Purpose: The Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Program offers a two-year curriculum to prepare individuals for an allied health career in Adult Echocardiography, Pediatric Echocardiography, or Vascular Sonography which are branches of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Upon graduation, students will possess the skills necessary to perform ultrasound and related diagnostic exams of the heart and blood vessels. Echocardiographers and Vascular Sonographers practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, diagnostic centers, doctors’ offices, contract services, self-employment, sales, education, and research. The Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography core curriculum consists of classroom, lab, and clinical instruction on subjects including basic healthcare skills, professional issues, medical terminology, ethics, cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, hemodynamics, pathophysiology, pharmacology, electrocardiography, ultrasound physics, echocardiographic techniques and vascular diagnostic techniques. The program has many clinical affiliations around the greater Houston - Galveston area. Graduates of the program earn their credentials by taking the national registry exam offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).
The Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography programs are accredited through the Joint Review Committee for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS) which is under the umbrella of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs CAAHEP), 25400 US Hwy. 19 North, Suite 158, Clear Water, FL 33763, Tel: 727-210-2350.
- Admission Requirements: Application Deadline May 15 - Application available online.
- To be considered for admission to the Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Program, the applicant must:
- Have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
- Apply to ACC and fulfill the college admission requirements, including the TSI Assessment.
- Submit to the ACC registrar’s office official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Applicant cannot be on suspension or academic probation from ACC or any other college. Applicant must not have a dismissal or repeated failure from any other sonography program.
- Complete all pre-requisites with a grade of C or better including: BIOL 2401, BIOL 2402, MATH 1314 or MATH 1332, PHYS 1401 or PHYS 1410.
- Take the HESI A2 exam, score a 75 or better cumulatively. Scores must be within 5 years of the time of application. Required sections: Math, Reading, Comprehension, Vocabulary & Knowledge, Grammar and Anatomy & Physiology.
- Complete a minimum of 2 hours of observation prior to application deadline in Adult Echocardiography, Pediatric Echocardiography, and Vascular Sonography for a total of 6 observatory hours. Call 281-756-5625 to schedule the observation hours.
- Attend DCVS information session. Go to www.alvincollege.edu/DCVS for information session dates and times.
- Complete and submit the application to the Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Program using the check list provided in the application packet to ensure all components are included.
- Students who are in progress with prerequisites during the application period may still apply; however, prerequisites must be complete with grade C or better prior to application deadline. Professor must send an email indicating progress/status in prerequisite to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students in progress may be accepted with contingency that prerequisite courses are passed with grade C or better.
- Completed Hepatitis B series with positive titer.
- Current CPR from American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers.
- Requirements to be completed after initial acceptance and before the start of the program:
- Pass a criminal background check, drug screen and physical exam.
- Provide up to date immunizations as required by the Texas Department of Health and clinical affiliates: MMR, TDaP, Varicella, Hepatitis B (complete series), seasonal flu, and annual TB skin test. Positive titers are required for rubella, varicella, and Hepatitis B. History of disease is NOT accepted.
- Provide CPR certification from American Heart Association: Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers.
- Attend mandatory DCVS Program Orientation.
- Transfer Students:
- Meet the above admission criteria.
- Have a grade of C or better in all courses being transferred into the DCVS curriculum. Sonography course(s) will be considered only if the course contains similar content with comparable credit and contact hours (classroom, laboratory and clinical) to the course offered at ACC.
- Provide the DCVS department with a description and syllabus of each sonography course being considered for transfer.
- Transfer may only be accepted if the prior Sonography program enrollment was within the past year. Any DCVS course completed more than one (1) year prior to the time the student is accepted will requirement demonstration of retention of knowledge and skills before being accepted for transfer.
- Must complete a minimum of 18 semester credit hours at ACC in order to graduate.
- Course substitution approval will follow current ACC guidelines as stated in the college catalog. WECM (technical) course substitutions will be reviewed by the DCVS Program Director and Dean.
- Only students who leave their previous school in good standing will be considered for admission to ACC. ACC DCVS program will not admit a student who was on probation, dismissal, or withdrawn due to unprofessional or unsafe practices. ACC DCVS program will not admit a student who has 2 previous unsuccessful attempts in the prior Sonography program courses.
- Transfer students will only be considered if there is availability within the current cohort.
- Selection for Admission
Admission to the DCVS program is competitive. Applicants are ranked according to the DCVS prerequisite courses and HESI A2 exam scores.
