Mission & Goals
In keeping with the mission of Austin Community College, the Sonography Program is committed to providing students with a well-rounded education in the General Learning (Abdominal and Ob/Gyn) or Adult Echocardiography Concentrations and Vascular Technology. The Sonography Program includes instruction in sonographic practices and principles and basic to advanced medical imaging skills intended to prepare the student for employment in the field of diagnostic medical ultrasound. The Sonography faculty is committed to assisting the student toward the greatest academic, personal, and professional potential through quality instruction and rigorous coursework.
The Sonography faculty believes that Sonography education is a collaborative effort between instructor and student in which the learning environment stresses standard and accepted sonographic principles and practices, application of didactic knowledge to practice, and frequent evaluation of the student in all areas. The Sonography Program and faculty utilize teaching methods and techniques such as universal design, collaborative learning, flipped classroom, and other methods that support the ACC Student Success Initiative. Program faculty structure the learning environment in a manner which promotes mutual respect, collaboration, open dialogue, and acceptance of individual differences.
We believe that adult learners are intrinsically motivated and self-directed (Knowles, 2005); we therefore promote responsibility and accountability for one’s own learning in a graded manner. Expectations for academic and professional behavior excellence are established at the onset of the Program. During the Program, students are provided direct and frequent feedback related to academic performance and professional behaviors. As the student progresses through his/her Program, the responsibility of identifying individual learning needs gradually shifts to the individual student. Program faculty is responsive to requests for additional support and guide students to the appropriate resources to promote successful program completion. These practices support the ACC Student Success Initiative.
The goals of the ACC Sonography Program respond to the expectations of the communities of interest served by the Program: students, graduates, faculty, employers (institutions and physicians), patients, Austin Community College, and the profession of Sonography. Achievement of these goals is assessed through annual Program outcome data (graduate and employer surveys, ARDMS exam pass rates, and employment rates) which is reviewed relative to the THECB Guidelines for Programs in Workforce Education, the ACC Instructional Program Review and the annual Discipline Assessment Cycle, and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS) Annual Report. The Sonography faculty and Advisory Committees review outcome reports annually and make recommendations for changes to the curricula if outcomes do not meet benchmark levels. On-going assessment of course content and structure is performed by the Sonography faculty through the use of end-of-course evaluations and ACC faculty evaluations. Specific goals include:
- To prepare competent entry-level general sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains” and/or
- To prepare competent entry-level adult cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains” and
- To prepare competent entry-level vascular technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.”
- Maintenance of high academic and professional standards in students and graduates.
- Meet or exceed CAAHEP Standards for program accreditation.
- Provide for student retention during the program using a variety of methods and resources.
- Serve as a resource for the clinical agencies in the Austin area.
Discipline Objectives and Minimum Expectations
At the conclusion of the student’s selected course of study, he or she will:
- Demonstrate the ability to perform diagnostic quality general or adult cardiac, and vascular (as applicable) sonographic examinations.
- Evaluate the normal, abnormal, and normal variant sonographic appearances of organs and structures of the abdomen, superficial structures, non-cardiac chest, and the gravid and non-gravid female pelvis or the adult heart and the vascular system (as applicable).
- Be a skilled medical sonographer who actively applies acceptable principles and techniques within the fields of Diagnostic Medical or Cardiac Sonography and Vascular Technology throughout his or her career.
- Be eligible to apply for, ready to take, and able to pass the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography specialty certification exams immediately upon graduation.
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