Diagnostic Imaging - Radiography

Available: Shoals Campus
Advisors: R. Robertson (5390) rick.robertson@nwscc.edu

C. Simms (8108) carl.simms@nwscc.edu


The Division of Health Studies offers a five-semester Associate Degree Diagnostic Imaging (RAD) program. Upon satisfactory complete, the Associate of Applied Science Degree is awarded. The Diagnostic Imaging program prepares individuals, under the supervision of physicians, to provide medical imaging services to patients and attending health care professionals. The student will receive training in applied anatomy & physiology, patient positioning, radiographic technique, radiation biology, safety and emergency procedures, equipment operation and maintenance, quality assurance, patient education, and medical imaging/radiologic services management.

NOTICE: The curriculum is continuing to be reviewed and analyzed. Modifications will be made as needed. The most updated information will be found in the College catalog posted on the NW-SCC website.


1. Complete and submit college admissions application to the Admissions Office and receive a NW-SCC student number prior to application deadline.

2. Complete and submit application for the Program (separate from college application) to the Assistant to Health Studies Office in Building 122, Room 162, with unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended attached by the deadline of April 15th.

3. Have an unconditional admission to the college.

4. Be in good standing with the college.

5. Submit official high school transcripts showing graduation OR official GED report to the Admissions Office. A final transcript with proof of graduation must be received by June 1st.

6. Submit official transcripts from ALL other colleges attended to the Admissions Office prior to application deadline. If you are attending another college, the final official transcript must be received by the Admissions Office by June 1st.

7. Must have a minimum 2.50 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale based on the required academic core courses for Diagnostic Imaging, and

  • a.Current or previous NW-SCC students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA or higher at NW-SCC.
  • b. Transfer students must enter NW-SCC on clear academic status (cumulative 2.0 GPA)

8. Have a minimum of 18 ACT composite score National or Residual. The writing component is not required. The official results must be sent to the NW-SCC Admissions Office. An unofficial copy of the ACT scores must be attached to the Diagnostic Imaging application. There is no expiration date on the ACT score for the Diagnostic Imaging application. The ACT must be taken by the application deadline.

9. Meet the eligibility criteria required for Diagnostic Imaging Program.

10. Must be eligible for ENG 101 and MTH 100 or higher as determined by college policy.

The College reserves the right to adjust requirements or use additional criteria to determine admission. Admission to the Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Imaging is competitive; the number of students is limited by the number of faculty and clinical facilities available. Meeting minimum admission criteria does not guarantee admission into the Program. After meeting all minimum criteria, applicants are ranked using a point system.

The Associate Degree Diagnostic Imaging is developed as a combined sequence of radiography coursework. It is strongly suggested that all general education coursework be completed with a minimum grade of “C” or higher prior to the start of radiography coursework. The general education courses are offered on both the Shoals and Phil Campbell campuses at NW-SCC. Completion of certain courses prior to application results in a higher ranking score and improves the chances of being admitted.

NOTICE: Your ability to comply with the ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA listed may be evaluated by health studies faculty at any time that your ability to do so is in question.

Eligibility Criteria

The Alabama Community College System endorses the Americans’ with Disabilities Act. In accordance with College policy, when requested, reasonable accommodations may be provided for individuals with disabilities.

The eligibility criteria delineated below are necessary for Diagnostic Imaging program admission, progression and graduation and for the provision of safe and effective Diagnostic Imaging care. The eligibility criteria include but are not limited to the ability to:

Candidates must be able to meet all Eligibility Criteria required of the program. Physical disabilities must not pose a threat to the safety of the student, faculty, patients, or other health care workers.

Those functions are as follows:

  • Have physical stamina to stand and walk for 8 hours or more in a clinical setting
  • Can stand on both legs, move from room to room, and maneuver in small spaces
  • Can bend the body downward and forward by bending at the spine and waist
  • Can flex and extend all joints freely
  • Can raise objects from a lower to higher position or move objects horizontally from position to position
  • Possess mobility, coordination and strength to push, pull, or transfer heavy objects (strength to lift 25 lbs. frequently and 50 lbs. or more occasionally)
  • Possess manual dexterity, mobility, and stamina to perform CPR
  • Can seize, grasp, turn and otherwise work with both hands
  • Can pick, pinch, or otherwise work with fingers
  • Possess sufficient hearing to assess patients’ needs, follow instructions, communicate with other health care workers, as well as respond to audible sounds of radiographic equipment
  • Possess the visual acuity to read, write, and assess the patient and the environment
  • Possess verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skill adequate to exchange ideas, detailed information, and instruction accurately
  • Able to read, comprehend, and write legibly in the English language
  • Able to interact purposefully and effectively with others
  • Able to convey sensitivity, respect, tact, and a mentally healthy attitude
  • Oriented to reality and not mentally impaired by mind-altering substances
  • Able to function safely and effectively during high stress periods


The transfer policy applies only to students desiring to transfer between Alabama Community College System institutions.

