Surgical Technology Selective Admissions


Surgical Technology Program Information and Information Session

Surgical Technology Fall 2024 Application Criteria

Application Period: February 5, 2024, to March 15, 2024

Thank you for your interest in the Surgical Technology program at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Please read this information thoroughly. We want to make sure you have the best possible chance of being selected by completing all processes and submitting all necessary application documents completely, correctly, and by the deadline. Please email admissions@abtech.edu if you have questions regarding enrolling at A-B Tech or email advising@abtech.edu if you have questions about applying for the Surgical Technology program.

You must be a high school graduate or have an Adult High School or High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma to be eligible to enter the selective allied health programs and have self-certified this requirement on your A-B Tech College application.

The Application Period

A-B Tech will begin accepting applications on February 5, 2024, for the Surgical Technology class that begins in the Fall of 2024. All deadlines and requirements in this document must be met to be eligible to apply.

Please note: Alternates may be accepted after the application deadline of March 15, 2024, if deemed necessary to fill the class. Notification of this will be posted on the Selective and Limited Programs Application Period Information page after the application deadline.

Information Session Requirement

Prior to application to the Surgical Technology program, applicants are required to complete a mandatory information session and follow up with the program chairperson via email. These instructions are covered in the information session that can be found at the top of this webpage.

Anatomy and Physiology Requirement

Successful completion of Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO-168 or acceptable substitute) from a regionally accredited institution with a “C” or higher is required prior to Fall 2024 term start. Course completion of BIO 168 will be verified by the Surgical Technology department prior to full acceptance into the program.

How to Apply

  1. Attend the mandatory Information Session provided by the Surgical Technology department prior to application to the allied health program. Information will be posted on the Surgical Technology Admissions Page approaching the application period.
  2. Complete and submit the standard A-B Tech Application. (This is not an application to a Selective Program. The application to the Associate Degree Nursing program will be done separately after you meet with a Student Advisor and are approved as eligible to apply.)
  3. Applicants must certify on their College application that they are a high school graduate from a valid institution, an adult high school graduate from a valid institution, or have a valid high school equivalency (HSE). High school graduation or the equivalent from a regionally accredited, valid institution is required for Financial Aid purposes. You must have this high school equivalency by the first day of classes for the Fall 2024 term to enter the selective allied health programs.
  4. Applicants must complete New Student Orientation prior to meeting with a Student Advisor to complete the Verification/Selection Form. Waivers may apply.
  5. Eligible applicants must document college readiness in English and Math. Visit Placement Overview for detailed information or contact the Student Advisor to learn about the acceptable options. Documentation of college placement must be completed or on file by March 15, 2024.
  6. Once you meet the minimum requirements to apply to the program, you will be given permission and instructions to schedule the ATI TEAS Exam by the Student Advisor. You must complete this step and the Verification/Selection form by March 15, 2024. You must schedule and take the ATI TEAS Exam by March 26, 2024, to be considered an applicant.

Important Application Information

To be eligible for admission to the Fall 2024 class, all qualified Surgical Technology applicants will be required to take the ATI TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) exam. The ATI TEAS exam may only be completed at a location within the United States of America per ATI guidelines.

The ATI TEAS exam will be paid for by the student at the time of online registration on the ATI website. Information on the ATI TEAS exam and associated costs can be found at ATI Testing. Applicants should NOT schedule the ATI TEAS until after meeting with a Student Advisor and having been approved as eligible to apply.

You may use your TEAS composite score from a previous test session if the score is 5 years old or newer. Students may use scores already on file with the college if they are 5 years old or newer. Individuals may submit a TEAS score in lieu of testing during the application period. It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow up to ensure scores are received.

Applicants may select only one of the following at the time of completion of the Verification/Selection Form:

  1. Testing during the application period at the Testing Center at A-B Tech Asheville Campus on Victoria Road in Asheville, NC.
  2. Testing at an approved testing facility in another location.
  3. Use an existing score already on file at the College provided the score is 5 years old or newer.
  4. Submit only one score report from a testing session that occurred prior to the application period at another testing facility. If multiple test scores are received on a single report (regardless of the reason for or source of the error), the earliest composite score will be used.

Please Note: Test scores will not be accepted, and applicants may not schedule the ATI TEAS exam until after the applicant has completed the Verification/Selection Form with a Student Advisor.

If an applicant does not follow through and take the ATI TEAS exam, they are disqualified from moving forward in the admission process.

Applicants in need of testing accommodations should contact Support Services at supportservices@abtech.edu at least three weeks prior to testing.

Important: Students who submit TEAS exam scores must ensure scores are received by 5:00 p.m. on March 26, 2024. It is the applicant’s responsibility to email the Testing Center at testingcenter@abtech.edu to confirm scores were received prior to the testing deadline of March 26, 2024.

