Eighty-three percent of the students that apply to the sonography program at Tyler Junior College are rejected every year.
“It doesn’t excite me to turn down students for the program,” said Pamela Brower, department chair for the Sonography Program.
The program is one of the hardest to get in to of all the areas of study within the School of Allied Health and Nursing, according to Dean Paul Monagan.
The program has an average of 80 students applying to the 16-month program every year and only are usually accepted.
Though the need for professionals qualified in sonography is significant, “it is tough to find clinics that are willing to let our students come in and practice with their patients because they are so busy,” said Monagan.
That is not the only reason the chances of getting into the program are so slim.
“The program at TJC is accredited, and the creditation agency only allows for us to accept 12 students every year, which is two more than Dallas,” said Brower.
The program at TJC has been accredited for about 12 years, which means that there are certain “standards, policies and procedures that the agency sets for us that we must follow every year to remain credited,” said Brower.
Because the program is so competitive, the application process is “extremely thorough,” said Lacey Taylor, a sonography student who will graduate after this semester.
“It took me two times to apply before I was accepted,” said Lacey. “I worked hard the second time, trying to get mygrades up and doing volunteer work.”
“You have to have determination, perseverance, and passion to even be thought of as a serious applicant,” said Brower.
The application process is first done by a points system, determined by a student’s grade point average, prerequisitecourse grades and core curriculum grades.
Of those students, the top 25 students are asked to come in for a personal interview with a panel of professionalsin sonography, teachers and past graduates.
From those 25, they then narrow it down to the 12 that will be accepted into the program.
“Those are the students that show the best demeanor, most passion, dedication and commitment to sonography,”said Brower.
Though it is a long, and sometimes disappointing process for some, for the lucky few that make it they are not only joining a program, they are also joining a family.
“After spending 16 straight months together, we become like a family all the students and faculty,” said Brower.