To get started in the Cardiac Sonography program in either the adult or pediatric track, complete the admissions process at El Centro College.
When you meet with an academic advisor, mention your interest in Cardiac Sonography so he or she can help you determine which courses you should take. When you go over the core Health Occupations curriculum (which is the same for both Cardiac Sonography tracks), the advisor will also discuss your interest in pursuing either the adult or pediatric track.
If you are planning to earn an associate degree or certificate, please note that you must complete 25 percent of your degree requirements at the college awarding the degree.
Online Information Sessions
Viewing an online information session is required for application to this program and will address program admissions, application, and acceptance policies in detail.
Health Occupations Core Curriculum
Before applying to one of El Centro’s specialized imaging programs (Cardiac Sonography or Diagnostic Medical Sonography), you must complete the entire 34-to-35-credit-hour Health Occupations Core Curriculum. It consists of selected general education support courses and several health care-related courses that provide an introductory knowledge of the theory and application of health care concepts.
Selection Process and Application Filing Period
Acceptance to either track in the Cardiac Sonography program is via a competitive selection process. The program accepts a limited number of students per entering class, including students pursuing an associate degree (including the Health Occupations Core Curriculum) and certificate applicants who already have an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Selection is based on GPA, a personal interview and scores on the HESI A2 test, a standardized test used to assess basic academic skills needed to succeed in some health care-related programs.
You must apply to either track of the Cardiac Sonography program by Dec. 31 of each year for classes beginning the following June.
For complete application and admission information, download an information packet from the El Centro College website.
Online and Distance Learning Options
Course work is available in an online format for your convenience. The Cardiac Sonography program is also offered in a distance education format for eligible individuals who live more than 100 miles from El Centro College or other institutions that offer accredited Cardiac Sonography programs.
Contact the Health Occupation office for more information about the distance education option.
Drug Testing and Criminal Background Check
All students enrolled in allied health programs are required by Dallas/Fort Worth Hospital Council member facilities to undergo drug testing and a criminal background check after admission to the program.
Dallas County residents pay $156 per three-hour class — that’s $52 per credit hour, or just $624 for a full semester load of 12 credit hours.
Compare that to what you’d pay elsewhere! See our tuition rates for tuition according to your place of residency.
Rising Star Program
If you are a Dallas County high school graduating senior, you may qualify for Rising Star funds to help pay for this program. The Rising Star program offers academic support services and up to $4,000 for tuition and books, if you have established financial need.
Courses Offered (Curriculum)
The catalog provides detailed information about the courses we offer and the courses required for the following associate degrees and certificates:
Accreditation and Affiliations
Each of the Dallas County Community College District’s seven colleges — Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland — is individually accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
El Centro’s Cardiac Sonography program, established in 1988, is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Cardiovascular Technology of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Our distance education offering has received numerous awards, including a Live On-line Learning Award and a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award. The distance learning option shared in a DCCCD Innovation of the Year Award with other allied health programs from El Centro College.
Our Cardiac Sonography program has been nationally recognized in Radiology Today (January 2005), the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (March/April 2006) and the Community College Week Special Report (February 2006) and has also been featured on KERA and NPR radio broadcasts (February and March 2006).
An application for accreditation for El Centro’s Pediatric Cardiac Program is in the process of being submitted to the JRC-CVT.
Not sure exactly what you want to study? We offer several allied health programs that might interest you, including our other specialized imaging program, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and Radiologic Sciences, Nursing, MRI and more.
Other Degree and Certificate Options
The colleges of DCCCD offer nearly 350 career and technical degrees and certificates, plus more than 50 academic degrees. For more information, see a chart of our degree plans by college or visit our credit programs home page.
Developing Skills for Success
As a Cardiac Sonography student, you’ll attend classroom sessions, get hands-on training in our Ultrasound Scanning Lab and go on field trips to enhance your learning experience. Clinical rotations begin the first week of class.
You’ll rotate through a minimum of three clinical facilities during your training, including metroplex hospitals and cardiology clinics, and you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of ultrasound equipment. You’ll take oral, practical and written exams throughout the program.
The Cardiac Sonography classes are located in El Centro College’s Center for Allied Health and Nursing, in the Paramount Building at Market and Pacific streets, one block northwest from the main campus. Opened in June of 2008 to house the college’s booming allied health programs, the center comprises 55 classrooms and labs that contain some of the most advanced equipment available to educate health care students.
The center’s high-tech equipment includes:
Our Cardiac Sonography faculty members not only have relevant degrees but also have real-world experience in the profession, which makes them able to relate to the challenges you’ll face at work. Our instructors work closely with you one-on-one, encouraging you and helping you to succeed in school and in your career.
See profiles of some of our Cardiac Sonography faculty.
The Cardiac Sonography program is designed for direct entry into the workforce. However, if you are interested in earning a degree at a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Services website for guidance on the transfer process.
Links to Additional Information
See links to echocardiography-related professional organizations and more.
If you have questions about the Cardiac Sonography program that aren’t answered on our website, please feel free to contact us.