An individual who does not have a criminal record will not be concerned about this part of the process, but for those people who have got something in their past that they are not proud of, it can mean the difference between being accepted to a program and having to choose a different career.
To find out what the requirements are for a specific school, start by checking out its web site. Most educational institutions have some type of online presence, and the requirements for admission to the program should be clearly provided on the site. In the case of a person who has a record, more information will be needed before applying to the program.
The best way to find out whether an individual’s past will bar him or her from admission is to contact the school directly. Calling or sending an e-mail to the admissions department is the best choice. When making contact with the school, be prepared to provide details of the charge, how long ago it occurred and what the ultimate result was. The admissions office will be able to advise whether the individual is still eligible to apply for admission or not.
Being allowed to apply for an educational program is not the same as being qualified to write a licensing exam after graduation. Before enrolling in a degree program, it makes sense to check with ARDMS (the organization that administers the exams) to find out whether a particular criminal history means that an individual cannot write the exam. Most employers are looking to hire ultrasound technicians who have this professional designation, and completing a program without being able to move onto this step may mean not being able to find work after graduation.
ARDMS offers a service where a person interested in taking the exam who has a record can pay a non-refundable fee ($125 as of March 2011) for a pre-application review. The purpose of the review is to determine what impact, if any, a prior criminal history will have on the person’s eligibility to write the licensing exam.