Sonography director provides shining report to WC Board
Kelly Staub, Weatherford College’s diagnostic medical sonography program director, presented a glowing report of her program to the WC Board of Trustees during their meeting Thursday.
The program was ranked No. 1 in Texas in 2021 due to their students’ high exam pass rate and job placement.
“When people think about sonography they think about happy moments when a sonographer is scanning an expecting mother and telling them if they’re having a boy or a girl,” Staub said. “But we do so much more than that. We get to experience those happy moments, but we are also responsible for watching that baby grow throughout the pregnancy and making sure there’s nothing that needs to be addressed immediately after the baby is born.”
Students in WC’s program learn Ob/Gyn, abdomen and vascular sonography. During the abdomen part of the program, they learn what normal and abnormal anatomy look like, and in their second year of the program, they focus on the vascular system and learn how to scan every vessel in the body.
Each of the five semesters of the 22-month program includes lecture, lab and clinical work. And students can take their registry exams 60 days prior to graduation so they can immediately begin work.
Staub said the program is highly competitive, receiving around 70 applications each year and only admitting 20 into the program.
While the national average pass rate on the three registry exams ranges from 61 to 73 percent, WC maintains a nearly perfect 100 percent passing rate. Coupled with a 99 percent job placement rate over the past five years, potential students from across the country and beyond are applying to the program.
“Four months ago we graduated our first international student,” Staub said. “Her name is Misaki, and she lived in Japan and made the decision that she wanted to learn ultrasound. She told us she researched ultrasound programs all across America. So, she said she looked at over 250 programs and made the decision to go to Weatherford College.”
She moved to Canada for a year to learn English and was then accepted into WC’s program. She was the first in her class to pass all three registries and is now working at a large hospital in Fort Worth.
While only 4 percent of sonographers in America are triple registered, meaning they have passed three or more of these registry exams, 94 percent of WC sonography graduates from the past five years are triple registered.
“You don’t get to be ranked number one in the great state of Texas by accident,” said President Tod Allen Farmer. “These team members have worked exceptionally hard and wrapped our students in a culture of caring to ensure that they’re successful.”
In his president’s report, Farmer:
- Congratulated Christine Endy and the Upward Bound team on a recent $1.48 million federal grant.
- Announced that the WC Foundation offered $604,017 in scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year, up from $387,000 the previous year.
- Issued kudos to the student services department for their efforts in orientation, advising and student life activities that have provided a positive start to the semester.
- Announced the resignations of Heidy McDonald, life science instructor; Kendall Wessel, director of network operations in technology services; Walt Bauer, coordinator of the law enforcement academy; and Rebecca Fryer, health sciences administrative assistant.
- Provided an enrollment update stating that as of Sept. 6 there were 5,517 students registered compared to 5,350 on that day the previous year. Official census day figures are forthcoming.
In other business the board:
- Approved the minutes from the August board meeting.
- Approved the financial reports ending Aug. 31.
- Approved the quarterly investment report.
- Approved an amendment to the 2022-23 tuition and fees schedule effective for Spring 2023.
- Approved a renewal of a contract for enhanced cybersecurity monitoring services.
- Approved adoption of the National Incident Management System.
- Approved a bid from Alto Vista Roofing for $480,000 to reroof the Graber Athletic Center.
- Received a written academic and student services update.