Health Science Archives - Southwestern Illinois College

SWIC to offer Sonography program starting fall 2022

You could be part of the challenging and well-paying field of Medical Diagnostic Sonography with only one year of training from Southwestern Illinois College.

Medical Diagnostic Sonography was named the top Healthcare Support Job, on U.S. News & World Report list of Best Jobs for 2022.

To help meet job market demands, Southwestern Illinois College is offering a three-semester, 42 credit hour, certification program in Sonography starting in the Fall 2022 Semester.

“The ultrasound career field is in such high demand with competitive pay in multiple healthcare settings,” said SWIC Diagnostic Medical Sonography Coordinator Jacqueline Owens. “There is so much more than meets the eye and being a sonographer allows you to see what’s happening with your patients up close and in real-time.”

Sonographers are trained professionals who specialize in operating non-invasive, ultrasonic imaging equipment. Such devices are used to produce diagnostic images, scans, and videos to assist healthcare professionals in making an accurate diagnosis.

SWIC’s Sonography program will provide foundational knowledge on the skills necessary to become a successful, registered sonographer. Not only does the program include classroom education, but laboratory, simulation, and clinical experience in a sonography setting as well.

The hands-on training allows students to have access to the latest equipment and technologies available within the field.

If you have already earned an Associate in Applied Science in a related healthcare field, such as Nursing Education or Radiologic Technology, you could qualify to enter this program.

Sonographers work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and outpatient imaging centers. The field is expected to grow 12 percent by year 2029. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary range within the St. Louis area for a sonographer is $47,629 – $111,134.

Registration is under way for the fall semester. Classes start Monday, Aug. 22. For additional information about this program, visit; or contact SWIC’s Coordinator of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Jacqueline Owens, at

SWIC offers Respiratory Care degree – profession ranked 16th in the nation

Southwestern Illinois College Respiratory Care Program Coordinator Diane Dodd could have told you what a great profession Respiratory Care is even before U.S. News and World Report named it the 6th Best Health Care Job and the 16th Best Job in the country for 2022.

“Respiratory Therapists are essential frontline workers who help patients with a variety of respiratory and cardiac issues get better and get back to their healthy lifestyle,” Dodd said. “They play a vital role in hospitals and patient care.”

The magazine ranked the profession high on its list based on the combination of factors such as salary, job market, job satisfaction and stress level.

SWIC offers a two-year, 71-semester-credit Associate in Applied Science degree in Respiratory Care. The program prepares students for entry-level practitioner positions in the profession. Respiratory therapists have a high level of patient contact.

RTs, under the supervision of a physician, see patients of all ages to assist in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of pulmonary problems. The practice of respiratory care entails: monitoring, evaluating and reporting patients’ cardiopulmonary status, providing treatments and ventilatory support to keep the airway open. In addition, RT’s perform sleep studies, metabolic studies, patient, community and family education, home care, discharge planning and follow up, as well as pulmonary rehabilitation.

Applications for the SWIC program are accepted Sept. 1 through May 1 for the following fall semester.

Averaged over a three-year period, 98 percent of SWIC graduates passed the national certification examination required for licensure.

SWIC graduate survey results, also averaged over a three-year period, indicate 94.7 percent of graduates are employed in the profession within 12 months after completing the program.

“RTs are in high demand,” Dodd said. “There is a nationwide shortage and hospitals are looking for new graduates.”

According to the U.S. News and World Report article, the profession is expected to grow by 23 percent between 2020 and 2030, with an estimated 31,100 jobs opening in that time.

In addition, the median salary for Respiratory Therapists in the nation was $62,810 in 2020.

“The program is very hands on,” Dodd said. “Our students work in clinical facilities as part of their education and most students receive multiple job offers from their clinical sites before they even graduate.” 

For more information about the SWIC Respiratory Care program, visit or contact Dodd at 618-235-2700, ext. 5907 or

SWIC recently graduated largest Police Academy class with Session 145

The Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy recently celebrated the graduation of Session 145. The SWIC Police Academy is an intensive academic and physical training program designed to prepare recruits to enter a career in law enforcement. It is one of only seven police academies in Illinois.

