Claude W. Smith, MD School of Cardiovascular Technology
2435 Forest Dr, Columbia, SC 29204

Click here to download the application for the Cardiovascular Technology Program which contains the tuition policy and FAQs. Email the completed application to Mary Dougherty at

Cardiovascular Technology Program: Future Generations of Heart Care

School of Cardiovascular Diagnostics
Students screening a local high school quarterback 
for Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy (HCM),
the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes.

The Claude W. Smith, MD School of Cardiovascular Technology trains healthcare professionals to recognize, calculate, interpret, and analyze data, using state-of-the-art equipment for non-invasive echo and vascular diagnostic examinations. Students are prepared through accreditation, didactic instruction and clinical experience for the National Board Exams.

A cardiovascular technologist performs diagnostic tests at the direction of a licensed physician to identify and treat cardiovascular disease.  

Cardiovascular Technology includes two areas of expertise: Invasive and Non-Invasive.

Program participants can expect to learn: 

  • resting transthoracic echocardiography,
  • transesophageal echocardiography,
  • emergency applications of echocardiography,
  • stress echocardiography (exercise and pharmacological),
  • peripheral vascular testing,
  • resting and exercise extremity noninvasive arterial testing,
  • noninvasive cerebrovascular arterial testing,
  • transcranial Doppler,
  • noninvasive extremity venous testing, and
  • abdominal arterial and venous vascular applications.  


In order to apply for the Cardiovascular Technology program, students must complete the listed program-ready courses with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.  We do not accept or recognize credits or course work from any other cardiovascular program toward the requirements of certification.

Required Courses

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II with lab
  • Medical Terminology
  • College Algebra or higher
  • English Composition

Program Student Learning Outcomes:

In keeping with the general purpose and objectives of Providence Health, the following goals for the Claude W Smith, MD School of Cardiovascular Technology have been identified. These are:

Adult Echocardiography and Noninvasive Vascular Study:

  1. Educate the student in Sonography Physical Principals, Adult Echocardiography and Non-Invasive Vascular Sonography and Testing.
  2. Provide ‘Hands-On’ training in busy lab environments with qualified sonographers and preceptors necessary to the development of skills and knowledge required for quality entry-level sonographers entering the field.  Students will have the opportunity to train in the following modalities:  Adult Transthoracic and Transesophageal Echocardiography, Structural heart procedures, emergency applications of Echocardiography, Peripheral Vascular Arterial and Venous Sonography, Physiologic Arterial Testing, and Extracranial Duplex Vascular Sonography. We also provide limited training in specialized testing areas such as Stress Echocardiography, Dialysis Grafts, Transcranial Doppler, Renal and Mesenteric Arterial testing.
  3. To prepare the students for qualifying for and successfully passing national credentialing examinations offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in Adult Echo and Vascular Technology and/or the RVS and RCS credentials offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).  Between 2007 and 2018, 98% of our graduates have earned national credentials.

In addition, we strive to:

To provide a quality learning environment for staff and students. Work closely with the community by providing diagnostic exams to local clinics that serve the needs of the uninsured and underinsured. Provide and/or identify continuing education opportunities for the sonographer. Create opportunities for the health care community to meet their growing needs for high quality trained entry-level CV Sonographers. Between 2007 and 2018 we have a 100% employment rate for graduates that have earned credentials. Instill in the students a professional and ethical attitude.

Cardiovascular Imaging Program Student Learning Outcomes


# of Students
Starting Program

% of Students Graduated

National Credentialing Exam Pass Rate

Grads with jobs in 3 months

2018 16 100% RDCS 92%
RVT 100%
2017 15 93% RDCS 100%
RVT 91%





RDCS 100%
RVT 67%


For more information about the Cardiovascular Technology program at the Providence Health School of CV Diagnostics, contact Dan Chambers or Mary Dougherty.

History of the Program

In January of 1999, Dr. Claude Smith directed a feasibility study that identified the need for a cardiovascular sonography program in the Midlands of South Carolina. A curriculum was approved, and five students comprised the first class that began on July 19. 

Dr. Smith, now retired from his practice as a cardiovascular surgeon, has remained the medical director of the program since its inception. Dan Chambers, the program director since 2007, has over thirty years of experience as a cardiovascular sonographer and instructor.  

The program is also clinically affiliated with the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences. This affiliation provides students an opportunity to obtain an undergraduate degree from USC upon completion of all required curriculum. For more information, please call Nora Dragovic at 803-777-2505.

The Claude W Smith, MD School of Cardiovascular Technology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT).