Licensure is required in the State of Texas under the provisions of the Physical Therapy Practice Act 4512E and must be obtained through successful completion of a national exam before the candidate may practice Physical Therapy. The procedure for obtaining licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Texas will be distributed during the last semester of enrollment. Licensure requirements vary in other states and students should speak with the program faculty for assistance with this information.
What are the PTA Program's graduate statistics?
Graduate Pass Rate on National PTA Exam and Employment Rate
|First Time Test Takers||All takers, within one year of graduation||Employed within twelve (12) months after obtaining license|
|May 2017||TBA Fall 2017||TBA Fall 2017||TBA May 2018|
PTA Program Graduation Rates
|Graduation Year||Class Size||Graduation Rate||Number withdrawn for academic failure|
|August 2014||May 2016||20||90%||2|
|August 2013||May 2015||20||95%||1|
|August 2012||May 2014||22||90%||1|
|August 2011||May 2013||20||85%||1|
|August 2010||May 2012||20||94%||1|
|August 2009||May 2011||23||61%||2|
|August 2008||August 2010||20||80%||1|
|August 2007||August 2009||23||82%||3|
What is a competitive TEAS Score and GPA?
The program does not require a minimum TEAS score. Your score is only compared to your applicant pool so the higher the score, the better. The following table gives the average TEAS scores for the past three classes.
|2017 TEAS Avg.||82.2|
|2016 TEAS Avg.||78.9|
|2015 TEAS Avg.||81.2|
|2014 TEAS Avg.||80.2|
|2013 TEAS Avg.||77.54|
The minimum GPA requirement for applying is a 2.8. However, a higher GPA improves your chances of acceptance into the program. The following table gives the average GPA for the past three classes.
|2017 GPA Avg.||3.70|
|2016 GPA Avg.||3.68|
|2015 GPA Avg.||3.74|
|2014 GPA Avg.||3.53|
|2013 GPA Avg.||3.59|
I want a career in health care but I don't want to work with needles or body fluids. Will sonography be a good choice for me?
Sonographers must work with all types of patient conditions including patients with IVs, catheters, drainage tubes and ostomy bags. Fluid aspirations, contrast injections, biopsies, and tube placements may be performed during a sonographic exam. Sonographers must be able to provide direct patient care before, during and after the exam.
Patients may experience nausea, vomiting, fainting, and even cardiac arrest while in the Sonography Department. The Sonographer is the primary care-giver when the patient is in the department.
What skills or backgrounds do most sonographers have?
There is no specific background that ensures an individual will be successful in the Sonography Program or as a Sonographer. While Sonography uses computer-based imaging technology, the patient care aspect of Sonography is equally important. Strong math and science backgrounds and excellent psychomotor/hand-eye coordination, conceptualization, organization, concentration, and interpersonal skills are a must to learn and work as a sonographer.
How long does it take to learn Sonography?
Most accredited Sonography Programs in the United States are 18 months to two years in length depending on inclusion of prerequisite coursework in that time frame with graduates considered entry-level. The actual length of time for an individual to learn basic sonographic scanning skills is highly variable and quite dependent on the person’s innate abilities. Learning the psychomotor skills involved with performing a sonogram is a process much like learning to play a musical instrument to learning to dance or play a sport. In addition, students must have a strong foundation in science and math as Sonography will utilize that knowledge for this specific patient care application.
Some students will pick up the scanning skills very quickly and others will need more time and practice to attain the skills required in each course. There is no way to discern whether or not an individual will be able to learn sonographic scanning skills; however those who have learned to play a musical instrument and/or a sport may find the hand-eye coordination aspect of sonography somewhat familiar.
Psychomotor skills are only one aspect in sonography education. The Sonography student and Sonographer must be able to apply the patient’s clinical presentation with the anatomy and/or pathology visualized on the monitor, and must learn to utilize the ultrasound equipment appropriately and effectively. So a significant amount of Sonography education deals with normal anatomy and physiology, relational/sectional anatomy, sonography principles and instrumentation, pathophysiology, and patient care. The Sonography student must demonstrate appropriate progress through the required coursework to reach graduation and be able to seek employment after passing the appropriate ARDMS exams.
Will I be able to advance my education in Sonography after completing the AAS degree program?
Yes, baccalaureate degree programs that allow a student to apply credits from their previous education exist in the United States. These programs are sometimes referred to as BS Completer programs. The majority of these programs are offered by colleges and universities that only accept credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities, such as ACC.
Can I learn a different specialty after I complete the ACC DMS/VT or DCS/VT Sonography Program?
Yes, in fact many sonographers learn a new specialty and attain additional credentials after completing their initial Program of study. RDMS/RVT Sonographers can acquire skills in Fetal Echocardiography, Pediatric Sonography, Musculoskeletal, and/or High Risk Obstetric Sonography. Some RDMS sonographers also learn Cardiac Sonography, but there is not a high demand for that type of sonographer in the Central Texas area. RDCS/RVT Sonographers can acquire skills in Fetal Echocardiography and Pediatric Echocardiography. New applications and specialties in Diagnostic Medical Sonography continue to be developed, so there may be additional skills available to Sonographers in the future.
What is the outlook for jobs in Sonography in the Austin/Central Texas area?
Nationally there is a shortage of registered sonographers in all specialties and for many types of employment settings. Here in Austin and Central Texas there are times when several full-time and/or part-time job openings are available in a variety of employment settings. Sonographer job vacancies are typically very acute as departments may only employ three or four sonographers for all shifts as compared to tens or even hundreds of nurses employed in a facility. There are times when an employer must hire an experienced sonographer vs. a new graduate, entry-level sonographer. Please note that employers do not hire large number of sonographers for a facility as compared to the number of nurses in the same facility.
The employment rate for ACC Sonography Programs graduates is approximately 98% since the beginning of the Programs in 1989. You will find more information on Sonography as a career at http://www.sdms.org/career.
Are the Sonography Programs accredited?
Yes, all ACC Sonography Programs are CAAHEP accredited: DMS since 1992, DCS since 2001, and VT since 2009 with the latest re-accreditation occurring in Fall of 2013. The next re-accreditation is scheduled for 2018 for all three programs.
What does CAAHEP accreditation mean to applicants and students?
ACC Sonography Programs CAAHEP accreditation means that the Programs have submitted to a national, peer- review inspection of the processes and outcomes of the Programs. Applicants are assured that the ACC Sonography Programs provide a proven format for Sonographer education. Students are assured that the education they are receiving will prepare them for work as professional Sonographer and will prepare them for successful completion of the national registry exams conducted by the ARDMS. Only graduates of CAAHEP accredited programs meet ARDMS Prerequisite #2 for applying to sit for these national registry exams.
How much does it cost to attend an ACC Sonography Program?
An approximate cost report is available on this page.
Are the Sonography faculty members experienced teachers?
The Program Director/Department Chair has 30+ years of experience working with a variety of students in a teaching hospital environment and has been with ACC since 1994; other faculty members have a minimum of 5 years, each as ACC instructors plus most have 15+ years of clinical experience in a variety of settings.
What is the total number of program contact hours?
For each Program (Medical-Vascular and Cardiovascular) the total number of contact hours (hours required for the number of credits for each course) is 2,320. Each Program consists of two awards: an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Medical or Cardiac Sonography and an Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC). The ATCs are specific to each Program with advanced lectures and clinical rotations, but the Vascular Sonography courses are the same for both ATC plans.
How much clinical experience is included in a Sonography program?
Each Program has approximately 1,488 hours of supervised clinical education with the majority of those hours at off-campus clinical affiliates.
What types of resources does the program have?
Both the Eastview and Round Rock Campuses maintain medical libraries, including a large number of Sonography texts and references. The Sonography programs maintain a large selection of recent sonography references, textbooks, video tapes, computer software and other teaching aids. In the Sonography Labs students have use of state-of-the-art live ultrasound units, ultrasound training simulators, vascular physiologic testing units, and student use computers. Sonography students also have access to ACC computer labs at all campuses.
Will the Sonography Program prepare me to work performing pregnancy sonograms?
The Medical-Vascular Program includes Abdominal and OB/Gyn and Vascular Sonography in the curriculum. Medical-Vascular Program students receive didactic education and clinical rotations in obstetric sonography as part of their clinical education. Graduates of the Medical-Vascular Program are able to apply to take the ARDMS registry exams for Sonography Principles and Instrumentation, Abdominal, OB/Gyn, and Vascular specialties.
Will I learn pediatric echocardiography during the DCS program?
The Cardiovascular Program does include an introduction to Pediatric Echocardiography; however the number of clinical facilities in the Austin and Central Texas area that perform Pediatric Echo studies is very small. Even experienced Adult Echocardiographers may need a year or more to become proficient in Pediatric Echo.
Can I do this program part-time or in the evening only?
No, the Sonography Programs are designed as full-time courses of study which enables the student to finish as quickly as possible and earn the ability to apply to take the ARDMS exams upon successful completion of a program. Also, clinicals must be done during regular department work hours which are weekday, day-time hours only.
Can I request to be assigned only to clinical sites inside the city of Austin or on the bus lines?
Sonography students may be assigned to any of the clinical sites utilized by the program in the Central Texas region and may not request assignment to a particular site for any reason. Students are assigned by the Program to a variety of clinical sites (hospital and office practices) throughout the length of the program to provide the student with the well-rounded clinical education as required by programmatic accreditation (not all Sonography clinical sites perform the same types of exams and some are highly specialized).
Sites used by the Sonography Programs are located in Austin (several locations), San Marcos, Kyle/Buda, Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Killeen, Temple (Vascular Sonography only). Sites within the city of Austin may not be served by the public transit system. In addition, whether or not a clinical site accepts a student placement is solely determined by the clinical site. Therefore, the Sonography programs cannot guarantee that a particular site will accept a student placement at any given point in the program.
How many students are accepted each year?
CAAHEP accredited programs must tie admission numbers/class sizes to the number of available, appropriate clinical sites that will accept students for clinical placements during the length of the program. The majority of the clinical affiliates/sites utilized by the ACC Sonography Programs accept only one student per semester.
- Medical-Vascular: approximately 10-12 students per year
- Cardiovascular: approximately 10-12 students per year
When is the application period? How often are classes admitted?
The Sonography application period is between April 1 and June 1 each year (a 2-month period), therefore the deadline for applications is June 1 each year. If the deadline falls on a weekend, then the applications and documents are due by the next business day. The Sonography Programs accept one class per calendar year; the newly admitted class begins the program in the fall semester (starting Fall 2016).
I heard that you have to be a nurse or an X-Ray Tech to do the Sonography Program. Is that true?
No, although several years ago that was a requirement.
How do I apply / what are the requirements?
Review the online Sonography Information Session presentation.
Where can I get the Nurse Aid course?
ACC offers the CNA course through the Continuing Education Department – Health Professions Institute: http://continue.austincc.edu/nurseaide. If you do the Nurse Aid training through ACC, you will need to take NURA 1016 and NURA 1001 to complete the training required to apply to a Sonography Program.
Does the Sonography Program accept out-of-state students?
Can I transfer in courses to fulfill the prerequisites?
Yes, ACC will make the final determination on transfer courses; only credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities are accepted by ACC. You will find this information on the Transfer Students page. Please note that if you are designated TSI complete, you will need to submit a written request for evaluation of your transcripts (see any ACC Admissions office at any campus).
The Sonography Department Chair MUST review all transfer courses/transcripts and complete a Degree Plan Worksheet prior to an individual submitting his/her application for admission to a Sonography Program. This review occurs during your Sonography Programs Advising Session.
If you are taking the co-requisite or prerequisite courses at another college to fulfill the requirements to apply for admission to a Sonography Program, please ensure that the descriptions of those courses match the ACC course descriptions. We recommend that you seek assistance from advisors and/or counselors at the college where you are planning to take those transfer courses.
Anatomy and Physiology I & II (must be 4 credit hours total with 3 hours of lecture & 3 hours of lab) taken at regionally accredited college or university will meet the requirements of BIOL 2304/2101 Human Anatomy and BIOL 2305/2102 Human Physiology. The applicant’s Anatomy and Physiology I will be substituted for the Human Anatomy with the applicant’s Anatomy and Physiology II substituted for the required Human Physiology.
I have a BS/Master's Degree and/or a PhD. Is there an accelerated plan for me to enter a Sonography Program?
No, all applicants must complete all prerequisites as stated in the ACC College Catalog and on the Sonography Programs website. No exceptions or advance placement is made for those with advanced education regardless of the type of degree. See above for transfer courses to fulfill prerequisites and co requisites of the degree plan.
I am a physician with foreign credentials. When can I start your Sonography Program?
All applicants must complete all prerequisites as stated in the ACC College Catalog and on the Sonography Programs website. No exceptions or advance placement is made for any physician. You must apply for admission to ACC and check with the International Students Office at the Riverside Campus.
I heard there is a two-year waiting list for the Sonography Programs. Is this true?
No, the “waiting list” applicant format is not used (and has never been used) by the Sonography Programs. An applicant is ranked within the pool for that year. Therefore the applicant pool is “fresh” each year. If an applicant is not accepted, he/she is welcome to reapply for the next admission class but the previous year’s ranking does not carry over to the next year.
