This is a career and technical education program. Upon successful completion of all program requirements an Associate of Applied Science in Radiography is awarded. Eligible graduates may take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist certification exam and are considered a Registered Technologist in Radiography, or RT(R), upon successful completion. In order to work as a Radiographer in the State of Illinois, licensure through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Department of Nuclear Safety is required. Some courses may not transfer to four-year institutions, but transfer opportunities exist for students desiring a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences.
Radiography is a selective admissions program and minimum criteria must be met in order to apply. Admission to the program is by application. Admission to Richland Community College does not guarantee acceptance to the program. The program begins in the summer semester of each year and takes two full years (six semesters) to complete. Out-of-district students who are not part of a cooperative agreement are considered when program space is available.
Career and Technical Education Option
This is a career and technical education program. Some courses may not transfer to four-year institutions.
Personal responsibility is a key characteristic of health professionals. Radiography Program candidates must review the pertinent information linked from this page as the first step in the application process. The Health Professions has a selective admissions process.
Career as a Radiographer
Radiography is the art and science of producing radiographic images of internal structures of humans. Many radiographers, known by the credentials R.T.(R), work alongside radiologists, who are MDs or DOs who specialize in radiology. Radiographers produce images that are interpreted by radiologists. For more advanced procedures such as arthrograms and myelograms, the radiographer’s role is to assist the radiologist who performs those types of exams.
The profession has come a long way since the first radiograph over 120 years ago. It has moved from recording images on glass plates, to film and more recently, to digital images. The x –ray generators and tubes have advanced too. It is a fast-paced and constantly-changing profession.
Today’s radiographers make creating a radiographic image look simple. There’s nothing easy about producing a quality radiograph. Radiographers simultaneously use their knowledge of anatomy, physics, radiographic procedures, communication, and radiation protection as well as patient care skills.
Employment Opportunities or Careers
Hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, doctors’ offices, and chiropractors are a few of the employers of radiographers.
Radiographers can specialize in mammography (M), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MR), cardiac-interventional (CI), vascular-interventional (VI), quality management (QM), or bone densitometry (BD). With an additional year of education, radiographers can move into careers in sonography (S), nuclear medicine (N), or radiation therapy (T). Opportunities in education, sales, applications and management are also available, but generally require a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 2-5 years of employment as a radiographer.
Richland Community College’s Radiography Program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The JRCERT is the only agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), for the accreditation of traditional and distance delivery educational programs in radiography. www.jrcert.org
20 N. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
The program is also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and is an American Registry of Radiologic Technologists approved education program.
Program Mission and Goals
The mission of the Richland Community College Radiography Program is to provide students with classroom, lab, and clinical experiences that enable them to achieve entry-level knowledge, skills, and professional values needed to produce quality radiographic images in an employment setting.
Radiography Program Goals:
1. Students will achieve entry-level competency in radiography.
Measured student learning outcomes:
Students will produce quality radiographs.
Students will apply the principles of radiation safety.
2. Students will be able to communicate effectively.
Measured student learning outcomes:
Students will demonstrate effective oral communication.
Students will demonstrate effective written communication.
3. Students will think critically and properly evaluate information.
Measured student learning outcomes:
Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills.
Students will evaluate quality radiographs.
4. Students will competently manage technology and equipment
Measured student learning outcomes:
Students will display basic computer skills.
Students will operate radiographic equipment properly.
5. Students will act professionally and responsibly.
Measured student learning outcomes:
Students will provide appropriate patient care.
Students will exhibit professional behaviors consistent with the code of ethics.
Radiography Program Effectiveness Data
The total estimated cost for the Radiography Program, based on full-time attendance, is approximately
$17,311.50. Please be aware that costs may change. Tuition estimates are for in-district students.
Projected Program Costs
Before students can produce radiographic images on patients in the clinical setting they must first practice and demonstrate proficiency in the radiography lab. Students practice positioning each other and can take actual radiographs of our phantom named Pixy.
In order to take the ARRT radiography certification examination, a person must complete an approved educational program, including completion of over fifty clinical exam competencies.
Richland’s Radiography Program students rotate through all three clinical sites, Decatur Memorial Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, and Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.
