The number of students enrolled in radiologic  science educational programs last year decreased compared to the previous year, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.

Results of the Society’s 2008 Enrollment Snapshot of Radiography, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine Programs showed that first-year enrollments for fall 2008 were at 17,050 for radiography students, demonstrating a decrease of 2.6 percent from 2007.

Enrollment for radiation therapy students dropped 3 percent for radiation therapy programs, with 1,314 students in 2008, and 9.7 percent for nuclear medicine programs, with1,660 students.

Nevertheless, the ASRT reports that the number of educational programs offering courses in each of the three disciplines increased.

 About 9.4 percent of the radiography program directors who responded said they plan to decrease enrollments, while 7.4 percent reported they are going to allow additional students. Nearly 12 percent of radiation therapy program directors plan to decrease enrollments, and 10.2 percent plan to increase; about 10 percent of nuclear medicine program directors said they plan to decrease the number of student enrollments, and 7.8 percent said they will increase enrollment numbers.

 More than 1,000 directors of radiography, radiation therapy and nuclear medicine programs listed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists received the survey by e-mail. A total of 668 participants responded, resulting in a 66 percent return rate.

 "The information found within this survey is a valuable resource for both program directors and institutions," said Myke Kudlas, ASRT’s vice president of education and research. "The fact that we now have eight years worth of data showing national trends will help the radiography community make judicious decisions related to enrollment within their programs."