Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Guide | ECTC

DMS Program Guide

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Associate in Applied Science

Revised: January 2022

General Program Information

The sonography program is a CAAHEP accredited selective admissions general (abdominal and ob/gyn) sonography program and will accept up to ten students per admission. Students will be admitted every spring semester.

Students will begin clinical in the second semester (summer) after they have successfully completed the first semester in hands-on laboratory with a sonography instructor. The program will be four semesters in length (including one summer). Students must maintain a grade of “C” or higher to pass a course and continue in the course sequencing.

Mission Statement

To develop competent, skilled and professional sonographers. Using instruction and practice to strengthen professional attitudes, good judgment and adaptability in diverse and mutable work environments. To prepare for registry certification of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.

Minimum Expectations

To prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for the following concentrations it offers: Abdominal sonography – Extended and Obstetrics and gynecology sonography.

Program Goals

  1. To prepare competent entry-level sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for the following concentrations it offers: Abdominal sonography – Extended and Obstetrics and gynecology sonography.
  2. The program will design instruction and learning opportunities/situations that develop student abilities to use communication skills, apply core concepts, use critical thinking, become responsible team members, and integrate knowledge.
  3. The program will collaborate with the community and colleagues to fulfill the need for competent sonographers.
  4. The program will enroll qualified applicants in order to succeed in the course of study.
  5. Students will understand and demonstrate respect for dignity and worth of the individual person.
  6. Students will meet their educational objective(s).
  7. Graduates will assume the responsibilities and duties of a sonographer with ability and confidence.


The Diagnostic Medical Sonography faculty believes that each human being is unique and worthy of dignity; that education is a continuous process of developing individuals to their fullest potential based on their individual physical and mental abilities and that education must stay abreast of society’s changing demands to benefit the individual and society; that graduates should develop the ability to make independent clinical judgments within the limits of the diagnostic medical sonographer’s responsibilities; that the curriculum should be reviewed and evaluated periodically to reflect current concepts and practices within the standards of the profession; and that competent sonographers are significant participants of the health care team.

Occupational Description

Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a diagnostic procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves beyond human hearing capability to produce high-quality images of soft tissues and motion within the body. Ultrasound involves no X-rays and has a wide array of uses in medicine.

The purpose of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is to prepare qualified individuals by training in both lecture and hands-on practice to obtain proficiency in the areas of abdominal and obstetric/gynecological sonography.


  1. Enrollment in the Associate Degree Diagnostic Medical General Sonography Program is limited due to available resources and the large number of applicants.

  2. All graduates of an accredited high school or those holding a GED certificate who are eligible to attend Elizabethtown Community and Technical College may apply to the sonography program. Admission to the program is open to all qualified students regardless of economic or social status, and without discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, marital status, beliefs, age, national origin or disability.

    All students must possess the following ADA Technical Standards:
    1. Sufficient visual acuity for the observation necessary for patient assessment and care.
    2. Sufficient auditory perception to receive verbal communication from patients and members of the health team and to assess health needs of people through the use of monitoring devices (e.g., cardiac monitors, biomedical equipment, fire alarms, etc.).
    3. Sufficient gross and fine motor coordination to respond promptly and to implement the skills, including the manipulation of equipment, positioning and lifting patients required in meeting health needs related to Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
    4. Sufficient verbal and non-verbal communication skills (speech, reading, and writing), such as are needed in classroom and clinical settings to interact with patients and professional personnel.
    5. Sufficient intellectual and emotional functions to plan and implement care for individuals.

  3. All eligible applicants who have attended a preadmission meeting with the program coordinator and completed the application procedure by October 1st for spring admission.

Application Process for Program Admission

Acceptance into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is based on a selected admission process. To be considered for program admission each applicant must submit the following by the October 1st deadline.

  1. Application for admission to the college;
  2. Official transcripts of ALL postsecondary education or training (outside of KCTCS);
  3. Completion of ALL general education courses required for the sonography program (must be completed by the first bi-term in the fall the student anticipates applying)
  4. USA Exam scores.
  5. Documentation denoting the completion of 4 observation hours in abdominal sonography.
  6. Documentation denoting completion of CNA/SRNA certificate or completion of a two-year accredited Allied Health Program, if applicable.
  7. Preadmission conference with the Program Coordinator or designee is required prior to admission to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program. A new cohort will be admitted every spring.

All application materials must be submitted by October 1st to be a candidate for admission. Students will be notified of acceptance or declination by November 15th for January admission. Notification will be sent by email.

