July 9, 2014
|A Lake Michigan College student practices proper imaging technique with guidance from LMC Sonography Instructor Mary LeRoy in the College’s state-of-the-art sonography lab located in Medical Imaging Career Center on the Napier Avenue Campus.
BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – Lake Michigan College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ultrasound) program has earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). It is one of eleven colleges in the state of Michigan, and the only one in southwest Michigan to hold the designation.
The sonography program is the fourth of LMC’s health care degrees to earn national accreditation status. It joins Nursing, Radiologic Technology, and Dental Assisting in being the only accredited associate degree programs of their type in the region. The accomplishment enables LMC’s sonography program graduates to sit for their credentialing exam immediately after finishing their program, allowing them to secure the certification and licensure required for employment.
“Achieving accreditation in the health care disciplines serves a very important public interest,” said LMC Dean of Career Education and Workforce Development Leslie Kellogg. “It’s a tool that better-prepares students for immediate employment, and gives employers added confidence that our graduates have knowledge and skills that meet the highest national standards.”
Nearly 100 students have graduated from the College’s 18-month Diagnostic Medical Sonography associate’s degree program since it was introduced in 2008. Alumni are employed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, equipment manufacturers, x-ray laboratories, and veterinarian and physician offices.
The demand for sonography professionals is high, with national job growth expected to increase 44 percent through 2020. It is one of the highest-paying among professions requiring a two-year degree, with annual salaries averaging $63,000. LMC faculty members expect a continued increase in applications to the program, which requires students to meet specific academic achievement requirements before being admitted.
“I knew our program was great before we gained accreditation, but now we can prove it!” said Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Director Beth Zak. “Going through the review process gave us a lot of confidence in the strength of our staff, the quality of our curriculum, and the support of the college in general to hold us accountable for excellence.”
The accreditation process evaluated the program's substantial compliance with nationally established accreditation standards and included a peer review conducted by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). The JRC-DMS will regularly monitor the program’s compliance through May 31, 2019, when the initial accreditation status is scheduled to expire.
For more information about LMC’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, visit http://www.lakemichigancollege.edu/ultrasound.