It does not apply to students wishing to transfer from other institutions.

Criteria for transfer:

1. Must meet minimum admission standards for the Diagnostic Imaging program.

2. Must possess a grade of C or better in all Diagnostic Imaging required courses taken at another institution and possess a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the time of transfer.

3. Dean/Chairperson/Director of previous Diagnostic Imaging program must provide a letter of eligibility for progression in previous Diagnostic Imaging program.

4. Must comply with all program policies and requirements at NW-SCC (including, but not limited to the program, progression policy, Diagnostic Imaging progression policy, and reinstatement policy.

5. Complete at least 25% of the Diagnostic Imaging program required courses for degree at NW-SCC.

6. Must meet acceptability criteria for placement at all clinical agencies for clinical experiences.

7. Acceptance of transfer students into the Diagnostic Imaging program is limited by the number of faculty and clinical facilities available. Meeting minimal standards does not guarantee acceptance.

8. ACCS Diagnostic Imaging Curriculum courses will be transferred without review of the course syllabus.

9. Submit an application requesting transfer to the Diagnostic Imaging Program by the deadline published by the program.


After acceptance each student must:

1. Submit completed medical examination forms (at student expense) that provide evidence that the student is free of communicable disease and chemical dependency, and is physically and psychologically able to participate fully in both classroom and clinical aspects of the program. The Health Studies Faculty reserves the right to require at any time (at student expense) an additional medical examination in order to evaluate the student’s state of physical, mental, and/or emotional health such as during pregnancy, infectious diseases, interference with mobility, emotional stability, chemical dependence, etc. When an examination or treatment is required, written proof must be provided by the physician attesting to the student’s ability to carry out both classroom and clinical requirements of the program.

NOTE: Northwest-Shoals Community College reserves the right to remove from the program any student who is refused use of facilities by any clinical agency.

2. Meet the Eligibility Criteria with or without reasonable accommodations. These functions relate to the physical, mental, and emotional capabilities of the prospective students and are available in writing from the Health Studies Division or individual programs. Additional health criteria may be required by clinical agencies.

3. Purchase regulation uniforms and specified accessories.

4. Participate In, successfully complete, and pay for course card in cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the health care provider level (BLS) by the American Heart Association through the NW-SCC Health Studies Division during the first semester of the program.

5. Receive certain immunizations/vaccinations at the student’s expense.

6. Purchase professional liability insurance through the College (attached fee).

7. Participate in and pay for periodic standardized tests (if applicable).

8. Participate in and pay for substance abuse testing as directed by the Health Studies Division.

9. Participate in and pay for background checks as directed by the Health Studies Division. It is recommended that each student carry health insurance.


In order to continue in the Diagnostic Imaging program, the student must:

1. Complete all required coursework from each previous semester with a grade of C or higher.

2. Maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA at NW-SCC.
Please note: The Grading Scale for all Diagnostic Imaging Courses is:

A = 90 – 100
B = 80 – 89
C = 75 – 79
D = 60 – 74
F = 59 and below

3. Be accepted by all clinical agencies for clinical experiences. If a student is dismissed from any clinical agency, the student will be dismissed from the program. Depending on the issue, the student may be withdrawn or receive a failing clinical grade.

4. Earn a satisfactory clinical evaluation in all Diagnostic Imaging courses with a clinical component.

5. Maintain ability to meet essential functions for the program with or without reasonable accommodations.

6. Maintain current CPR at the health care provider level by American Heart Association.

7. Maintain an adequate level of health, including but not limited to, annual physical examination, annual PPD, vaccinations, and freedom from chemical dependency and/or mental disorder.

A student that has an unsuccessful attempt in a radiography course (W, I, D, or F) cannot progress in the Diagnostic Imaging sequence until the course is completed successfully. Course repetition will be based on instructor availability and program resources.


In order to progress in the Diagnostic Imaging program, the following policy should be followed:

1. A total of two unsuccessful attempts in two separate semesters (D, F, or W) in the Diagnostic Imaging program will result in dismissal from the program.

2. A student may be reinstated to the Diagnostic Imaging program only one time. The reinstatement is not guaranteed due to limitations in clinical spaces. All Diagnostic Imaging admission standards must be met.

3. A student must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the current institution for reinstatement.

4. If a student has a documented extenuating circumstance that should be considered related to a withdrawal or failure, then the student may request a hearing before the Admission Committee or other appropriate college committee for a decision on repeating a course or readmission to the program.


Definition or reinstatement: Students who have a withdrawal or failure in a Diagnostic Imaging course and are eligible to return to that course will be considered for reinstatement to the program.