Graduates in alphabetical order include:

  • Benjamin M. Abney of the Johnston City Police Department
  • Sarah A. Alvarez of the Fairview Heights Police Department
  • Joshua T. Anderson of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Johnathan W. Ashlock of the Sandoval Police Department, winner of the Jeremy Chambers Top Gun Firearms Award
  • Allen J. Averbeck of the Alton Police Department
  • Blake M. Bachmann of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, winner of the Academic Award
  • Justin D. Benton of the Edwardsville Police Department
  • Paul M. Blankley of the Granite City Police Department
  • Andrew C. Bode of the Edwardsville Police Department
  • Marshal T. Brooks of the SWIC Public Safety Department
  • Tyler E. Bucco of the Creve Coeur Police Department
  • Aleksandr M. Budnik of the Hebron Police Department
  • Chase J. Burk of the Winchester Police Department
  • Brandon L. Burkett of the Flora Police Department
  • James N. Capeheart of the Shawneetown Police Department, class president and winner of the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association Most Outstanding Officer Award.
  • Christian M. Cepeda of the Metropolis Police Department
  • Corey R. Cline of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, winner of the Defense Tactics Award
  • Tyler R. Coffey of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office
  • Allen J. Cooley of the Chenoa Police Department
  • Allie E. Cooper of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Police Department
  • Caren L. Cyvas of the McKendree Public Safety Department
  • Joshua L. DeHeve of the University of Illinois Springfield Police Department
  • Jordan A. Felax of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Mark S. Fenske III of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kelly M. Fischer of the Edwardsville Police Department
  • Zachary D. Fitzgerald of the Mount Vernon Police Department
  • Jake R. Freeman of the Greenville Police Department
  • Trenton S. Gonzalez of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office
  • Chase E. Harrison of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kaylan M. Hendrickson of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, winner of the Most Improved Over All in Physical Fitness Award
  • Jordan E. Hernandez of the Sesser Police Department
  • Leonardo M. Hernandez of the Nokomis Police Department, winner of the Best Over All in Physical Fitness Award
  • Evan M. Hillier of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office
  • Joseph M. Howell of the Venice Police Department
  • Joshua M. Hyman of the Collinsville Police Department
  • Samuel A. Jackson of the Coles County Sheriff’s Office
  • Dylan D. Jeffords of the West Frankfort Police Department
  • Anthony R. Jellison of the North Pekin Police Department
  • Jay L. Joiner of the Metropolis Police Department
  • Taylor G. Kalous of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police Department
  • Kurtis L. Kimbro of the SWIC Public Safety Department
  • Taylor L. Kirchhofer of the Waverly Police Department
  • Matthew W. Long of the Carmi Police Department
  • Ryan M. Lutes of the Spring Valley Police Department
  • Anthony E. Matthews of the Alton Police Department
  • Adam T. Miller of the Alton Police Department
  • James L. Minton Jr. of the Washington Police Department
  • Austin L. Mulkey of the Albion Police Department
  • Logan T. Murray of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office
  • Tyler D. Norris of the Mount Vernon Police Department
  • Chralene A. O’Dell of the SWIC Public Safety Department
  • Remington G. Paris of the Mount Vernon Police Department
  • Christopher A. Parks of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Hunter S. Parks of the South Jacksonville Police Department
  • Brennan C. Poland of the Effingham Police Department
  • Gavin D. Prater of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Dreyton Z. Ruholl of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office
  • Isaac J. Smith of the Vandalia Police Department
  • Bobby L. Smith Jr. of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Blake M. Starkweather of the Herrin Police Department 
  • Jason J. Stimeling of the North Pekin Police Department
  • Lucas J. Tobin of the Carbondale Police Department
  • Corey A. Waide of the McLeansboro Police Department
  • Mack W. Waldman of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Donald W. Watkins Jr. of the Grayville Police Department
  • Taylor D. White of the Tuscola Police Department
  • Joshua R. Whitecotton of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Thomas M. Wicker of the White County Sheriff’s Office