Admissions to the Program Once Minimum Requirements Have Been Met

  1. Applicants will be ranked based on the total points awarded. See the point system in the section below.
  2. Successful completion of Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO-168 or acceptable substitute) with a “C” or higher is required prior to Fall 2024 term start. Course completion of BIO-168 will be verified by the Surgical Technology department prior to full acceptance into the program.
  3. After acceptance into the program, all new students will be placed in the Surgical Technology Debut course in Trailhead. Program debut course details will be provided by the department after acceptance to the program via student email.

Please Note: Failure to participate in and complete program requirements within the debut course may result in the loss of a seat in the class.

How the Point System Works

  1. You will receive points for your ATI TEAS composite score.
  2. You will receive 30 points for the successful completion of an accredited, college credit, allied health program degree (AAS, BA, BS, or Masters) and 20 points for the completion of any accredited, college credit, diploma-level allied health program. Points will be awarded for allied health disciplines on the pre-approved list from the Dean of Allied Health. Accreditation must be granted by an accrediting board recognized by A-B Tech.
  3. You will receive 30 points for Nurse Aid I (NAI) certification. NAI certification must be documented.
  4. You will receive 30 points for CSPD-T (certified sterile processing and distribution technician). Documentation required.
  5. You will receive points for the successful completion of the following college courses (or acceptable substitutes): BIO-168, BIO-169, and BIO-175. A grade of “A”= 30 points, a grade of “B”=15 points, and a grade of “C”= 5 points.
  6. Currently enrolled high school seniors who have successfully completed Health Science I will receive points. A grade of “A”= 30 points, a grade of “B”=15 points, and a grade of “C”= 5 points. An official high school transcript detailing this must be submitted to the Admissions Office by March 15, 2024.

The summation of the points outlined above will be used to rank applicants within the allied health program.


Important: It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all documentation and follow up as necessary to ensure it has been received. All documentation for points outside of the ATI TEAS Exam must be submitted by March 15, 2024. Applicants must take the TEAS exam and/or submit scores by 5:00 p.m. on March 26, 2024.

Notice to Non-U.S. Citizens

A-B Tech welcomes non-citizens with work authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to our Selective Allied Health programs. Clinical site eligibility is determined by the sites and can be impacted by immigration status. Non-citizens should discuss their non-citizenship status with their Selective program advisor as soon as they are accepted so that accommodations can be made for non-citizens.

As stated above, non-citizens who are eligible for the Selective programs may not be eligible for certain clinical sites. Successful completion of clinical rotations is required for program completion. If a student drops the program after being denied clinical site privileges, the college refund policy will apply. Non-citizens are encouraged to contact the appropriate licensing/certifying agency to determine if they are eligible for licensure /certification upon graduation – decisions regarding licensure/certification are solely the responsibility of the licensing/certifying agency.

Questions regarding program admission for non-citizens may be made to advising@abtech.edu.

Other Important Information

Any Allied Health student deemed to have violated the College Student Code of Conduct may not be eligible for application or re-admission to Allied Health programs.

Criminal background checks and drug screenings are required by clinical sites for students entering the selective allied health programs. These screenings will be conducted at the student’s expense by a professional and independent vendor. Failure to achieve acceptable standards for these screenings will result in the denial of clinical privileges. Successful completion of clinicals is required for program completion. The college refund policy applies if a student drops the program after being denied clinical site privileges.

Applicants for Selective Allied Health Programs must demonstrate the ability to meet certain technical standards critical to the successful completion of the program. These standards include skills and abilities essential for such things as the operation of equipment; evaluation and manipulation of patients; evaluation of microscopic components and color reactions; and communication with patients, families, and other medical personnel. For an explanation of specific physical and cognitive requirements for the SUR program, refer to the Program Technical Standards. For further clarification, contact the Surgical Technology Department Chair at (828) 398-7892.

If you are not selected for the Surgical Technology program beginning Fall 2024 and wish to apply for the Fall 2025 class, you must re-apply during the next Selective program application period.

All documents that you submit with your application for the Surgical Technology program must be true, correct, and complete. Falsification of documentation may result in denial of admission or dismissal after admission.

Admission criteria are reviewed each year and are subject to change from year to year.

The class and clinical schedules for the Surgical Technology program are rigorous. Specifically: Classes and labs will meet as early as 8:00 a.m. or end as late as 7:00 p.m. while clinicals may meet as early as 6:00 a.m. Clinical rotations may be outside of Buncombe County based on the type of surgical procedures needed to meet graduation criteria. Clinical rotations are required and may require a student to travel more than one hour from campus.

Please note: To ensure success and financial investment in the program, students are strongly encouraged to complete all general education coursework prior to beginning the program in the fall. See a Student Advisor in the K. Ray Bailey Student Services building for assistance or email advising@abtech.edu.

