Program directors and aspiring ultrasound/sonographic professionals asked us to summarize our conclusions and advice, based on the nearly 10 years invested in developing Pegasus Lectures’ Ultrasound Student Assessment Program. Here are a couple quick thoughts, and testimonial feedback from a Program Director utilizing USA. These are by no means comprehensive, but we encourage program directors and instructors to contact us for more in-depth discussion and demonstration.
TAKE-AWAYS FOR PROSPECTIVE ULTRASOUND PROFESSIONALS:
BE YOUR OWN ADMISSIONS COUNSELOR – Referring back to our recent blog on self-assessment, your first challenge is to “know yourself”. If you review the qualities listed in our last blog, or those identified by instructor surveys in Part I of our update on the USA study, and find they don’t ring true to your skillset, it might be prudent to ask yourself the hard question whether a career in ultrasound technology is right for you.
At the same time, if you possess PERSISTENCE and you have a genuine motivation underlying that (not just “I hear you can make good money as a sonographer”), find an instructor or mentor who believes in you, and it can happen.
TAKE-AWAYS FOR PROGRAM DIRECTORS AND INSTRUCTORS:
No single assessment tool can properly refine an admissions process – In our Phase I results, we found a seemingly incongruent, and surprising negative correlation to “success” among schools solely utilizing an Entrance Exam as qualifying/disqualifying criteria for admissions. At first glance, this data-point would run counter to the greater body of our study’s conclusions. Further research implied that it is likely some institutions’ overreliance on an Entrance Exam as a single qualifier, and their exam not adequately testing the characteristics cited previously was likely diluting its effectiveness.
If, as a Director or instructor, you feel like your current assessment criteria is missing the mark, talk to your peers…talk to your students…talk to us at Pegasus Lectures. Determining the right students for your program reduces costs, stress, and frustration for both the school program and the students. When it comes to patient care and career success in the field of ultrasound diagnostic study, we at Pegasus really do care.
COLLEGE DIRECTOR FEEDBACK:
I was one of the sonography program directors that discussed frustration with admissions processes and outcomes for students and graduates with Frank. I was more than excited that he decided to dedicate so much time and effort to fully explore the issue and to come up with a way to improve our outcomes. Our program participated with Frank in this process and we have used the USA test for our last two admission classes.
Although the first class to take the USA test has not graduated from the program yet, there seems to be good correlation with USA test results and success in our program. We will have better data for correlation once this class cohort graduates and we will continue to refer to the USA test results of the second cohort as they progress through the program.
Thanks so much, Frank, for working on this issue and for finding ways to test new students (and hopefully potential applicants for our program) that truly reflect the skills and talents needed for learning sonography.
Regina Swearengin, AAS, BS, RDMS
–Frank Miele, MSEE , President of Pegasus Lectures, Inc. Frank graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a triple major in physics, mathematics, and engineering. While at Dartmouth, he was a Proctor Scholar and received citations for academic excellence in comparative literature, atomic physics and quantum mechanics, and real analysis. Frank was a research and design engineer and project leader, designing ultrasound equipment and electronics for more than ten years at Hewlett Packard Company. As a designer of ultrasound, he has lectured across the country to sonographers, physicians, engineers and students on myriad topics.