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Friday, July 21, 2017

ACC Program Launches Retention Initiative

ACC Program Launches Retention Initiative

As the need for skilled workers in the healthcare industry continues to grow, it is important to identify and retain students for those fields.

The Alvin Community College Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography (DCVS) program recently received a $1,000 Innovative Initiative Grant from the ACC Foundation to offer an exam aimed at increasing retention

“The goal is to help identify stronger candidates who possess the knowledge and skills needed for the Sonography program,” DCVS Chair Jessica Murphy said.

The Innovative Initiative Grants were awarded to eleven projects this spring. They are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative approaches to fulfill the mission of the college. The grants will be used for the 2017-18 academic year.

The grant funds will help pay for the test materials for 15 students. The students will be required to pay $65 to take the test.

“We have already purchased a block of the new exams and have started offering the test,” Murphy said.

The exam will help recruit five students for each of the DCVS program tracks: adult echocardiography, vascular sonography and pediatric echocardiography.

The DCVS program trains students to perform ultrasound scans to identify problems with the heart and arteries. The Pediatric Echocardiography program focuses on problems such as congenital heart defects, corrections, and repairs in children. ACC’s program was the first in Texas and among the first in the country to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Like many college programs it has issues with attrition, students who cannot enroll in the program due to available slots are sometimes lost. Murphy said, the attrition is usually due to four factors: personal, academic, technical skill and behavioral issues.

“The goal is to recruit, accept and graduate students who will be successful in the program to increase overall retention and provide high quality Sonographers to the medical community for the benefit of all patients who require their services,” she said.

The exam will measure a variety of skills that are necessary to obtain a DCVS Associate Degree.

“The new exam will test the candidate’s ability in critical thinking, problem solving, hand-eye coordination, visual acuity, and ethical awareness,” Murphy said.

For more information about the DCVS program visit www.alvincollege.edu/DCVS or call 281-756-5650.

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