Radiation Oncology (Associate of Applied Science)

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to read the answer.

What are the admission guidelines of the program?

Applicants must meet the general admission requirements for the college. Applicant must hold a high school diploma or GED. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be ≥ 2.5. We base this on the GPA calculated at the most recent institution/college at which you completed at least 12 college credit hours. If you have not taken 12 college credit hours at one college by the end of Fall 2022, the high school GPA must be ≥ 2.5.

What are the prerequisites for the program?

Applicants must complete the prerequisites listed below with a grade of “C” or higher by the end of the Spring 2023 semester to be considered for the 2023 program:

  • One unit of high school or college lab science (biology, chemistry, or physics) Note: The BIO 141 course cannot be used to fulfill the lab science requirement and the BIO 141 prerequisite.
  • BIO 141 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)
  • HLT 141 Introduction to Medical Terminology (1 credit)
  • MTH 161 Pre-Calculus I (3 credits)
  • SDV 101 Orientation to Health Professions (2 credits)

A high school deficiency in a mathematics course may be satisfied by completing an equivalent or higher-level college course. Sciences must have a lab component.

Is admission to the program very competitive? Are there admission priorities?

Approximately 10-12 students will be admitted to the Radiation Oncology class. Admissions decisions are based upon: (1) academic record and GPA, (2) strength in sciences and math, (3) interview results based on interviews conducted by program faculty, and (4) two letters of recommendation. Additional consideration is given to those that hold healthcare credentials (licensure/certification). We expect to accept 10-12 students for the NVCC Joint Venture site each year in the fall semester.

Who makes the admission decisions? When are the results given to the applicants?

Admission decisions are made by a Radiation Oncology Admissions Committee. Admission decisions are mailed to the applicants as soon as possible, usually in mid-May.

Why is the Radiation Oncology program considered intense?

The curriculum has a heavy emphasis on mathematics, physics, general and radiation sciences; as well as clinical sessions which demand technical and lecture application skills. All courses within the AAS in Radiation Oncology must be passed with a grade of “C” or above. Satisfactory progress is necessary for eligibility to take licensure examinations.

Can the program be taken at night or on a part-time basis?

The program is only offered during the day due to the hours of operation of the clinical facilities and labs involved in the program. It is strongly recommended that students limit working hours if admitted into the program. The (ROC) part of the curriculum must be completed in the sequence outlined, if admitted.

Who are the advisors for the radiation oncology program? When and how do I contact them?

Pam Woody is one of the academic file processors for Health Professions. An advising form will be sent to you using the Dynamic Form platform where the application for the program was completed. This letter will give you important details about your prerequisites, career support classes, transfer of credit, etc. Please note that if you do not receive the two page Advising Letter, there could be missing documents in your academic file and you may not be considered for admission to the fall program. If you need to verify receipt of your submitted materials, and it has been five weeks since the submission, you may contact Ms. Brown at ybrown@virginiawestern.edu to verify receipt of all academic transcripts on you behalf. This is another reason that we encourage early application so you have time to submit all necessary academic transcripts and the two letters of recommendation. In addition, there are other advisors for Health Professions, Ms. Rhonda Perdue (rperdue@virginiawestern.edu) and a team of advisors that can be reached at healthprofessions@virginiawestern.edu can assist with career planning and course advising as well.

Specific questions about the Northern Virginia joint venture program classroom, clinical sites, and schedule should be directed to the Director (Mrs. Conner), whom you may reach at 540-857-6104 or mconner@virginiawestern.edu, or to the Site Coordinator at Northern Virginia Community College, Ms. Riley at kdriley@nvcc.edu. Questions about the application process for NVCC should be directed to VWCC Advisors (healthprofessions@virginiawestern.edu).

Why are some support classes within the AAS Radiation Oncology not covered by Financial Aid (FA) in the CSC: Introduction to Radiation Oncology?

The CSC: Introduction to Radiation Oncology consist of specific coursework that is designed to allow applicants to the Radiation Oncology program to complete some of the courses required within the AAS and to also offer a job skill option to applicants in case of non-admittance to the program. Not all prerequisite and support classes are included in the CSC.  The BIO 142 is not included in the CSC and the course options offer PSY 230 (SOC 200/PSY 200) OR PHI 220.  If you are using FA to cover the cost of classes, FA will not cover the cost of both PSY 230 and PHI 220 nor will it cover cost of the BIO 142 course. If you wish to complete those courses prior to entry, you need to plan to pay for those courses out of pocket.  If you are accepted into the AAS Radiation Oncology program, at that time, FA will then cover those courses.  The plan change for accepted students, to be placed into the AAS program from the CSC, typically occurs in late May or early June for the accepted students.

What is the tentative schedule for Radiation Oncology classes, if accepted?

Incoming freshman students will attend classes during the first semester. Classes will be offered via Canvas, Zoom, and in the classroom. 

Beginning second semester students attend clinicals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-4:30 PM, and ROC classes on Wednesdays.

Summer semester is clinical for forty hours per week, 5 days a week.   The final two semesters, students attend clinicals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and attend classes on Thursdays.  Final semester, classroom is Tuesdays and Thursdays and clinicals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Do I have to pass a licensing test to practice as a radiation therapist?

Only radiation therapy professionals who have complete the appropriate education and obtained certification(s) as outlined in these standards should perform radiation therapy procedures. Radiation therapists prepare for their roles on the interdisciplinary team by successfully completing a program in radiation therapy that is programmatically accredited or part of an institution that is regionally accredited and by attaining appropriate primary certification from the ARRT. Those passing the AART radiation therapy examination use the credentials R.T. (T).

What is the policy regarding non-discrimination?

Applicants for admission to the Radiation Oncology program are considered for class positions based on their ability to meet the program admission standards, without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors.

APPLY NOW TO VWCC

Est. Tuition*: $
Credits: 72 Hours
Time: 2 Years

*Estimated cost reflects in-state rate and is subject to change

ADVISING

healthprofessions@virginiawestern.edu
 Fralin Center HP339
New Students: Chapman Hall
 540-857-6644
Fax: 540-857-6640

Mailing address:
School of Health Professions
3091 Colonial Ave., SW
Roanoke, VA 24015

PROGRAM HEAD

Tillie Conner, MS, RT(R)(T)
Director and Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology

A.A.S. – Virginia Western Community College, 1981
B.A. – Mary Baldwin College, 1990
M.S.Ed. – Virginia Polytechnic University, 2002

SCHOOL OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS

Martha Sullivan, Dean