Preference may be given to the following candidates:

  1. Applicants who are registered and/or licensed in a clinically related Allied Health profession.
  2. Applicant that are veterans or active duty personnel

USA Program Exam Information

The sonography program at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College will be using the USA Program Exam through Pegasus Lectures for program admission. The Ultrasound Student Assessment (USA) is an examination of intrinsic skills that are essential for the sonography profession. The USA exam was created to specifically test examinees for coordination, persistence, problem-solving, spatial ability, judgment, graph interpretation, visualization, and logic. Study tools and practice exams are not available. Please visit the Pegasus Lectures for additional information and system requirements.

It is administered by Pegasus Lectures through a remote proctoring environment or can be purchased and taken through ECTC’s Assessment Center. You will purchase the exam through Pegasus Lectures Products & Seminars for $65. If you choose to have it proctored online, Pegasus charges an additional $20. For the students who will utilize ECTC’s testing center, click NO on the proctor dropdown. You will then be emailed a receipt to take with you to the testing center. Make sure to use your college email address and put Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in the comment section.

Program Costs

DMS Program Approximate Cost
Tuition $186 – per credit hour*
ECTC fee $8 – per credit hour
Textbooks $ 900 – throughout the program
Uniforms $150 – includes scrubs and shoes
Liability insurance $ 11 - per semester
Trajecsys $100-150 entire program
Ultrasound Registry Review $300 – final semester
Other Expenses Approximate Cost
Background check and drug screening $85 – varies depending on affiliate
Transportation Variable
Graduation Variable – check with bookstore
ARDMS Registry Fee (national boards) $250 – per exam/concentration

*Specific questions concerning financial assistance should be directed to the Financial Aid Office located on the ECTC in RPC 105 or by calling 270-706-8802. Financial Aid information is also available on the college website at Paying for College.

Current Participating Clinical Affiliates:

  • Baptist Health Louisville
  • Baptist Health - Reproductive Imaging
  • Baptist Health Hardin
  • Baptist Health Elizabethtown Diagnostic Center
  • Baptist Health Bardstown Diagnostics
  • Breckinridge Memorial Hospital – Hardinsburg
  • Flaget Memorial Hospital – Bardstown
  • Graves Gilbert Clinic
  • Medical Center Health – Bowling Green
  • Medical Center Caverna
  • Medical Center Scottsville
  • Norton Audubon Hospital
  • Norton Brownsboro Hospital
  • Norton Children’s Hospital
  • Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital
  • Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital
  • Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center
  • Taylor Regional Hospital
  • TJ Samson Hospital
  • TJ Samson Pavilion


Grading will be based on assignments, daily quizzes and exams according to the following scale:

93 - 100 A
85 - 92 B
77 - 84 C

Students must maintain a “C” or higher in any professional course (Sonography), to continue from one semester to the next. In addition, you must maintain a minimum of 77% in both the didactic (Test Score) and Final Clinical Evaluation of all clinical to remain in the program.

Advanced Placement/Transfer Policy

A student applying for transfer into the Sonography Program (subject to present enrollment) may be given advanced placement if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Acceptance of any transfer student will be dependent upon available resources. Applicants who wish to transfer to a KCTCS Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program must:
  2. Meet all admission requirements of the receiving institution;
  3. Apply at least (3) three months prior to the expected date of enrollment;
  4. Notify the Coordinator of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program in writing, stating anticipated entry date and reason for transfer;
  5. Have a faculty member from the program previously attended submit a letter of recommendation to the receiving institution; and
  6. Submit an official transcript for evaluation by the Admissions Committee.
  7. If more than three years have elapsed since initial enrollment in a Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, the entire sequence of Diagnostic Medical Sonography courses must be repeated; and
  8. If more than one semester has elapsed since a student has been in a clinical rotation, he/she must demonstrate proficiency prior to readmission, or enroll in the appropriate clinical component(s).

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Prospective Student Website Information

Web links for prospective/enrolling students:

ECTC mission & vision. ECTC Mission and Vision

ECTC tuition information. ECTC Tuition

Admissions link for any student wanting information about admission to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. ECTC Admissions

Financial Aid link for any student needing information about financial aid or scholarship opportunities. ECTC Student Affording College; ECTC Students Managing your Money

Student Services ECTC Student Services

Transfer student information ECTC Transfer Information

Diagnostic Medical Sonography web page link for students wanting information about the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program here at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. The website includes the program degree checklist, program faculty contact information, technical standards, admission requirements, a link to schedule an appointment with the program coordinator, credential-earning statistics, graduation statistics, and job placement statistics. ECTC Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Code of Student Conduct web link. ECTC Code of Student Conduct

ECTC policies and procedures web link. ECTC Policies and Procedures

Grievance procedures web link. ECTC Grievance Procedures

Student Achievement Results ECTC Student Academic Achievement

Program Curriculum

Students applying to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program must have all prerequisites completed in this checklist prior to the January start date. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography education courses include didactic, laboratory, and clinical instruction in a variety of health care facilities in the service area. Classroom lectures and laboratory courses are held at the college. Travel to established clinical sites will be required at the expense of the student. 