Fire Science program receives equipment donation

Thanks to O’Fallon Fire Department and Chief Brad White, the Southwestern Illinois College Clay Baitman Fire Science Training Center received a donation of Amkus and Phoenix Vehicle Extrication Tools. These tools will be used to train firefighters across the program in various specialties. The SWIC Fire Science training program includes a two-year, 66-semester-credit Associate in Applied Science degree with Fire Protection Administration and Fire-Rescue Specialist options. Eleven certificates, ranging from Vehicle Rescue Operations to Hazardous Materials First Responder, help firefighters develop specific skills. The Clay Baitman Fire Science Training Center, located on Freeburg Avenue in Belleville, is used for hands-on training designed to meet various national fire service training standards. For more information, visit

SWIC Receives $1.2 Million Workforce Equity Grant for 2021

A $1.2 million Workforce Equity Initiative Grant from the Illinois Community College Board will enable Southwestern Illinois College to continue offering its one-year career training programs in East St. Louis.

“We’re able to continue the incredible work we’ve been doing at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus,” said SWIC Executive Director of Enrollment Development Bob Tebbe. “We look forward to expanding career pathway programs and helping students achieve their educational and career goals.”

SWIC received a $1.4 million WEI grant in 2020 to develop employment training programs to assist minorities in underserved communities. Those programs include certificates in Welding, Nurse Assistant, Food Service, Forklift Training, and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. This year, 274 students completed certificate programs at ESLHEC.

Additional certificate programs for 2021 include Phlebotomy, Practical Nursing, and Help Desk.

“The goal is to provide underserved residents of the East St. Louis area with vital job skills so they can earn a prevailing wage,” Tebbe said.

The 2020 grant also allowed SWIC to purchase a food truck to teach a food service class and a mobile technical education trailer to teach precision machining in that community.

To help students start their new careers, SWIC has earmarked funds from the 2021 grant to provide a stipend to students who complete a certificate program and secure employment.

“Southwestern Illinois College is developing relationships with community programs and businesses to create a pathway for students once they complete the program to enter into employment,” said Programs Outreach Coordinator/ESLHEC Site Administrator Gary Cruise. “We are excited to receive the $1.2 million training grant and looking forward to SWIC being a part of changing lives.”

The award to SWIC is part of an $18.7 million ICCB grant to 17 community colleges throughout the state that serve larger African American and other minority populations.

While the first year of the initiative was impacted by the current health crisis, demand remained high with 1,840 Illinoisans enrolling in WEI programs in the spring of 2020.

With the support of Illinois’ Legislative Black Caucus and House Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth, funding from the WEI allows participating colleges to develop or enhance training and career pathway programs in primarily five high demand employment sectors – health care, manufacturing and construction, transportation, information technology, and emergency services.

For the full WEI report visit:

To find out how you can sign up for one of the WEI career training programs, contact Cruise at 618-874-6595 or

Emily Dawn Arbogast

Congratulations Emily Dawn Arbogast!

Belleville, IL

Emily Dawn Arbogast

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Medical Laboratory Technology

Marc Safford

Congratulations Marc Safford!

Belleville, IL

Marc Safford

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

Ashley Watts

Congratulations Ashley Watts!

Belleville, IL

Ashley Watts

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

Randi M Robbins

Congratulations Randi M Robbins!

Belleville, IL

Randi M Robbins

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Physical Therapist Assistant

Danielle S Mattea

Congratulations Danielle S Mattea!

Graduate statement:

To the SWIC PTA Class of 2020, We’ve been through the high of highs and lows of lows these last two years. There’s not a different group I would have rather spent it with. Not having a graduation does not take away from the fact that we accomplished something truly remarkable. We are going to make amazing clinicians! Proud of myself, proud of you, proud of us. Love always, Your Class President” – Mattea

Belleville, IL

Danielle S Mattea

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Physical Therapist Assistant


Physical Therapist Assistant Program- Leadership, Advocacy, and Perseverance Award, 2019-2020

Nominated By: Kim Snyder, PTA Program Coordinator

Danielle S Mattea

Health Sciences & Homeland Security