1. Students who desire to be reinstated following non-progression must schedule an appointment with a Diagnostic Imaging faculty advisor to discuss reinstatement.

2. A student must request reinstatement within one year from the term of non-progression to be eligible for reinstatement.

3. In order to be eligible for reinstatement, the student must,

  • a) Apply for readmission to the College if not currently enrolled;
  • b) Receive unconditional admission status from the College;
  • c) Demonstrate a 2.0 GPA in the Diagnostic Imaging Program;
  • d) Have no more than one non-progression since program admission;
  • e) Submit application requesting reinstatement to the program
  • by the deadline
  • f) Demonstrate the ability to meet eligibility criteria for the Diagnostic Imaging program with or without reasonable accommodations;
  • g) Demonstrate competency in previous Diagnostic Imaging courses by those students who have been out of progression for greater than one semester (This may be evaluated by testing and/or skills validation);
  • h) Be accepted by all clinical agencies for clinical experiences;
  • i) Demonstrate current American Heart Association CPR completion at the Health Care Provider level;

4. Students dismissed from the NW-SCC Diagnostic Imaging program for disciplinary reasons and/or unsafe patient care in the clinical area will not be allowed reinstatement to the program. The student may reapply as a new student into the NW-SCC Diagnostic Imaging program after the period of two years have lapsed unless the unsafe action resulted in actual harm or injury to self or others. In such cases, and in cases of dismissal due to criminal background or substance abuse, students may no reapply nor reinstate to any NW-SCC Health Studies Program.

5. Reinstatement to the Diagnostic Imaging program is not guaranteed and will only be allowed one time;

6. Reinstatement will be denied due to, but not limited to, any of the following circumstances:

a) Grade point average is less than 2.0 from courses completed at the current institution;

b) Refusal by any clinical agency to accept the student for clinical experiences;

c) Classroom, laboratory, or clinical space unavailability;

d) more than twelve months have lapsed since the student has enrolled in a Diagnostic Imaging course;

e) being previously dismissed from the program for disciplinary reasons and/or unsafe client care in the clinical area.

A total of two unsuccessful attempts (D, F, or Withdrawal) in Diagnostic Imaging courses will result in dismissal from the program. Withdrawal and/or a D or F in one or more courses in a term will be considered one attempt.


Students who are ineligible for reinstatement due to two unsuccessful attempts in any Diagnostic Imaging program of the Alabama Community College System may apply for readmission as a new student to the program provided:

  • a) the student meets current entry requirements, and
  • b) the student was not dismissed from the previous program for disciplinary reasons or for unsafe/unsatisfactory patient care in the clinical area that resulted in actual harm or injury to self or others;
  • c) the student is accepted by all clinical agencies for clinical experiences.


The Diagnostic Imaging student shall comply with the standards that determine acceptable behavior of a diagnostic imaging student. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY OF THESE STANDARDS WHILE IN ANY HEALTH STUDIES PROGRAM CONSTITUTES GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL FROM THE PROGRAM.

The following examples of behavior may be grounds for dismissal from a Health Studies Program or for certification/ licensure application. Any individual who:

1. Is guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license.

2. Is guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude or of gross immorality that would tend to bring reproach upon the profession.

3. Is unfit or incompetent due to the use of alcohol or is addicted to the use of habit-forming drugs to such an extent as to render the licensee unsafe or unreliable.

4. Is mentally incompetent.

5. Is guilty of unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud, or injure the public in matters pertaining to health.

6. Has willfully or repeatedly violated any of the provisions for standards of conduct related to the profession.

7. Has been convicted of a felony.

8. Has been convicted of any violation of a Federal or State law relating to controlled substances.

9. Has any other reasons authorized by law.

10. Has been placed on a State and/or Federal abuse registry.

11. Has been court-martialed or disciplined or administratively discharged by the military.

Students who have demonstrated any of the behaviors prior to or during attendance of the program may have to provide appropriate explanatory documentation with the certification/ licensing agency board. Any concerns related to the above should be discussed with a program advisor.


As a student in the program, you can anticipate certain necessary expenses. First of all, the tuition rate is the same as that for other NW-SCC students, but Diagnostic Imaging Program students will incur other expenses, which are listed below. Note that the amounts listed are approximations and are subject to change. The list may not include all items, but any additional would be disclosed to students upon admission to the program.

Books and on-line resources: $1,600.00

Physical Exam, TB Tests and Immunizations: $1,000.00

Uniforms and Small Equipment: $345.00

Clinical Kit / Tracking: $150.00

Clinical ID Badges: $20.00

Drug Screening: $80.00

Liability Insurance: $40.00

Background Checks: $75.00

NOTICE: In additional to the expenses listed, you are responsible for transportation, meals, health care expenses, any liability incurred during and while traveling to and/or from educational experiences.

Total credits:




Associate in Applied Science