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) follows the curriculum approved for the community colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Course descriptions may be found in the KCTCS catalog available in the Admissions Office, or online at KCTCS Catalog. Students wishing to transfer into the program should make an appointment to see the program coordinator for transfer options. Students taking KCTCS classes with the intention of transferring should seek advice at the destination institution.

Admission Procedure

Students are admitted based on the following criteria:

1. Admission requirements

  1. USA Program Score
  2. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better in pre-requisite college credits applicable to the Sonography program;
  3. Completion of all pre-requisite (general education) courses with a grade of “C” or higher;
  4. Completion of 4 observation hours in a general sonography lab;
  5. Preadmission meeting with program faculty.

Preference may be given to the following applicants:

  1. Applicants who are registered and/or licensed in a clinically related allied health profession;
  2. Applicants that are veterans or active duty personnel

If more students meet all the criteria than there are openings in the program then students will be ranked according to the following. If multiple students earn the same number of points, those students will be ranked based on their recalculated GPA.

  1. USA Program score
  2. Sonography curriculum GPA
  3. Grades in Anatomy & Physiology and Physics courses

2. When determining placement, the GPA will be calculated only from coursework required in the Sonography curriculum.

3. Grades must be earned by the end of the first bi-term in the fall for application to the spring semester (January – May)

4. Emails are sent in November to all individuals who have completed applications notifying them of the selections by the Admissions Committee for the spring entering class.

*Sonography Program admission criteria are subject to change prior to each admission. Please refer to the Sonography Program webpage for the most up-to-date criteria.

The overall criteria of each applicant will be considered and ranked as indicated below:


Yes or No

USA Program Score _____


Yes or No

GPA 2.5 or > in 9 or more Credit Hours DMS Curriculum: _____

All pre-requisite courses completed with a ‘C’ or higher.

  • ENG 101 C or above: _____
  • AHS 120 C or above: _____
  • BIO 135 C or above: _____
  • BIO 137 C or above: _____
  • BIO 139 C or above: _____
  • MAT 150 C or above: _____
  • Physics C or above: _____
  • NAA 100 or registry: _____
  • Social/Behavioral Science: _____
  • Heritage/Humanities: _____

Yes or No

Four observation hours in abdominal sonography.


Yes or No

Program Faculty meeting/interview

If there are more than ten students that meet admission criteria, each applicant will be considered and assigned a point value as indicated below. If multiple students earn the same number of points, those students will be ranked based on their recalculated GPA.

I. USA Exam score
  • 20+ = 10 points
  • 17+ = 9 points
  • 14+ = 8 points
  • 12+ = 7 points
  • 10+ = 6 points
  • 8+ = 5 points
  • 6+ = 4 points
  • 4+ = 3 points
  • 2+ = 2 points

Applicants must have a GPA of 2.5 or better in pre-requisite college credits applicable to the Sonography program.

  • 3.75-4.00 = 8 point value
  • 3.50-3.74 = 7 point value
  • 3.25-3.49 = 6 point value
  • 3.00-3.24 = 5 point value
  • 2.75-2.99 = 4 point value
  • 2.50-2.74 = 3 point value
III. Grades in Anatomy & Physiology course/s and Physics course
  • A's = 5 points each
  • B's = 3 points each
IV. Allied Health Program Graduates (Associate of Applied Science)

Applicants that have graduated or are eligible for graduation from a two-year accredited Allied Health Program or have the minimum of an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in a clinically related field will receive 5 points. Applicant must hold current licensure and provide proof to receive points. Any applicant with an Associate of Applied Science or pending graduate must provide a letter documenting completion date from the program coordinator/director.

Note: A total of 38 points possible.

*admission criteria are subject to change each fall

Contact Information

Erin Burns
Program Coordinator
Lydia Wensil
Adjunct Clinical Coordinator
610 College Street Rd
Elizabethtown, KY 42701
270/769-2371 Toll Free: 1-877-246-2322