Echocardiography - Associate Degree
The Echocardiography program will provide instruction in sonographic practices and principles as well as sonographic imaging skills needed to prepare students for employment as entry-level adult cardiac sonographers. Students will use standard two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and Doppler ultrasound to produce still and dynamic images of the heart used by physicians to assist in the process of a medical diagnosis. Successful graduates will be prepared to sit for professional certification exams from a variety of national agencies, including the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Picture this: a health care career that makes the most of your strengths and interests – from your communication and people skills to your fascination with science and technology.
The Echocardiography associate degree helps you gain knowledge and hands-on experience to become an entry-level cardiac sonographer (also known as an echo tech). You’ll prepare for a pivotal role in health care, performing echocardiogram procedures to help doctors diagnose and treat heart problems. Plus, you’ll find your place in a profession that powerfully impacts the lives of others.
How do I get started in this program?
Requirements for Program Entry
- For instructions on how to get started, download the application checklist for this program.
What are my courses?
Students following the study plan below will complete the Echocardiography associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
Summer Before First Semester
8 Week 1
Summer Before Third Semester
8 Week 1
8 Week 2
- Curriculum Note: Students must earn a "C" or higher in all 10-526-XXX courses and 10-501-101. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a "C" in a program course may apply for re-entry into the program. Consideration for re-entry will be at the discretion of the re-entry team and will be dependent on clinical availability.
- Students must earn a "B" or higher in General Anatomy & Physiology and Advanced Anatomy & Physiology. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a "B" is these courses may apply for re-entry into the program. Consideration for re-entry will be at the discretion of the re-entry team and will be dependent on clinical availability.
- The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an institutional requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a "C" or better.
- Although not required, it is recommended all echocardiography students take Medical Terminology, 10501101 between their first and second year in the program.
- Use standard two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and Doppler ultrasound to produce still and dynamic images of the heart used by physicians to assist in the process of a medical diagnosis.
What careers are in my future?
A graduate of the Echocardiography program can choose to work in a variety of health care settings including clinics, hospitals, private practice physician offices, public health facilities and laboratories performing examinations in their areas of specialization.
- Career advancement opportunities exist in education, administration, research, and in commercial companies as education/application specialists, sales representatives, and technical advisors.
What's next after graduation?
Start here. Finish at a four-year.
NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer.
What else do I need to know about the program?
The Diagnostic Medical Sonography program – Adult Cardiac is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) 9355 - 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL 33775 (727) 210-2350, upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS) 6021 University Boulevard, Suite 500 Ellicott City, MD 21043.
Graduates are qualified to take the Adult Echocardiography and Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) examination through the Association of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) examination through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).
- Students will be required to purchase a uniform, provide their own transportation to assigned sites, and cover any other expenses related to clinical experiences. Students may be expected to travel distances for clinical experience.
- Students are required to complete an American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR course prior to clinical experiences. Students are required to maintain a current CPR certification to comply with affiliating agency requirements.
- Students will be required to submit immunization documentation. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.
- Students may be required to submit to a drug screen as required by specific clinical organizations.
Wisconsin Caregiver Law
NWTC is required to comply with the Wisconsin Caregiver Law (1997 WISCONSIN ACT 27). The completion of a caregiver background check includes the review of criminal records for convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behavior. Students accepted into this program must complete a background check through www.viewpointscreening.com/nwtc AND complete a Background Information Disclosure (BID) form disclosing any acts, crimes, or convictions prior to program entry. The information provided in the BID form must be truthful and match any findings on the criminal record check. Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. Students with a criminal history may be denied access to placement at the discretion of the clinical or practicum site. Consequently, should a student have a history of convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behaviors, NWTC cannot guarantee clinical/practicum placement or guarantee graduation within typical program timing.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses.
- HESI Exam - Get details on this exit test.
- Program Mission and Goals - Learn more about the Echocardiography program mission, goals and objectives.
- Student Outcomes - See statistics on student graduation rate, certification rate, and employment rate.
- Interested in learning more? Volunteer to be a model in our lab!
- COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs (pdf)
Classes wherever you have an internet connection.
- An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
- Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
- Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
- A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
- 12 or more credits per term.
- Fewer than 12 credits per term.