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RCCC radiography program operating at high success rate

SALISBURY — Students in Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s radiography program have achieved 100% pass rates on industry credential exams and 100% job placement within 12 months of graduation.

The radiography program offers a five-semester, competency-based education in medical imaging, preparing students to provide radiographic care to patients in a variety of settings. The program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee in Education in Radiologic Technology and has operated with a 100% national registry pass rate for the past eight years.

“We are extremely proud of our outstanding faculty and their dedication to sustaining a first-rate program that is a popular choice for students who are interested in the healthcare industry,” said Wendy Barnhardt, dean of health and education programs.

Although the program is intense and requires extensive classroom and clinical participation, it is well worth the hard work, according to radiography student Donte Coleman.

“This program is like no other,” Coleman said. “When we are in clinical settings out in the field, you can tell the difference between those who are trained at Rowan-Cabarrus and those who aren’t. The Rowan-Cabarrus students stand apart, and I could not be more proud to be a part of this program. The instructors want you to succeed, not just get by. They hold you to the highest standards and expect you to earn your spot here.”

Growing up in Trenton, New Jersey, Coleman hoped his talent as a football player would help him escape the turmoil of the inner city, but life didn’t go as planned. A serious knee injury derailed his NFL dreams, but football still led him to discover his career path as he became intrigued by the process of X-rays during his lengthy course of medical treatment.

Today, Coleman is working toward an associate in applied science degree and balances a rigorous school schedule with work and family life.

“It hasn’t been an easy journey — I work two jobs, and I’m in school and clinicals full time,” he said. “It’s a tough schedule for sure, but it’s well worth it. I’m 41 years old, and I’ve never been more focused. I am truly grateful to be a part of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College family.”

The radiography curriculum includes classroom and lab instruction, as well as clinical rotations to area health care facilities. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ national examination for certification.

The average annual salary for radiologic technologists in this region is $59,520. For students who complete additional education in imaging science, salaries can reach $70,000 to $85,000 per year, depending on the specialization.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of about 13% for radiography professionals between 2016-26 with an estimated 30,300 new positions needing to be filled.

For more information about the radiography program, contact Kelly McCowan at kelly.mccowan@rccc.edu or 704-216-7185.

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