Unlike many academic and career and technical education programs at Richland, admission into the Radiography Program is selective and competitive. Admission to Richland Community College does not guarantee acceptance to the program. Out-of-district students who are not part of a cooperative agreement are considered for the program when space is available.
Students must meet the minimum admission criteria to be eligible to apply. Please read below for descriptions of prerequisites and admission criteria. Once the criteria are met, applicants are scored on a rubric and applicants with the highest scores are accepted in rank order.
Student Transfer from another Radiography Program:
Any student wishing to transfer into the program must apply for College admission and program admission. Transfer credits are evaluated and transfer of credit occurs through College policy. Such transfer shall be subject to the availability of an appropriate clinical placement, student admission procedures, and Program Director approval.
Download the procedure form, Application for Transfer form and Program Evaluation form to begin the transfer process.
Eligibility to Apply
Please read below to determine if you are eligible to apply. Current or former students may also use the Pre-Advisement Plan on myRichland to review unmet prerequisites. If you have questions, please speak with an advisor in Enrollment Services.
Prerequisites and Admission Criteria
Students may be eligible to apply if the following criteria are met:
* Students who have completed two years of high school biology and one year of high school chemistry or physics within the last three years with a “B” or better in each course do not need to complete BIOL 101. If BIOL 101 is not required, one of the following courses may be substituted: PHYS 100, PHYS 101, CHEM 100, CHEM 106, MATH 110, or MATH 113.
**For admission, the Program GPA is calculated using the grades and credits earned in the completed Radiography coursework. Coursework that can be completed prior to admission include: BIOL 101, BIOL 201, BIOL 202, ENGL 101, PSYCH 110, and RADT 101. Transfer and Richland credits are used in calculating the Program GPA
Note: The last biology course taken (BIOL 101, 201, 202) must have been completed within the last five years.
The Radiography Program follows the Health Profession selective admissions process. Students use the online Pre-Advisement Plan on myRichland to submit an application during the designated application period. Students who will complete course requirements in the spring semester that precedes the summer semester start of the program may submit their application as soon as they have registered for spring classes.
Students must check their student email to verify completion and status of the application. Online applications can be submitted December 15 through March 1.
Basis of Ranking
Students who submit applications are scored on a rubric and the 12 highest scores are accepted in rank order. In the event of a tie for the twelfth position, the student with the highest RADT 101 score is admitted. Criteria of assessment include the following:
- Program GPA
- BIOL 201 Grade
- Program courses completed
- ACT Composite
- RADT 101 (Introduction to Radiography) course score
- RADT 101 Professional Performance Points
Students lose points on the rubric for biology and RADT 101 withdrawals (W) or repeats within the last five years.
For example: If a student withdraws from BIOL 201 in the fall and then completes it in the spring semester they lose one point for the withdrawal. If a student gets a “D” in BIOL 201 and repeats it with a passing grade the next semester they lose a point for the repeat.
Notification of Conditional Admission
After the deadline, the Radiography Program Director reviews the admission rubrics, ranks students, and determines who is admitted to the program. The rubrics are not attached to any indentifying student characteristics besides the student ID number. This allows the Program Director to review the rubrics using non-discriminatory practices.
The top 12 ranked students are offered conditional admission to the Radiography Program. All applicants are notified in writing of their admission status by mid-March.
Admission is conditional. This means that students must meet certain criteria before beginning the program. The criteria are as follows:
- Return the acceptance forms by the deadline
- Earn a “C” or above in prerequisite and program coursework in which they are enrolled in the spring semester and have a 2.5 Program GPA
- Submit the Richland Community College Health and Immunization Record form
- Submit a copy of current American Heart Association BLS Heath Care Provider CPR
- Submit to a mandatory drug screen
- Complete a mandatory online orientation
Students who don’t meet all of the above criteria forfeit their admission and the open position is filled from the alternate list.
After the top ranked students are extended conditional admission, an alternate list of other qualified students is developed in the event that someone should cancel or not meet the conditional admission criteria. To remain eligible, students must continue to meet all eligibility requirements. Up to the day prior to the first Radiography course, the alternates may be notified.
The Radiography Program does not maintain a waitlist. If not admitted, students must reapply to the program each year.
All admitted students are required to undergo a fingerprint-based background check before beginning the clinical portion of the Radiography Program. The background check is coordinated by the Health Professions Office. The cost of the procedure is covered in the Radiography Program summer course fees.
