Sonography Program Spotlight

Clemson’s Cardiovascular Imaging Leadership Concentration 

The Clemson University Cardiovascular Imaging Leadership Concentration accepted its first cohort of students in the fall of 2011 and earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on July 31, 2014. Clemson's concentration is one of only six CVT accredited programs offering an undergraduate degree nationwide but has the distinction of being the only one to combine a degree in public health science while simultaneously offering technical/clinical training in both adult echocardiography and noninvasive vascular testing.

The program is led by Program Director Eric J. Walker, MHA, RVT, RDCS. Eric has worked as a traveling sonographer, staff inpatient sonographer and as a clinical education specialist with Philips Ultrasound. In 2008, Eric completed his Master's in Healthcare Administration through the Medical University of South Carolina. He got his first clinical teaching position 16 years ago in Columbia, SC. Eric's breadth of clinical and educational experience helps him hone his teaching style to focus on more than just technical competence for his grads. Together with his team of CVT Educators, Eric seeks to instill personal accountability, integrity, leadership and empathy into each grad completing Clemson's undergraduate program. The program has two dedicated CVT educators – Mary Wingold, MSEd, RDCS, RVT, RDMS and Yvonne (Von) Prince, ACS, RDCS, RVT, RDMS, FASE – who are responsible for all aspects of the core didactic courses. Over the past twelve months, Von earned fellowship status with the American Society of Echocardiography and became the first ACS-credentialed sonographer in the state of South Carolina. Equally impressive, Mary finished her master's degree in instructional design from Purdue University in December of 2017.  Together, these three clinical faculty members bring over 90 years of combined clinical experience as well as unparalleled enthusiasm for learning to their students.

From 2014 to 2018, Clemson's Cardiovascular Imaging Leadership Concentration has graduated 23 students. They boast a 100% positive placement within 3 months of graduation. Specifically, 74% of their graduates work in the state of South Carolina, 13% work outside of SC and 13% have gone on to graduate medical education programs (i.e. medical school, PA school, etc.). In the same five year period, the Clemson concentration boasts a 100% pass rate on the SPI exam, 87% of the graduates have passed the adult echocardiography exam and 91% have passed the vascular technology exam, all well above the national averages. Their students amass over 1400 hours of clinical time in a variety of inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular locations throughout the Greenville Health System working alongside registered sonographers, vascular surgeons, cardiologists and radiologists.

Eric believes the strength of the conce​​ntration comes from three key areas: the teaching passion of the clinical faculty, the quality of the clinical preceptors and rotations completed throughout the Greenville Health System and the top-notch undergrad students attending Clemson University. Students enter ​the concentration during their sophomore year with little prior knowledge about the field and graduate a mere three years later ready to step into a variety of patient care settings without missing a beat. Each year, the CAAHEP employer and graduate surveys provide meaningful feedback that the concentration is consistently preparing high quality, technically proficient, job-ready noninvasive cardiovascular leaders.

To learn more about our Clemson University's Cardiovascular Technology program, please visit https://www.clemson.edu/cbshs/departments/public-health/academics/undergraduate-programs/cardiovascular-imaging-leadership.html

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