What's the value of an associate degree in radiologic technology certification and registration?
Quality patient care relies on cognitive skills and knowledge developed through coursework included in the general education requirements of an associate degree program. Communication skills, sociological understanding, and psychological insights contribute greatly to an individual's ability to function within the profession.
Does the degree have to be in radiological sciences?
No…any associate degree awarded by an institution accredited by a mechanism acceptable to ARRT — by virtue of its general education foundation — will meet the requirement.
What will happen to individuals who already hold a certification and registration when the academic degree requirement takes effect on January 1, 2015?
The degree requirement will not apply to certifications and registrations earned prior to January 1, 2015. Anybody who graduates from an educational program after December 31, 2014, will be held to the degree requirement.
What will happen to hospital-based educational programs?
Hospital-based programs will still be able to prepare candidates for ARRT certification and registration if those individuals hold or earn associate degrees on their own or in conjunction with programs having a community college affiliation.
What about those of us who graduated from hospital-based programs who may want to add a post-primary — maybe mammography or CT — credential? Will we have to go back to school?
No. Only the primary certification and registration categories (i.e., Radiography, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Radiation Therapy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Sonography) are addressed by the associate degree requirement. Individuals who graduate from an educational program in a primary certification and registration category prior to 2015 will not be subject to the degree requirement if they pursue post-primary certifications and registrations.
When should the degree have been awarded in order to meet the requirement?
The degree may be earned before entering the professional education program, after graduating from the program, or be awarded as part of the radiologic technology educational program — but it must be awarded prior to sitting for the exam.
Is this a money-making venture for ARRT?
ARRT is in no way going to benefit financially from this policy change. In fact, the new eligibility requirement is likely to entail additional administrative costs. ARRT believes that the benefits outweigh the costs, since the degree requirement elevates the standard of patient care and supports the mission of the ARRT.
How will ARRT evaluate clinical competency from degree programs?
Evaluation of clinical competency will not be impacted by the degree requirement. Program directors will still be responsible for assessing the clinical skills and procedure competencies in accordance with program requirements.
What about graduates of military programs who don't complete a degree?
ARRT has no plans to make special accommodations for any type of educational program. Any certification and registration candidate graduating after December 31, 2014, will need to have an associate or higher degree from an appropriately accredited educational institution.
Are Advanced Placement students impacted by the 2015 degree requirement?
Yes. If an advanced placement student completes an educational program on or after January 1, 2015, he or she must meet the associate degree certification and registration eligibility requirement.
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