pueblo ccPueblo Community College is bringing back a high-demand program this fall. PCC’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program was closed in 2013 because of a lack in qualified instructors and places for students to complete clinical work.

The need for sonographers — those who conduct ultrasounds — has, however, continued to grow, with significant expansion expected in the job market over the next decade.

“Since our program was closed, we have continued to receive numerous requests from employers to re-open the program to help with their shortage of sonographers,” said Roger Cox, chair of PCC’s Radiologic Technology program, in a PCC news release.

A shift to an online format for the sonography program sparked interest from qualified sonographers who are interested in teaching, Cox said. These instructors now will be able to teach while continuing to hold their primary jobs.

According to the release, students will benefit from taking classes online because it will allow them to schedule around other commitments. The only on-site class time will be for labs and clinical internships.

“We have received a great deal of interest from Parkview and St. Mary-Corwin medical centers in providing clinical experience for our students and employing our graduates,” said Cox.

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“We are excited to bring diagnostic medical sonography back to our health profession offerings so we can graduate highly qualified individuals to meet the industry demand,” said Mary Chavez, PCC’s dean of health and public safety, who added, “There are currently six job openings listed between Parkview Medical Center and St. Mary Corwin’s website for openings and 20 openings in Colorado Springs, when looking at employment searches.”

Chavez said the career is in the top five fastest growing in both the state and the U.S. The median wage in 2016 for sonographers was $33.49 hourly; $69,650 annually, according to  the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Students can register now for the program. Classes begin Aug. 21. For information, visit pueblocc.edu/programs/DMS.