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06/22/2004
Hudson Valley Community College to Offer Cardiovascular Tech Program Online Starting This Fall

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Immediate,

In what may be a nationwide first, Hudson Valley Community College this fall will begin offering its certificate program in Invasive Cardiovascular Technology (ICVT) to students at distant sites.

The two-year allied health program teaches students to work as cardiovascular technicians, assisting in cardiac catheterization procedures. The program has been offered at the college since 1997 and has affiliations with the several hospitals in the Capital Region. Beginning in the fall, a new option that utilizes online learning as well as hands on training will allow the college to expand its scope outside the region in this highly-specialized and rapidly growing field.

No other completely online ICVT certificate program is known to exist, according to Rebecca Yospyn, managing editor of "Cath Lab Digest," a trade publication.

"The ICVT program is set up so that all the lectures can be completed online and the clinical time can be arranged at hospitals near where the students' live," said clinical coordinator Christine Siko. "One of our tasks will be finding preceptors (qualified clinical supervisors) who can mentor these students at cath labs around the country. Essentially, a student anywhere in the country who meets the prerequisites can take this program if we can find a qualified preceptor to assist them at an approved clinical site."

Siko said she hopes graduates of the program will help spread the word about the online option. Recent graduates of the program are now working as far away as Anchorage, Alaska, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, for example, and she hopes to use those contacts to build interest in Hudson Valley's online program. "There's no reason a person in Anchorage couldn't take our program if they meet the prerequisites and we can arrange a preceptor," Siko said.

Hudson Valley's ICVT program already uses the Blackboard course management system to "Web enhance" its on-campus courses. The online system allows student collaboration through discussion boards and virtual classrooms. Students also can access assignments from online files, take practice assessments and request tutoring time in a virtual classroom.

In its six-year history, the college's ICVT program has been very successful, with a 100 percent job placement rate as well as a 100 percent pass rate for graduates who have taken the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) examination. The college currently hosts local clinical sites at Albany Medical Center, Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, Glens Falls Hospital, Saratoga Hospital, Saint Peter's Hospital and the VA Medical Center in Albany.

The ICVT program is part of the department that also offers Respiratory Care and Paramedic programs.

For more information about the program, contact Christine Siko at 629-7454 or sikochr@hvcc.edu.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.