For students considering a career in radiation therapy, Illinois has a variety of accredited schools and colleges offering different types of degrees and training. These provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain gainful employment in hospitals, oncology centers or medical diagnostic institutions. Radiation therapy can be part of a treatment plan, along with chemotherapy or surgery, for patients suffering from a wide variety of illnesses including cancer. Radiation therapy is an area of specialization in Radiologic Technology which also includes Computed Tomography, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Quality Management, Bone Densitometry, Mammography, Sonography and Vascular Sonography.
A radiation therapist must obtain a license under the Radiation Protection Act, which applies to any person administering ionizing radiation therapy. Governed by IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency), there is six different categories of medical radiation therapy and technology and the Agency issues accreditation for all of these different categories for a 2 year period.
To receive accreditation, the candidate must pass an examination from an accepted professional institution. As well as obtaining correct qualifications in the selected medical field, becoming certified by the ARRT (American Registry of Radiological Technologist) can be influential in boosting employment potential. This organization offers credentials in Radiation Therapy and Radiological Technology as well as 4 other types of medical technology.
At the time of writing, there are 11 different colleges or universities in the state of Illinois offering accredited courses for radiation therapy or radiological technology. The state requires that all students sit a licensure exam. License applications can be applied for online from www.pdfiller.com/. After submitting the application, select a testing center, and schedule an appointment with a 90-day window. On the day of the exam, 2 kinds of ID are required for entry into the testing center. The primary ID must be a driver’s license, state ID card or a passport. A secondary ID can be an employee ID or badge, school ID, credit card or government issued ID. All forms of ID must have a pre-printed name and a signature.
TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR RADIATION THERAPY INCLUDE:
• Less than 1-year certificate or diploma.
• At least 1 year but less than 2 years diploma.
• 4-year bachelor’s degree.
Radiation Schools in Illinois
Founded in 1955 as Mt. Vernon Community College, its objective was to allow students the opportunity to obtain a post-secondary accredited education in the fields of 17 different sciences similar to those provided by a university curriculum. As well as its second learning center in Pinckneyville, the college holds non-credit classes at another location in Mt. Vernon. For radiation therapy, RLC offers a less than1 year certificate program. This college has a 4.5-star rating from students and is accredited by the HLC (Higher Learning Commission).
Address: 468 North Ken Gray Parkway| Ina, Illinois 62846
Phone: (618) 437-5321
DuPage offers an extensive range of programs in diagnostic medical imaging. They provide two programs, one for less than 1 year and another for 1 year but less than 2 years. There is also a Radiation Therapy Technology program, a 1-year advanced certificate course for graduates of an accredited Radiography or Nuclear Medicine program. The Radiation Therapy program is included in the National Radiation Therapy curriculum approved by the ASRT (American Society of Radiologic Technologists). The syllabus includes all capabilities to undertake the ARRT examination. Since the establishment of this community college in 1967, the College of DuPage has evolved from its few, original buildings into being the largest community college in the state of Illinois and one of the nation’s finest, now having additional centers in Naperville, Addison, Carol Stream and Westmont.
Address: 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Phone: (630) 942-2800
The Grayslake campus opened in 1969 is the largest of its 3 campuses, the other two being Lakeshore, which opened in Waukegan in 1981, followed by Southlake Education Center located in Vernon Hills. In March 2017, CLC was re-accredited by the HLC (Higher Learning Commission) for a further 8 years. The HLC monitors colleges and universities in each county for their commitment to maintain quality higher education.
The Grayslake campus offers the best selection of medical health programs including radiation therapy. They offer a 1-year certificate program and a 2-year associate’s degree. In addition, there is an advanced certificate available for students already registered in radiography or radiation therapy. To embark on this certificated course, students must continue to maintain their registration in radiology. The Medical Imaging Program is nationally accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
Address: 19351 W. Washington St. Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: (847) 543-2000
Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) is usually referred to as SIU and is the fourth oldest of the state’s 12 universities now having 8 colleges and 3 schools. The main campus is in Carbondale with others in Edwardsville and East St Louis.
Situated next to national and state parks, SIU Carbondale attracts students from all over the U.S. and also many other countries for its high ranking in news reports and it allocates $10 million in grants and scholarships each year. Many activities exist in abundance at the Student Recreation Center from concerts to speakers. This ‘bicycle-friendly’ campus is in the top 5 percent of U.S. higher educational institutes for research and was listed in Forbes’ 2015 magazine under one of “America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities”, receiving recognition for its excellence in educational commitment. The Radiation Therapy program at SIU is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
Address: 1263 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: (618) 453-2121
Many students are uncertain about pursuing a career in radiation therapy. All the above colleges and universities, including 7 others in the state of Illinois, offer programs in radiological technology, which can be a good career choice before advancing to a program in radiation therapy. Radiological technology certificate programs include one for less than 1 year, a 2-year associate’s degree, and a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Listed below are the 7 accredited schools and colleges providing these.
Oakton Community College
Address: 100 Golf Road. Des Plaines, IL 60016
Phone: (847) 635-1600
The University of St. Francis
500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, IL 60435
Phone: (800) 735-7500
Blessing Hospital School of Radiological Technology
Address: P.O. Box 7005, Quincy, IL 62305-7500
Phone: (217) 223-1200
Address: 27210 College Road, Centralia, IL 62801
Phone: (618) 545-3000
Address: 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: (312) 341-3500
North Central College
Address: 30 North Brainard St. Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 637-5100
Training programs for radiological technology studies include:
- Less than 1-year certificate or diploma.
- 2-year associate’s degree.
- At least 2 years but less than 4 years degree.
- 4-year bachelors or master’s degree. (This is required for supervisory or
Both types of radiological programs involve working with human beings. Diagnostic procedures for patients are performed by a trained and licensed Radiology Technologist. Radiation therapy is for patients suffering from a disease or cancer. When performing this treatment, kindness, and compassion is almost mandatory, as the patient can be under stress and nervous about the procedure and requires reassurance and support.