Kent Salem expects enrollment increase for radiologic technology program

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Recent graduates of the Kent Salem Radiology program reviewing radiologic procedures in a lab with clinical cordinator Judy Miller. 

Rachel Walker

The University of Akron plans to cancel its radiology program, among 79 other programs, leaving students to fend for themselves.

Kent State Salem expects to see an increase in enrollment in its radiologic technology program after UA’s cancelation announcement. Salem’s Radiologic Technology Program Director Jan Gibson received calls from a total of seven distraught UA students and parents the day after the announcement.

“Most of the people affected were the students taking prerequisites to get into Akron’s program next year, which didn’t meet the prerequisites for our program,” Gibson said. “I was able to change their schedules for fall to meet the prerequisites so they could apply to our program next year.”

Salem has two degree programs. An associate’s of applied science and radiologic technology degree and bachelor’s degree in radiologic and imaging sciences. Salem’s radiology program is nationally accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology and the Ohio Department of Health.

“The positive part of this is hopefully we will gain some more students this next year,” Gibson said.

Gibson contacted the clinical sites associated with Akron’s program, which include SUMMA Health, Akron General and Akron Children’s Hospital to see if Salem could obtain those clinical sites for its program.

“Akron General and SUMMA see more trauma than some of our clinical sites do,” Gibson said. “It would definitely open the door for more students.” The bachelor’s degree offered at Salem already uses some of these facilities, so Salem is optimistic about the chances of a partnership.

Salem’s radiology program has clinical education sites all throughout the Northeast Ohio area, with facilities including St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, Trumbull Memorial Regional Center and more.

The future of Salem’s radiology program is looking strong, according to Nathan Ritchey, the vice president of system integrations at Kent State. Ritchey oversees all seven regional campuses.

 “The university at Salem already has great partnerships and an outstanding program,” Ritchey said.

 Salem’s radiology program sees an average of 20 new students each year, and with UA’s cancelation it is already making arrangements for an increase in enrollment.

Out of all 80 programs UA is planning to phase out, the allied health technology/radiologic technology associate’s degree had the most recent graduates in 2017 with 31. The radiologic technology degree is one of 17 associate’s degrees to be cut at the university.

Radiologic technologist jobs are projected to grow 21 percent by 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, that is faster than the average rate.

Rachel Walker is the regional campuses reporter. Contact her at [email protected]