NORTH ADAMS, Mass.—Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' is now accepting students for its new health sciences bachelor’s degree with a concentration in radiologic technology for the fall 2020 semester.
The program has been approved through the MCLA governance process and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, and students completing the degree are eligible to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Radiography examination.
MCLA now offers one of only ﬁve accredited programs in the Northeast in a ﬁeld that demonstrates 100 percent job placement. MCLA will also be able to provide students in health sciences and radiologic technology programs with the most up-to-date equipment to prepare them for careers in radiology through a $421,546 Skills Capital Grant awarded by the Baker-Polito Administration to update equipment and expand student enrollment in programs that provide career education.
In fall 2019, MCLA became the official teach-out partner for the radiologic sciences program of Southern Vermont College following its closure. MCLA partnered with Berkshire Health Systems and its North Adams Berkshire Medical Center Campus to ensure that students in the program were able to complete their degrees without interruption.
"There is high demand for qualified candidates in the health care industry, including in radiology, and the demand is only growing," said MCLA President James F. Birge. "By offering a radiologic technology program at MCLA, students will benefit from being well trained for an in-demand industry, and the local community will benefit by having highly skilled health care providers close to home."
According to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission's Blueprint, health care is the largest and fastest-growing industry sector in Berkshire County. This new concentration will prepare students for careers in radiology and a variety of specialty modalities, and provide students with the most up-to-date equipment, including a digital direct X-Ray system, an Anatomage table, and upgraded online technology to support distance learning.
Further developing relationships with Berkshire Health Systems, the largest employer in the county, will create an academic environment positioned for excellence, with clinical rotations and internships for students to put their knowledge to work right here in our community.
"Highly trained radiologic technologists are essential to Berkshire Health Systems as we provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art imaging throughout the Berkshires," said David Phelps, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems. "We are proud to be collaborating with MCLA on the development and implementation of a radiologic technology major, providing local access to this critical training program at MCLA and our North Adams campus of BMC.
"Radiologic Technology is a growing field and this program can help to fill the vital need for technologists to serve our patients. Our community will also benefit greatly from the addition of these skilled positions in the Berkshire workforce," he said.
According to the 2017 staffing survey completed by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, mammography and MRI will continue to have consistent growth, as 63 percent of all technologists today range from age 40 to 65. This shortage is not predicted to peak for another 10 to 15 years.