Asheville Buncombe Surgical Technology Program Readmission & Transfer Policy

Readmission

Students who are not successful may apply for readmission the following academic year. If the application deadline has passed, the student will be placed on the waitlist of incoming students.

All applicants must meet the entrance criteria set forth by the college and Surgical Technology program prior to consideration for readmission. All students must ultimately fulfill college and program graduation requirements.

Students who are unsuccessful in the first semester of the program are eligible for readmission.

Students who are unsuccessful after successfully passing the first semester of the program will choose one of the following options for reentry:

Option 1 (recommended)
  • Start the next academic year as a first-year student.
  • Retake all SUR courses to be eligible to sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) credentialing exam.
Option 2
  • Audit previously passed* didactic courses.
  • Demonstrate clinical competence by passing a clinical practicum (CP) with a grade of 80% (or better) based on practicum evaluation criteria with zero unrecognized contaminations prior to clinical course entry.
  • Take all clinical courses, starting with SUR-123, in a continuous sequence (without interruption) regardless of prior completion status.
  • Take/re-take SUR-137 to be eligible to sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) credentialing exam.
Option 2 is only available to students who meet the following criteria:
  • *Previously completed didactic surgical technology courses must have been passed with a grade of B (or better) within the 2 years prior to the semester that readmission would start.

Applicants for readmission must present documentation of all required immunizations, a recent physical examination (using the required college form), a current BCLS (basic cardiac life support) card, HIPAA and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) training, mandatory hospital education modules, a current background check and drug screen through CastleBranch. Clinical site entry is contingent upon clinical site approval and acceptance.

Transfers

The ability to transfer is dependent upon available space within the program which is directly related to whether or not the subsequent class has already been accepted. Incoming cohorts or classes are accepted each spring.

All applicants must meet the entrance criteria set forth by the college and Surgical Technology program prior to consideration for transfer. All students must ultimately fulfill college and program graduation requirements.

Applicants for transfer will be allowed one attempt per year to apply, schedule, perform, and pass the laboratory identification exam and clinical practicum prior to spring one clinical entry, provided they are within two years of completing their last surgical technology course.

Applicants for transfer must have their transcripts sent to the Admissions Office and have all of their courses evaluated the semester prior to the semester they are attempting to transfer in. Students should schedule an appointment with the Surgical Technology Department Chair after the Admissions Office has evaluated their transcripts. The chair will meet with the student and explain the program transfer requirements to the prospective student.

Applicants for transfer must ensure they have contacted the Surgical Technology program at least three months prior to the semester they are attempting to transfer into so that there is sufficient time to coordinate and schedule the required competency demonstrations around existing student courses and clinical schedules as well as complete clinical site clearance requirements. Current program students take priority.

Applicants for transfer must provide documentation of all required immunizations, a recent health history and physical exam using the provided Allied Health Division form, a current BCLS (basic cardiac life support) documentation, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) training through CastleBranch. A current background check and drug screen will also be required through CastleBranch when prompted by the program of study. Clinical site entry is contingent upon clinical site approval and acceptance. All clinical sites have mandatory education modules to complete.

Students who transfer must do the following to enter and ultimately graduate from this program:

  • Have passed any didactic co-requisite or pre-requisite surgical technology courses with a grade of B or better within the past two years.
  • Demonstrate clinical competence by passing a videotaped clinical practicum with a grade of 80% based on practicum evaluation criteria with zero unrecognized contaminations prior to clinical course entry.
  • Take all clinical courses, starting with SUR-123 in a continuous sequence (without interruption) regardless of prior completion status to ensure case log currency.
  • Take/re-take SUR-137 the terminal semester to be eligible to sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting credentialing exam.

*Transfer credit will not be awarded for surgical technology courses completed in a non-CAAHEP (Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) accredited program.

Any Allied Health student deemed to have violated the College Student Code of Conduct may not be eligible for re-admission or application to Allied Health programs.

We appreciate your interest in A-B Tech and the Surgical Technology program.

 

Student Preparation and Testing Resources Available

College Placement

Test resources are available from:

SAT or ACT study guides, which are available at various libraries and bookstores, are also good resources for testing preparation.

ATI TEAS

Test resources and online registration and payment are available at the following website:

Study guides are available for review in the Locke Library, A-B Tech Madison, and the Goodwill Workforce Training Center. Study guides may also be purchased online from the test vendor ATI at the online store link or the A-B Tech Bookstore. Online practice assessments are also available on the vendor's website.

TEAS prep courses can be taken at A-B Tech through Continuing Education. For available courses, visit Continuing Education Online Registration.

Additional Preparation Resources

  • March2Success provides free personal assessments and preparation tools for the college placement test and the ATI TEAS exam.

For career assessments and exploration, visit Focus 2. Email careerservices@abtech.edu or call (828) 398-7581 for an individual appointment.

Updated February 9, 2024