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Majors & Certificates

Cardiac Sonography

Learn the latest in diagnostic ultrasound technology and be prepared for the real world. Through Lackawanna College’s cardiac ultrasound program, you’ll learn in the classroom and apply your skills in practical clinical externships at regional free-standing and hospital-based ultrasound laboratories.

About the Cardiac Ultrasound Program

Each of Lackawanna College’s ultrasound programs is designed to be completed over a two-year period with day, evening, and Saturday courses as well as on- and off-campus clinical hours. Each program also includes summer session courses and clinical lab hours.

Acceptance into all Lackawanna Colleges sonography programs is based on a selective admissions process with a maximum of 25 students selected annually for the cardiac and vascular ultrasound programs and 20 for the diagnostic medical sonography program.

Please note that not all applicants to the sonography programs will be accepted. All candidates must follow the standard procedures outlined below and meet program qualifications to be considered for one of the openings each year.

Cardiac Ultrasound Criteria and Requirements

Application to Lackawanna College and a separate application to the sonography program
The application deadline for all Sonography Programs is March 1. All documents must be submitted or postmarked by the deadline to be considered.

Must meet the college’s minimum requirements
Applicant must submit proof of high school or GED completion with an official high school transcript or GED equivalent. Lackawanna College will determine the applicant’s current academic ability based on a combination of the following:

SAT or ACT test scores, if applicable

  • Recommended SAT scores: 500 Verbal and 500 Math.
  • Recommended ACT scores: 20 or higher in each relevant section.
  • Most scores are valid for up to 3 years from the test date. College Transfer Credits
    If transferring credits from another college/university, official college transcripts are required. Transfer credits must be at least 3.0 or greater to meet Sonography program academic standards.Placement Test
  • Applicants without valid SAT/ACT scores and who have not previously earned college credits will be required to take the ACCUPLACER exam for determination of current academic ability.
  • Applicants must achieve ‘College Ready’ scores in Reading, Writing, and Math to be considered qualified for one of the Sonography Programs.

Completion of a biological science course

  • If completed in high school, the course must be no more than 3 years old.
  • Completion of science-type course(s) at the high school or college level must again be evidenced in the form of an official high school or college transcript.

Due to the very specific nature of these degree programs, applicants with transfer credits may only transfer credits related to program core courses including the following:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I – 4 credits
  • Anatomy and Physiology II – 4 credits with lab (if taken within three years)
  • College Algebra
  • Computer Applications
  • College Writing
  • Effective Speaking
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Medical Ethics (subject to review)
  • Medical Terminology (subject to review)
  • Transfer students with an Associate Degree in Science may be considered for bypass of the Pre-Sonography semester, subject to review.
  • All other courses within the curriculum must be completed at Lackawanna College under the Sonography program.

Interviews will be scheduled for qualified sonography program applicants who submit a fully completed application with all materials by the previously stated deadline:

  • The top 25 applicants for Vascular and Cardiac
  • The top 20 applicants for DMS

A  mandatory informational meeting will be required prior to the start of the selected program.

Qualified students will be notified of the date and time upon selection into the program. The meeting will review the sonography department’s policies and expectations. The meeting will also allow for question and answer session and tour of the Lackawanna College ultrasound facilities.

Cardiac Sonography Associate Degree in Science Information

Sonography (also known as ultrasound) is the use of sound waves to generate an image for the assessment and diagnosis of various medical conditions. Cardiac ultrasound technologists use special equipment to direct nonionizing, high-frequency sound waves into areas of a patient’s body to visualize the heart and surrounding area. The equipment collects reflected echoes and forms an image that may be videotaped, transmitted, or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician. Unlike most diagnostic imaging methods, sonography does not involve radiation, so harmful side effects and complications from repeated use are rarer for both the patient and the sonographer.

Cardiac sonographers use ultrasound technology to examine the heart’s chambers, valves, and vessels. Images that are produced by using ultrasound are then reviewed by a physician for interpretation and diagnosis of heart abnormalities. In addition, Cardiac ultrasound technologists may also choose to specialize in vascular sonography. Lackawanna College offers a separate vascular sonography degree program.

Job opportunities and salaries in the healthcare specialty of echocardiography have been rising steadily over the last few years and the U.S. Department of Labor predicts another 30% increase in the need for echocardiographers by the year 2022. Cardiac sonographers are ranked in the Top 10 best-paid positions for associate degree careers. The median income is $60,350 with a salary range of $52,050 to $65,350.

Most cardiac ultrasound technologists are employed by hospitals and primary clinics, with the remainder working in the offices of physicians or in medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers. Also on the rise, is a contract and traveling cardiac sonographers.

Lackawanna College’s cardiac ultrasound program combines classroom instruction with practical clinical externships at regional free-standing and hospital-based sonography laboratories. Both career-specific and academic core courses are included. Students successfully completing the program are eligible to sit for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examinations and, thereafter, pursue an exciting career.