More consideration is given to applicants who:
- Score higher on prerequisite courses
- Score higher on HESI A2 exam
- Have healthcare experience
- Have a degree in higher education
- Repeat applicant
- Veteran status
Please refer to www.alvincollege.edu/dcvs for more information.
- Prior Learning Assessment Opportunity:
Credit may be awarded toward the AAS degree if the student meets DCVS requirements.
- Registered by ARDMS or CCI with a minimum of two (2) years of full-time work experience in sonography.
- These courses must be challenged sequentially.
- Not all DCVS courses are available for PLA, refer to PLA approved opportunities in ACC Catalog.
Note: Admission requirements, pre-requisites and academic courses are still required.
Practicing echocardiographers and vascular sonographers who wish to take courses for refresher or registry exam review. This option is available to all sonographers with advanced permission from Program Director, course credit is not awarded for transcript, but registration and fees apply.
- Program Progression
- Students will abide by the admission and curriculum requirements of Alvin Community College and the DCVS Department at the time they are admitted or re-admitted to the program.
- Once a student has enrolled in the DCVS Program, all courses must be completed in the proper sequence (lock-step) as shown in the catalog degree plan, or must have the approval of the Program Director.
- No grade below a C will be acceptable for progression.
- All students must demonstrate competence in affective, cognitive, and psychomotor domains as required by accreditation standards outlined by CAAHEP. Competence in scanning modality must be proven prior to graduation for the safety of patients.
- Students may be dismissed from the program if performance in class, lab, or clinical is deemed unsafe or unprofessional by a clinical affiliate or ACC instructor. This action may be taken at any time during the program, after the proper sequence of documentation, notification, and due process has been completed according to ACC Board policy.
- Students may be dismissed from the program in the event they are asked to leave a clinical affiliate and not return. This action may be taken at any time during the program, after the proper sequence of documentation, notification, and due process has been completed according to ACC Board policy. The student may not be allowed to continue in the program depending on the severity of the issue. Clinical resources are very difficult to maintain, if a student cannot complete rotations in accordance with ACC and DCVS policy, they will not be allowed to return to clinical.
- Only two (2) attempts in any DCVS course will be permitted. If a student does not successfully complete a course in the DCVS core with two attempts they are no longer able to continue in the program and are not eligible to return.
- A student requiring hospitalization, serious illness, pregnant or sustaining an injury will be required to obtain a written statement from his/ her physician verifying that the health status of the student is adequate for performance in class, lab and in the clinical setting. A student may not be allowed to return to clinical or lab if unable to perform the required job tasks, nor if medication is required which may interfere with the ability to perform required job functions.
- Due to the physical nature of the profession, technical standards, and job requirements, there is no “light duty” in this program. If a student cannot perform the required duties for any reason, they will be allowed to withdraw in good standing and return. As soon as they are cleared by their physician, a plan for completion will be established that meets the needs of the student and the college time line.
- Students must complete the program within five (5) years after initial acceptance. If a student returns to complete the program after 5 years, they must start over at the very beginning and repeat the entire program.
- Readmission of Former ACC DCVS Students:
- A student who has withdrawn in good standing from the DCVS program must:
- Submit program readmission request to the Program Director by the application deadline for readmission.
- Provide updated transcripts to ACC admissions department.
- Complete additional drug screen and criminal background check.
- Renew all required programs such as: The Document Tracker and Trajecsys.
- Evidence of competency in previously completed DCVS courses will be required prior to readmission. This will be accomplished through didactic examination and skills competency demonstration.
- Students who have withdrawn or failed due to technical or academic deficiencies may be readmitted to the program on a probationary status. If the student fails to maintain a satisfactory grade point average (GPA 2.0), attendance, and class, lab and clinical, and acceptable conduct during the first semester after the readmission, he/she may be dismissed from the program and will not be eligible for readmission at any future date.
- Students not enrolled for more than one (1) semester must be evaluated on their clinical skills before returning to the clinical site(s). Supervised scanning opportunities will be offered and should be performed to retain skills.
Statutory law (Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53) requires the Alvin Community College nursing and allied health programs to notify prospective applicants and future healthcare professionals a licensing/credentialing authority may suspend or revoke a license/credential, disqualify a person from receiving a license/credential, or deny to a person the opportunity to take a licensing/credentialing examination on the grounds that the person has been convicted of certain criminal behavior.