Can I finish my college course prerequisites in the summer semester while my application is considered?
No, all prerequisite college courses must be completed by the end of the Spring semester prior to the application deadline of June 1. The GPA from the prerequisite courses is required for the Applicant Ranking Worksheet.
All application documents must be delivered in person or by mail to an ACC Health Sciences Information Office (EVC Room 8356 and RRC Room 3100) by June 1 or the next business day if February 1 falls on a weekend.
Follow the instructions on the Advising Checklist found on the Application Process page.
Where should I have my letters of recommendation sent?
Letters of recommendation, employment awards, resumes, and/or notes from previously employers are not accepted.
When do I do the Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen?
You do not go through the CBC and Drug Screen unless you are admitted to a Sonography Program; you will receive instructions on the CBC and Drug Screen processes and deadlines in your conditional acceptance letter.
What is the minimum number of points I need on the Applicant Ranking Worksheet to get admitted to a Sonography Program?
Because the applicant pool each year is “fresh” (a waiting list format is not used for Sonography), every applicant pool is different and it is not possible for the Sonography Programs to predict the number of applicants or their points/rankings in future pools. Every person interested in our Sonography Programs receives the same information regarding the Application Process which includes the Applicant Ranking Worksheet. Therefore, we expect that all applicants are working to earn as many points as possible on their Applicant Ranking Worksheets. Be sure to review all information regarding the Sonography Programs Application Process and contact the Health Sciences Admission and Information Office if you have additional questions.
I need to work at least part-time if I am admitted to a Sonography Program. Is this possible?
As stated in the Sonography Information Session, the amount of time a Sonography student must spend in study, practice and attending clinical is significant. The Sonography Programs cannot make accommodations for a student’s work schedule. Most Sonography students find it difficult to impossible to maintain passing grades in their Sonography courses and work at the same time. You should plan ahead for your financial situation if you are admitted to a Sonography Program.
Are the graduates able to take the ARDMS exams?
Yes, ACC Sonography Programs students apply and take the ARDMS Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam (SPI) during the Programs. Graduates are able to apply to take their specialties exams prior to graduation and, if approved by the ARDMS, take their exams immediately upon graduation.
Are Sonography students in class a lot during the week?
Sonography course schedules vary by semester but a Sonography student can expect to be in a lecture class two to three times a week with labs as assigned. Most Sonography didactic (lecture) courses have a lab that is part of the course but is not a scanning lab. Sonography semester schedules can be viewed from the main ACC webpage by clicking on Registering for Classes.
In addition to the above lecture/lab and scanning lab sessions, the Sonography student will attend clinical one to three days/week depending on the semester. The Sonography Labs may be made available at other times if faculty are available to volunteer for Open Lab sessions and the campus schedules allow access to a Sonography Lab.
Will I have to wear a uniform and dress a certain way when I am a Sonography student?
Yes, ACC Sonography students represent themselves, the Sonography Profession, and ACC at all times. Sonography students are required to meet a dress code which includes wearing the Program specified scrub top, pant, warm-up jacket and white shoes. Hair must be off the face and neck (cut short or pulled back), make-up must be lightly applied, beards must be trimmed, earrings (no other visible body piercings are allowed) must be small, unobtrusive posts or very small hoops, no visible tattoos are allowed, neck chain/necklace must be small, and fingernails must be trimmed with only light colored polish allowed. Absolutely no perfume, cologne or even personal care products with strong scents are allowed. No badges or insignias other than program required ID and name badges are allowed. Your appearance must comply with this dress code for all clinical and scanning lab courses/sessions.
When attending on-campus lecture courses, it is recommended that the Sonography student maintain a business casual dress style. Many of the ACC classrooms can become chilly or very warm during a class session; wearing long slacks, lightweight shirts or tops and a jacket is the most beneficial. A Sonography student may be dismissed from class if he/she is wearing inappropriate and/or distracting clothing while in a lecture class.
Is there a tardy or absence policy for the Sonography courses?
Lecture, lab and clinical schedules are provided to the student prior to the beginning of each semester. Due to the intense nature of sonography education, missed class or clinical hours may seriously affect a student’s ability to complete the requirements of his/her course(s).
Each course syllabus contains information regarding attendance requirements and procedures. Excessive tardiness may result in the application of the Progressive Discipline Process or even withdrawal from the Program.