March 17-18, 2005


ITEM 126-301-R0305                  Authorization to Establish an AAS Degree in Surgical Technology; Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC)


THAT:                                       The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Flathead Valley Community College to establish an AAS Degree in Surgical Technology.


EXPLANATION:                        Flathead Valley Community College seeks approval from the Montana Board of Regents to convert the currently approved Level I Surgical Technology Certificate program to an approved Level II AAS program.  Students take a combination of lecture, lab and clinical courses that prepare them to work as surgical technologists primarily in hospital settings.  Surgical technologists in Montana earn an average annual income of $32,790. Demand for these workers is rising as the population ages and new technologies allow for more and varied surgeries.  The FVCC program has been accredited by the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology allowing FVCC students to take the national certification examination.  The Association of Surgical Technologists states that the associate degree is the preferred academic credential for entry-level surgical technology practitioners.  The increasing responsibilities demand a more broadly-based preparatory curriculum with greater foundation in both medical sciences and liberal arts.