By Erin Register
About three years ago, Collin College, with campuses located throughout Texas, made the decision to expand its offerings in the workforce area. “We examined multiple programs and industries in our area, and we selected programs where our graduates could earn a good wage and have a life-long career in their selected field,” said the college’s Technical Campus Dean of Workforce Programs Michael Coffman. “The HTM area showed up consistently in all of our research, so the decision was made to pursue the addition of an HTM program at Collin College.” Collin’s Biomedical Equipment Technology Program is offered on its technical campus in Allen, Texas.
The addition of the Biomedical Equipment Technology Program began like any other new program at Collin College. “We gather representatives from the area in which we want to start a new program, in this case the HTM area, and meet with them to determine if they will hire graduates with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree,” stated Coffman. “Once that is established, this advisory committee helps us determine the knowledge, skills and abilities that a graduate of the program should possess and helps us with the selection of the equipment for the program’s laboratory. This is an iterative process, as we meet several times to refine this information and develop the courses for the program.”
After approval from the college’s Curriculum Advisory Board and Executive Leadership, the program went to the state for approval, as well as the college’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Coffman himself has a background in the HTM area. While he was in graduate school pursuing an electrical engineering degree, he took several biomedical instrumentation classes that involved the design of medical devices and instruments. “As the dean for the program, it is my job to ensure that we have highly qualified faculty with strong experience in my field,” Coffman noted.
TechNation learned more about the college’s new BMET program in a question-and-answer interview.
Q: What is the main focus of the new BMET program?
A: The main focus of the program is biomedical equipment installation, calibration, maintenance and repair. It follows the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) standards in alignment with their Certified Biomedical Technician (CBET) guidelines.
Q: What courses are included in the new program?
A: Our program has courses in anatomy, medical terminology, electronics fundamentals, networking fundamentals and a wide variety of general, clinical, physiological, respiratory and imaging equipment. Additionally, there are classes in general education that fulfill the state requirements for an AAS degree.
Q: Do you have any specific goals that you want this program to achieve in the near future?
A: Our immediate goal is a successful launch of the program, which began in August. An ongoing goal is to ensure that the program meets the needs of the field, so having regular advisory committee meetings and staying current with the standards are critical for us. In two years, when we produce our first graduates, we would like to achieve 100% placement. Overall, we hope to have a great program that students will be interested in completing and that the health care industry in our area wants to hire our graduates.
For more information, visit www.collin.edu.
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