Cardinal Tech requires all applicants to have a HS Diploma or equivalent. There are no further educational prerequisites required.
For details on the program overview, tuition costs, enrollment deadline and more, review the Echo Program Catalog by clicking HERE.
Yes, the didactic ("class") portion of the program is online. Our students have access to our student web portal that houses all of our lectures and assignment links. Each week's new content is dripped into this portal on Sundays, and our students can work on the assignments throughout the week at their leisure, anytime prior to the 11:55pm deadline that Friday.
We love incorporating weekly Zoom meeting with our instructors to answer questions and discuss that week's curriculum. Students can complete support tickets for quick questions, and they also have the option to schedule 1:1 Virtual Office Hours with our instructors as well anytime they have some deeper questions to discuss.
For our Echo Program, we have three required 3-day lab intensives scheduled in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd semester onsite at our Carmel, IN location. These lab intensives are an incredible time to put the didactic and simulator work to good use to help prepare you for your clinical externship, and are a requirement of the program. The labs will be scheduled in advance, and will run from 9:30a to approximately 4p EDT.
Absolutely! You don't have to reside in Indiana to attend either of the programs, however you will need to ensure you can be on-site for the lab intensives as described above.
Cardinal Tech has affiliations with multiple sites, but we do not guarantee those sites will be available to coincide specifically with a student's externship start date or within their geographic region. To work with one of our sites, you must commit to three, eight-hour days per week. You are welcome to locate your own site, and we are happy to execute an affiliate agreement with that location.
While we do not accept financial aid, we are proud to work with our students within our payment plan structure. Some students choose to seek private financing as well through their bank or other financial institution. Please keep in mind as you're looking at tuition solutions that these are not student loans but private personal loans.
If you're heading to your bank to discuss securing a loan, utilize our bank letter HERE to ensure your banker understands the program details.
There are two equally recognized registries for Ultrasound - CCI and the ARDMS.
Cardinal Tech requires 288 hours for the clinical externship portion of the program, at a clinical site. These hours are tuition-free, but they are a requirement to satisfactorily complete your program.
A clinical site is defined as a physician office, hospital or facility providing diagnostic echocardiograms. Under section RCS5 of Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), graduates may take their registry upon the completion of 800 clinical hours. An additional 512 hours may be completed on the job once the student has completed their program requirements and gained employment.
(See CCI prereqs HERE.)
For those registering for the ARDMS, you can take your ARDMS registry upon successful completion of your CCI registry (Prerequisite 5) or if you currently hold a Bachelor's degree you may opt to take the ARDMS registry under Prerequisite 3A. (See ARDMS prereqs HERE)
Cardinal Tech is accredited by the Office for Career and Technical Schools through the DWD in Indiana. This is an absolute requirement for us to provide any type of educational services to students. They have an extensive accreditation process, and we are required to re-submit our application and become re-accredited every year.
We have actually decided to forgo any other type of accreditation because we would be required to change the curriculum that we have crafted and believe to be a superior setup.
To give you a bit of background, Cardinal Tech was founded by experts in the ultrasound industry with extensive experience from the employer side as well ultrasound education experts with experience from the educational side. We saw the need to create a program that focused a bit differently than others that were out there. We have a VERY specific, hands-on curriculum that utilizes didactic coursework, lab intensives, and simulator training. Our students have been praised over and over once they reach externship on how advanced they are compared to other students from other education centers. This is extremely important to us, and unfortunately, if we were to add additional accreditations, they would require us to completely change our curriculum - we would have to require a ton of unnecessary prerequisites and our program would be required to be two years long. This does mean our students have to pay close attention to the prerequisites for taking their CCI or ARDMS registries, however, our students can either take them directly upon graduation if they fall within that option or they can take the registry after having 1 year of experience on the job.
While we're not required to track job placement, we do hear back from many students and find that, with proper communication and exhibition of their scanning skills, they are then able to secure a position and finish out the requirements to sit for the registry exams. One aspect of a shorter program that sometimes appears challenging is approaching the job search prior to sitting for one of the two national registries (ARDMS or CCI). Students who successfully finish our program have demonstrated their ability to scan, made connections in the medical field through their externships, and are finishing a program well ahead of other programs which make them available to job search far sooner, and your ability let your employer know that upon 512 additional hours on the job, you'll be able to sit for the CCI registry. There's the consideration of measured risk versus your other medical experience and performance which enriches your resume. There are many factors definitely, and it's something to consider as you move into a career change.
As we do not accept federal school funds, our students are not required to report their job placement rates to us. Students leave the program equipped to perform the duties of an echo tech and with clinical experience that forges connections in the healthcare community if they've invested well in their clinical experience.
Since our courses are provided in an online format and many of our instructors work remotely, and we currently have restrictions on visitors to class. Those instructors on site are there to facilitate lab intensives with our students to provide a hands-on educational experience.
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