In a move that extends educational opportunity to working radiologic technologists (RTs) in Kansas and beyond, Fort Hays State University now offers a Bachelor of Science in medical diagnostic imaging completely online. This innovative online bachelor's program is one of the few that exist in the United States, once again placing FHSU at the forefront of innovative online programming.
Provost Larry Gould commends the new program. "In a time when both access to higher education and the need for trained healthcare professionals are two of the most important concerns on the national agenda, I'm proud that Fort Hays State University is able to demonstrate institutional leadership by making this essential program available through distance learning. It would not have happened without the dedication of very talented Allied Health faculty who recognized the need and brought the program to life.”
Unlike other programs, a student enrolled in FHSU's online B.S. degree in medical diagnostic imaging can tailor the coursework to match his or her individual career goals rather than being limited to a standard set of courses required of all students. Further, with tuition at $161 per credit hour, it is the most affordable online degree program of its kind in the country.
RTs who are not interested in the bachelor's degree also have the option to earn a specialized certificate in computed tomography, cardiovascular imaging technology or women's imaging, completely online to advance their skills in a specialized area.
Although the online B.S. degree was officially launched earlier this year, the Department of Allied Health is no newcomer to offering classes through distance learning. For many years, traditional on-campus students have taken a number of online classes while completing the program's year-long clinical requirements to round out their diagnostic imaging skills.
"Our faculty are excited to offer those same courses, as well as many new ones, to practicing RTs, and we’re thrilled with the response," said Brenda Hoopingarner, chair of the Department of Allied Health. "The interest in the program has been remarkable."
The program's benefits are significant. For hospitals and imaging centers, this program gives RT staff the ability to gain significant education and training in multiple imaging specialties, creating a more highly skilled work force and ultimately providing the highest level of care possible to patients.
This program allows students, particularly those located in rural areas, the chance to earn an advanced degree anytime, anywhere, without needing to leave a good job or relocate their families. The certificate or degree program also enables students to complete advanced certification through the American Association of Radiologic Technologists, expanding career opportunities into management and beyond.
Jody Boyd, a staff sonographer at Irwin Army Community Hospital at Fort Riley, Kan., said the program has been a good fit for her as a non-traditional student. "With a full-time job, a two-hour round-trip commute and a senior in high school, I needed a college where I could do my classes online when I could get to them. It is challenging, but the staff has been great in providing me any help I need."
For more information about the MDI program, contact the Department of Allied Health at (785) 628-5678 or visit the Web site at www.fhsu.edu/alliedhealth.