In 1991, Clarkson College initiated the Radiology Technology (RT) program under the direction of Loren Garletts. Over the past 25 years, this program has seen tremendous growth and advancement. It has evolved from accepting a first class of five students to one that enrolls 30 new students every fall semester. The majority of the program’s 427 graduates practice primarily in the Midwest, with some demonstrating the quality of their Clarkson College education as far away as California, Texas and Arizona.
Omaha hospitals, in particular, are reaping the benefits of the Clarkson College RT program. Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Radiology Manager Nicole Hardin (’95, ’97) proudly acknowledges that 24 of the techs in her department hold the Clarkson College alumni distinction. The Veteran’s Administration Hospital has 14 RT graduates employed at its facility, and Nebraska Medicine—educational partner of Clarkson College—has 35 graduates working in Diagnostic Imaging, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Mammography. Our graduates are truly valued for the education they received at Clarkson College.
There are currently 24 clinical sites that support the program. Results from annual alumni surveys show health care professionals at these facilities observe the work ethic, knowledge and caring nature of our students and are anxious to hire them upon graduation. The program has also received several generous donations of equipment from businesses and hospitals such as Cassling Diagnostic Imaging Inc., Columbus Community Hospital, Fremont Health Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine. These donations position the Clarkson College RT program as the only one in the area with a dedicated energized lab within the classroom environment.
In 1993, the program began to offer online coursework for students interested in supplementing their Associate’s degree in RT with a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Imaging. Currently, the Medical Imaging program is offered entirely online with the option to complete select courses on campus. Clarkson College also remains one of the few schools in the U.S. to offer an online certificate in Imaging Informatics.
Each of the six dedicated RT faculty members have ample field experience, and nearly all of them possess a master’s degree. Combined, they can boast 65 years of teaching in the Clarkson College program. Involvement in the RT student organization and honor society are additional ways students can gain unique skills and experience prior to graduation.
Ellen Collins M.S., (R.T.) (R) (M), Director of the RT and Medical Imaging programs at Clarkson College, is extremely proud of the evolution of the program. Collins joined the College in 1998 and accepted the RT Director role in 1999 and the Medical Imaging Director position in 2006. She is a Nebraska native and was happy for the opportunity to return to her home state and join the Clarkson College faculty. She states, “It was a great opportunity to go from being a clinical coordinator and instructor to program director.” Under Collins’ direction, 96 percent of RT graduates have achieved first-time board exam pass rates over the past 10 years, and 100 percent of 2015 graduates secured positions in the field upon completing the program.