Source: The News-Enterprise
ISSUE: ECTC adds two associate degree programs
OUR VIEW: Investments in students, community
In a world where high-demand jobs often dictate’ academic pursuits, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College constantly is evolving to meet the needs of its students and local employers.
The college recently announced the addition of associates degree in health science technology and diagnostic medical sonography, which were approved by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents.
The two new options allow students to pursue a degree for entry-level jobs in health care and health-related services or in sonography, which is the use of ultrasound technology to create images of the structures within the human body.
The college said in a news release many students wanting to get into current health science programs, which are in high-demand and requires an admission process for acceptance, now have an alternative.
Because of the demand for current programs, a backlog for admittance exists which sometimes results in students waiting a year or more for admission, changing their major or discontinuing their higher education pursuits altogether.
Instead of students waiting or quitting, the college now can provide an avenue to continue education and earn a high-quality degree or credentials for a variety of jobs, which are much needed in rural health care.
The same is true for the sonography degree.
With the closure of St. Catherine’s College and discontinuation of the program at Jefferson Community and Technical College, local radiologists, including Hardin Memorial Hospital’s chief radiologist and Norton Healthcare’s imaging director, say it has become more difficult to fill vacancies because of a lack of qualified applicants.
The ECTC program fills a void in the region.
For the health science technology degree, the salary of a program coordinator is the only significant added expense, according to the college.
To get the degree program up and running, the college will have to bring on faculty, buy equipment and supplies and pay accreditation fees. The college is working with Hardin Memorial Health to access clinic equipment at no cost.
Although starting the sonography program is more of an investment for the college, it cannot compare to the investment made in students’ lives and the quality of life in the area.
Those involved in making this decision for the college to add these two degree programs deserve a pat on the back for recognizing the need and addressing it. The college, its students and the community are better for it.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.