A student with a positive background check including misdemeanors or felony offenses including convictions or charges resulting in a plea of guilty, plea of nolo contendere (no contest), withheld or deferred adjudication, suspended or stay of sentence, pre-trial diversion activity, or military court-martial are not allowed to enter the clinical portion of the program until the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Pre-Application Review Process (ARRT > Educators & Students > Ethics Review Pre-Application) is completed and clearance from the ARRT Ethics committee is obtained.
Professional Integrity and Code of Ethics
Richland’s Radiography Program holds its students to a high standard. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Standards of Ethics (ARRT > Technologists > Comply with Ethics Requirements) serves as the basis of Richland’s Professional Integrity Policy and Code of Ethics.
Health and Safety Requirements
Affiliation agreements with our clinical partners require students submit documentation of health and safety requirements. Failure to comply for any reason may result in withdrawal of offer of admission or dismissal from the program.
Under no circumstances are students to attend clinical without current immunizations, initial Mantoux TB and current CPR certification. The student must provide documentation to the Health Professions Division that immunization requirements are met.
Candidates must have the strength, manual dexterity, & mobility to accomplish the following:
- Frequently push/pull objects in excess of fifty (50) pounds
- Perform manipulative skills
- Move about freely in imaging rooms & maneuver equipment in other areas of the hospital such as surgery and patient’s room
Vision and Hearing–Candidates must be able to:
- assess patient’s condition by asking questions, listening to responses, & observing patient
- review charts
- visually evaluate radiographic image quality
Other tasks typically performed by radiography program students can be found at the ARRT Radiography Task Inventory.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
All admitted students submit to an initial drug screening as part of their conditional admission requirements. In addition, any of the clinical sites or faculty may require Richland Community College Radiography Program students to submit to random drug tests for cause. Any student refusing to comply, or who test positive, is not allowed to participate in clinical experiences. Students who refuse to comply with testing will be dismissed from the program. If the test results are positive, action is determined by the faculty committee. The student is responsible for any costs incurred by the clinical affiliate for drug testing.
Students are encouraged to obtain their own health insurance coverage. None is provided through the College.
The AAS in Radiography is made up of 72 credit hours including general education, elective, and radiography core courses. Listed below is a breakdown and description of the degree’s course requirements.
Associate of Applied Science in Radiography
- General Education and Elective Credit Hours – 18 Credit Hours
- Radiography Core Credit Hours – 54 Credit Hours
- Total Credit Hours – 72 Credit Hours
Graduation Requirements for Radiography Program Students
- Obtain a “C” or better in all prerequisite, general education and program courses
- Maintain a minimum Program GPA of 2.5
- Complete all lab competencies with a minimum of 84%
- Complete all RCC required clinical proficiency exams
- Complete all ARRT required clinical proficiency exams
- Meet standards of the ARRT/ASRT Code of Professional Ethics
- Return film ID markers or make reimbursement
- Return film badge holder or make reimbursement
Frequently Asked Questions
Minimum ACT score requirements
Students with the minimum ACT requirements (see above) are given the option to complete the general education courses while in program. Students who do not meet the ACT requirement can apply as long as they demonstrate that all general education courses and RADT 101 will be completed prior to starting the program. All courses must be completed with a “C” or better and the program GPA must be at least 2.5. Students are awarded additional points on the rubric for ACT scores at or above the minimum requirement.
The difference between the Cumulative GPA and the Program GPA?
The Cumulative GPA includes the grades and credits earned in all coursework attempted at Richland. The Program GPA is calculated using only the grades and credits you’ve earned in the coursework applicable to the program-of-interest. Transfer and Richland credits are used in calculating the Program GPA. If a course has been repeated, the most recent grade is used in calculating the Program GPA, in accordance with the college policy. Although some course work can be completed in program, if a student has completed it prior to admission, it is calculated in the Program GPA. Each program has specific requirements regarding a minimum Program GPA for admission, progression, and graduation.
Course withdrawal questions
If you withdraw from a course and then complete the course with a passing grade later, you will lose only one point for the withdrawal on the scoring rubric. If you withdraw from a course in the fall, complete the same course in the spring and fail it, then complete it the next fall with a passing grade, you will lose two points on the scoring rubric: one point for the withdrawal and one point for the repeat.