St. Catharine College to offer a new degree in radiation therapy

ST. CATHARINE, Ky. — Starting this August, St. Catharine College will begin a bachelor of science degree program in radiation therapy.

The program is the latest in the college’s expanding health and human sciences field and is the only radiation therapy educational offering within the Commonwealth, according to a St. Catharine College news release.

Admission to the program is very selective and has a foundational relationship with college level science-based physics and mathematics. Students may complete all course work at St. Catharine College or submit credits from other colleges for transfer consideration.

The purpose of the Radiation Therapy Program at St. Catharine College is to educate entry level radiation therapists. The program also encourages professional growth and development within the discipline in order to advance the practice of radiation therapy.

Radiation therapists use advanced computer systems to operate sophisticated equipment, such as linear accelerators, primarily in treatment of cancer patients. Working with the radiation oncologist, medical physicists and others of the oncology team, the therapist delivers the treatment regimen.

The Dean of Health and Human Services at St. Catharine College, Dr. Harry Nickens, suggested in the news release that “the absence of any Kentucky based radiation therapy program increases costs to students seeking this academic credential at an out-of-state institution, to employers who will be competing within a national labor pool, and ultimately to the patient/ insurance carrier because of a diminished ‘local’ applicant pool. We are delighted to add this program, our most recent health sciences bachelors degree.”

The U.S. Department of Labor projects employment of radiation therapists needed to treat cancer patients will grow by 27% by 2018. Recent graduates entering the work force as radiation therapists begin at between $25.00 and $32.00 per hour, according to the release, depending on geographic region. Graduates can look forward to long-term career earnings and job security, it said.

The admissions process to the program is as follows: Application to the college, including submission of transcripts of previous college work, letters of recommendation and a letter of intent. Selected applicants are then asked to visit the campus for a personal interview. Applicants must also document observational experience within a radiation therapy setting.

All core studies and prerequisite courses must be completed by the time a student enters the professional course work. General core courses are available at the college as an essential component of the four-year degree. Students are encouraged to plan well ahead in completing those requirements as a 40 hour per week commitment is required once the five semesters sequence of professional courses and clinicals are undertaken. Program clinical experiences will be gained through partnerships with oncology centers in central Kentucky.
For more information about the program, contact Carol Scherbak at (859)336-5082 or by email at carolscherbak@sccky.edu.

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