Chadwick Johnson describes his radiography classmates and instructors as his second family.

“I love the sense of community that I feel with my fellow classmates as well as my instructors,” Johnson said. “The program isn’t easy, but you are given all the tools you need to succeed. There is truly no other program I’d rather be in.”

Johnson is one of 30 students currently enrolled in the associate degree radiography program at JCC. A Stedman resident, Johnson said he chose JCC because of the program’s academic and employment success.

In 2018, JCC’s radiography program achieved a 100-percent pass rate on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologies (AART) exam that certifies radiographers. The college’s five-year pass rate on the exam is 96 percent, and the average percentage of graduates who find jobs within a year is also 96 percent.

Ashley Wickline of Clayton is a second-year radiography student. Wickline has a bachelor’s degree but decided to come back to college and start a new career in health care.

She said her community college experience more than exceeded her expectations.

“When you’re in the classroom you’re not a number, you are a person and your instructors want you to succeed.”

One of 22 community college radiography programs in the state, JCC’s program is 45 years old and is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The two-year program runs over five semesters.

The program’s success is attributed to a long history of faculty dedicated to student success, said Ann Jackson, director of imaging programs at JCC.

“Previous and current program administration have laid the strong foundation for us to do what we’re doing here today,” Jackson said. “Our faculty have over 160 years of experience, and they truly care for the student’s competency.”

Over time, the program has transitioned from teaching film to digital imaging. The college’s radiography labs were upgraded in 2009 when the college’s Health Sciences Building was renovated.

In addition to classroom hours, students also spend many hours at imaging centers, hospitals, and clinics getting hands-on experience taking x-rays.

New radiographers can expect to earn $20 an hour. Jackson said good radiographers are hardworking and go the extra mile.

“This is not a sit down job,” she said. “You are actively involved in patient care. It takes someone with compassion and integrity, and you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get involved.”

The college now offers a mammography certificate for radiographers interested in specializing in breast imaging. The 17-credit hour program is offered on two consecutive semesters in the fall and spring.

Students must apply and get accepted into the radiography program. The application deadline is March 1. Applicants must also attend a health sciences information session. 

For more information about radiography at JCC, please visit www.johnstoncc.edu/radiography.