Sonography degree program classes are given days, nights and on weekends (based on the availability of the instructors). Clinical externships, however, must take place during the daytime. The cardiac ultrasound program is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Cardiac Ultrasound Program Goals and Objectives

Lackawanna College’s cardiac sonography program aims to prepare competent entry-level adult cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Cognitive Domain

  • Students will learn through successful didactic and clinical training following the standards of the sonography curriculum. Student outcomes will be measured through written tests, quizzes and projects as well as hands-on examinations.
  • 100% success of students passing the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) examination upon graduation from the program.
  • Minimum entry-level competency of all program graduates.
  • Minimal attrition.
  • Meetings with clinical site liaisons. Through site visits, written and verbal correspondence, and at the beginning of each semester, a meeting is held to discuss the expectations of the students, the instructors and the facilities.
  • Capable of completing documentation of history and physicals.
  • Proficiency of patient care skills.

Psychomotor Domain

  • Meetings with clinical site liaisons. Through site visits, written and verbal correspondence, and at the beginning of each semester, a meeting is held to discuss the expectations of the students, the instructors and the facilities.
  • Identify normal anatomy and patient pathology.
  • Effectively prepare preliminary study reports.
  • To perform all competencies effectively and efficiently.
  • Continuing education through local societies and national organizations.

Affective Domain

  • Professionalism.
  • Broaden patient relation skills.
  • Behavior-based on ethical reasoning and judgment.
  • To be able to work effectively and efficiently within a clinical setting.
  • Feedback from employer and graduate surveys.

Methods to Assure Appropriateness of Program’s Goals & Objectives
The following methods are used to assure that both programs’ goals are met:

  • Advisory Board: Periodic meetings take place to discuss the program’s progress and to reassess resource requirements and community needs.
  • Departmental meetings: Held on a monthly basis to discuss and handle various issues and concerns related to the program.
  • Meetings with clinical site liaisons: Through site visits, written and verbal correspondence, and at the beginning of each semester, a meeting is held to discuss the expectations of the students, the instructors and the facilities.
  • Testing: Throughout the course of the program.
  • Student surveys: Performed each semester.
  • ARDMS registry exam: Upon first graduating class and followed annually by utilizing the ARDMS school reports system.
  • Employer feedback: Will be used upon the first graduating class and utilized in a timely fashion following each graduating class thereafter.

Analysis of data collected

  • Student surveys are compiled and reviewed by both the director of the program and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • Reports are generated each semester on student grades, attrition, GPAs, and class size and reviewed by the Program Director and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • The curriculum is evaluated yearly by faculty, the director, and the Vice President with student input as well as close contact with the medical directors.
2019 Cardiac Ultrasound Student / Graduate Outcome Information
Program Design
Accredited concentrationsCardiac
Length of program (in months)24
Total students admitted in 20197
How many times per year is this program offered?1
Retention Rate
Number of students admitted 7
Number of students graduating 5
Retention rate 71%
Job Placement Rate
Number of graduates in 20195
Number of graduates employed 5
Job placement rate 100%
Graduate Survey Results
Number of graduates in 20195
Number of graduate surveys returned 5
Graduate survey return rate 100%
Employer Survey Return Rate
Number of employed graduates from 20195
Number of employer surveys returned 5
Employer survey return rate 100%
Credential Success Rate
Number of students taking cardiac credential 5
Number of students earning credential from ARDMS 5
Number of students earning credential from CCI 0
Total number earning cardiac credential 5
Cardiac credential success rate 100%
March 1: Deadline for Application
Waiting lists are created in all three sonography programs, and additional seats may become available up until the start of the Fall semester. Please call the Admissions office at (570) 961-7814 for more information.

March 1-28: Application Review Period and InterviewsApril 1: Program Acceptance Letters and Alternative Option Letters will be mailed to all applicants.

Acceptance Letter will indicate their status in the specific program of choice and will outline all requirements needed to solidify a place on the official list for that program.

June 1: Deadline for all accepted students to make a commitment to the program. All requirements will need
to be complete at that time *

Items for Official Placement into program*

  • $100 commitment fee
  • Official high school transcripts
  • Official college transcripts
  • SAT/ACT scores, if applicable

Alternative Option letters will explain to students that they are not denied from attending the college, but have not been accepted into one of the three Lackawanna College Division of Health Sciences sonography programs. In this letter, it will include suggested courses for a candidate to complete to better qualify themselves for re-application in the future.

December 15: The selected candidates will then have until December 15 of the pre-semester to obtain/complete the following requirements to stay on the list for the upcoming semester:

  • CPR Certification
  • FBI Clearance
  • State Clearance
  • PA Child Abuse Clearance
  • 2 Step PPD
  • Recent Physical Examination
  • Copy of Immunization Records
    • Varicella Vaccination Date or Date/Year of Chicken Pox
  • Hepatitis B vaccination (3 shots) or waiver
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

Download the Sonography application (PDF)

* All coursework must be successfully completed prior to enrollment in Clinical III.


All Lackawanna College curriculum guides can be found on the Portal.


Download the Sonography Program Application and Information Packet


The sonography programs at Lackawanna College are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 9355 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775. For details, visit

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