Frequently Asked Questions for Radiologic Technology

What do radiographers or radiologic technologists do at work?

Radiographers or RAD Techs work with patients and x-ray equipment in order to produce medical x-ray images called radiographs. The radiographs are used to gain information about a patient's condition through interpretation by a doctor educated in x-ray diagnosis called a radiologist.

Radiographers are educated in human anatomy, patient positioning, radiographic procedures, imaging equipment, radiation biology, radiation protection and basic patient care.

Radiographers who perform imaging examinations are responsible for using independent judgment to accurately position patients and ensure that a quality diagnostic image is produced. Radiographers are responsible for minimizing radiation exposure to their patients and others in the healthcare environment.

Is there a "waiting list" for admission?

There is no waiting list. Each year, applications are taken until the June 1 deadline and those applicants are considered for the class beginning in the Fall. Applications are considered for the current application period only; must apply again each year.

What should I include to make certain my RADT program application is complete?

A complete application consists of the completed application form, a one page essay on personal and professional goals, and documentation of educational background. To document educational background, if an applicant has no college experience, copies of a high school transcript and ACT scores are required.  An applicant having completed  college coursework should submit a copy of transcripts from each college previously attended, including JSCC. Copies of transcripts from each college attended must be obtained by the student and submitted with the application. A single transcript showing transfer credit is not acceptable. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide complete documentation (all required transcripts). Applications submitted without complete documentation will not be considered. Unofficial or student copies of transcripts are acceptable for application purposes for the RADT program, although JSCC will require official transcripts as part of the college admission process. 

All my college work is at JSCC. Is attaching a transcript to the application still necessary?

Yes. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain and submit the transcript with the application. Program faculty will not provide JSCC transcripts for applicants. 

How are students selected for the program?

Students are selected primarily based on their educational qualifications. Educational qualifications carry approximately 75% weight in the admissions process. The admissions process also includes an interview which accounts for approximately the remaining 25%. For high school graduates with no college, education is evaluated based on ACT scores and high school math & science courses. For applicants with college credit, education is evaluated based on grade point average and specific coursework (see below). In both cases, the applicants are evaluated in areas such as communication, knowledge about the profession, maturity, self-confidence, and professional appearance during the interview. The admissions committee reviews each applicant's essay prior to the interview and a rubric is used to score. Please see Applicant Information on the program's home page for more details concerning the point process.

Which courses should I take to improve my educational qualifications?

High school students should take as many mathematics and science courses as possible.

College students should place priority on completing the required general education component of the Radiologic Technology Program: Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II, English Composition I, General Psychology 1030, Math 1530 Statistics and Probability or a higher level mathematics course and one humanities course (see curriculum).

Note: As of the Fall 2011 term, PSYC 1030-General Psychology will replace General Psychology I or II. MATH 1530-Statistics and Probability (or higher level math course) will become the program's math requirement.

In addition, the following college classes are recommended in order to improve a student's academic background: Computer Applications, Fundamentals of Communication, Medical Terminology, Physical Science I and II or Physics (non-calculus based) I and II, COL 1030 and other college level mathematics and science courses.

A student preparing to make application to the Radiologic Technology Program should complete as many of the required general education courses and recommended courses as possible before the application deadline to be most competitive in the process. In all cases, high grades are important.

Do I have to complete all the required general education courses before applying to the program?

No. For a college student, the minimum number of credit hours required before an application can be considered is 11 semester credit hours. The minimum grade point average is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

I have college credit from past years. Is there a time limit on how long courses are "good"?

For the RADT program admissions process, all college credits earned are viable, regardless of the timeframe completed. However, in order to receive consideration in the evaluation of educational qualifications for admission to the Radiologic Technology Program, mathematics and science courses must be completed within past five (5) years prior to applying.     

What about the interview? When, where, and how are the interviews conducted?

