brenda riceBrenda Rice ’99/’08, the program manager for Saint Joseph’s online radiologic science administration degree, keeps very busy these days. The former head of the School of Radiology at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine, Rice spends much of her time developing educational agreements with radiology schools faced with a new mandate requiring their graduates to have an associate degree prior to taking the national licensing exam.

According to Rice, a certificate program in radiology will no longer be adequate to qualify a radiology school graduate to sit for the exam. In the so-called articulation agreements that Rice has so far forged with roughly 20 schools, students are able to seamlessly transfer credits that Saint Joseph’s will accept toward an associate degree and bachelor’s degree in radiologic science administration and, ultimately, toward a master’s in health administration.

The American Registry of Radiology Technologists licensing body started to raise educational requirements to boost the level of professionalism because technology keeps changing, because of the trickle-down effect of the push for Magnet status upon other hospital departments, and because more medical consumers ask more questions and show more concern about exposure to radiation. Rice says the new professional regulations come into effect in 2015, which means many radiology schools must have the educational options in place for the entry class of 2013.