Interviews take place in June each year. Typically the third Monday. The interviews are conducted at JSCC in the Jim and Janet Ayers Health Sciences Building. The interview date is posted on the JSCC Radiologic Technology web page for applicants' planning purposes generally the first week of May.  Applicants receiving an interview will be notified via the email address listed on the application. Individual requests for changes in interview date/times cannot be accommodated. Interviews are conducted by an admissions committee composed of the Clinical Preceptor for each affiliate location and the RADT Program Director. The interview is brief and similar to a job interview.  Applicants should make every effort to be present and dressed professionally for their interview as scheduled.

When will I be notified if I was accepted?

Applicants are notified by email of the results of their interview in early July.  Accepted students are required to attend an orientation session in late July (usually the fourth Friday) in order to accept their position and register for fall classes.

Do all students that meet the minimum requirements receive an interview?

Depending on the number of applicants, the admissions committee can elect to interview a group of the best qualified applicants based on their educational points.

Is there any required observation before my application may be submitted?

While there is no required observation/job shadowing, these activities can be beneficial in that the applicant becomes more informed about the profession and can be sure that radiologic technology is a good career choice. The admissions committee does consider whether the applicants have made an effort to learn and become knowledgeable about the medical imaging profession by requesting and participating in shadowing opportunities.

How difficult is it to be accepted?

Each year, more qualified individuals apply than can be accepted. In recent years, over 80 qualified applicants have been considered for the program. Typically, the successful applicants significantly exceed the minimum educational qualifications required in order to be considered and earn higher points in our admissions system.

I have completed the general education requirements. Can I complete the program faster?

No, completing some of the required general education courses will lighten the course load while enrolled in the program, but will not decrease the six terms required to complete the radiography courses. Completing general education classes in advance may reduce the student's load to a part-time status. RADT core courses are foundational and build upon the other when taken, as offered, in the prescribed sequence.

Is the program offered at night, part-time or online?

The Radiologic Technology program is a traditional, full-time educational program with classes, labs and clinical education scheduled during the day.  Some clinical education will be scheduled during weekend hours in the third semester only (4 Saturdays and 4 Sundays). The general education classes listed as degree requirements for the program may be available at night, through off-campus centers, and/or online or hybrid.

Will I be able to work a paying job while I am enrolled in the program?

Many RADT students do work while in school. Working while in the program presents some challenges. The program schedule varies each term and includes extensive clinical education assigned at clinical affiliate hospitals. Students' class and clinical schedules are not modified to meet employment needs. The demands of the program require that a student's work schedule be flexible and the amount of time to study outside of the classroom and/or clinical environments be considered.

Where will I perform my clinical education? Clinical education sites affiliated with the RADT program include WTH JMCGH (along with North Campus and West Tn Imaging Center), WTH Dyerburg Hospital, Baptist Memorial Hospital - Union City, TN, Henry County Medical Center (HCMC) - Paris, TN, and Magnoliga Regional Health Center (MRHC) - Corinth, MS. When completing the program application, students list the preference of their clinical locations. Due to vast geographic distances, students are encouraged to select the home-base clinical facility where the majority of rotations will be performed, that is closest to where they reside or plan to reside while in the program. Program officials make all attempts during clinical assisgnments to take these preferenes into consideration (but there are no guarantees students will be assigned at their first choice). During the program, there will be approximately 12 weeks of rotations away from the home-base clinical facility. Program officials do their best to consider the distances that students must travel during these rotations.

What are the job opportunities in radiologic technology?

Radiographers are currently experiencing several employment opportunities. Expanding health care facilities coupled with new applications of medical imaging and increasing demand for medical imaging services indicate that the demand for qualified radiographers will continue.

What is the job placement rate for JSCC radiography graduates?

Please review the Program Effectiveness Data Sheet.

Does JSCC offer courses in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy technology, ultrasound, etc?

Currently, Jackson State does not offer educational programs in the related medical imaging areas. Program faculty will assist program graduates in making application to other educational programs.