Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility/Program Requirements

Q: How do I get started in the surgical technology program?

A: First, make application to the college; this can be done on-line, by phone, or in person. Then see a counselor on Central Campus in the Central High Building, room #212. The counselor will arrange for you to take the TEAS test, and any other placement tests. You can contact the counseling department at 704.330.6433 to inquire about the hours they are available to see students. Additionally, complete the program application for Surgical Technology. Applications can be found online and in Belk 1st Floor.

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Q: When can I apply to the surgical technology program?

A: Applications are accepted at any time, however new students begin in August and January.  Students are admitted to the program twice a year for the fall and spring semester. Refer to application packet for current deadline dates

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Q: How competitive is admission?

A: This program is very competitive and we receive many qualified applicants every year. We only admit 16 students with 3 alternates each fall and spring.

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Q: What is the purpose of the TEAS and the placement tests?

A: Many of our students have been out of school for a number of years, the placement tests help evaluate a student’s readiness to successfully complete college level coursework.  Scores from the TEAS are used to determine admission to the Surgical Technology program.

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Q: How do I take the TEAS test?

A: The TEAS is offered at the Testing Center.  Instructions on how to schedule a TEAS exam can be found at the Testing Center website. The fee will need to be paid to the cashier’s office in the Central High building.  As of August 31, 2016, the TEAS V test will be replaced with the ATI TEAS test. Either version of the test is acceptable for admission to the Surgical Technology program.

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Q: What scores do I need on the TEAS?

A: There isn't currently a minimum score; however, the higher your score, the more likely you are to be accepted into the program.

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Q: Are there other specific requirements once I’m accepted into the surgical technology program?

A: Yes, we require that all students have a current CPR with AED certification before they can enter the hospitals. Also, we require certain immunizations and a physical assessment, and proof of health/medical insurance. All of our clinical facilities require a state and national criminal background investigation and drug screen of all students before they can be allowed into the clinical areas.

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Q: Are there any special policies for international students?

A: For international students and questions concerning the TOEFL, please refer to the CPCC Catalog.

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Q: What if I already have a college degree or have earned college credit?

A: Even if you have previously earned a college degree or completed college-level credits, you will need to visit the counseling department. Additionally, you should have your transcripts from your previous school mailed to CPCC’s student record department. Once your transcripts have been received in the records department, you can complete a transcript evaluation form to have your transcript evaluated for transfer of credit. For example, if you previously took an English course that is equivalent to the English requirement for the surgical technology degree, these credits will be transferred onto your CPCC transcript and you will not need to repeat that course. You also must have your high school transcript on file with the college to be considered for the surgical technology program.

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Q: How and when will I find out if I have been admitted to the program?

A: All applicants will receive a letter of notification indicating the status of their application.  All admitted students must attend a mandatory orientation session in December for spring start and May for fall start.

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Q: Is there a waiting list?

A: There is no waiting list.  Entry is based on a ranking of admission tests.  Those students with the highest points will be admitted to the program.  Students not admitted must reapply.

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Program Overview

Q: How much will it cost to complete the surgical technology program?

A: More information can be found on the Program Costs & Scholarships page.

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Q: Are there courses I can take while I am waiting to be admitted to the program?

A: Yes, any general education course that is in the surgical technology curriculum. These can be found in the admission packet or the college catalog.  It is suggested that students considering applying take Anatomy BIO163 while waiting to apply to the program.

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Q: How do I learn about financial aid opportunities?

A: Visit the financial aid office located in the Central High Building.

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Q: Do I need to complete all the general education requirements before I can be admitted to the program?

A: No. Many students do complete some or all the general education courses prior to starting the surgical technology coursework because it lightens their course load when they are taking the surgical technology courses which are very intensive.  Suggested courses are BIO 163, BIO 175, and MED 121.

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Q: Can I take courses on any CPCC campus?

A: You can complete general education courses on any campus. However, surgical technology program courses (SUR) are taught on Central campus. Hospital clinical experiences are done at facilities throughout Charlotte, Matthews, Huntersville and many private surgical centers.

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Q: Can I complete the program on a part-time basis?

A: Completion of the general education courses can be done part-time, but once you begin surgical technology (SUR) courses you have 2 years to finish.

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Q: Does the surgical technology program have surgical technology classes in the summer?

A: Yes, the surgical technology program is five semesters long, and it takes five semesters (two academic years) to complete the program.

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Q: What are the requirements for criminal background checks and drug screenings for students in the program?

A: Criminal Background Check and Drug screen: All accepted students are required to undergo a criminal background check and drug screen. Procedural information concerning these requirements will be provided upon acceptance.

  • Note: Criminal background checks (CBCs) and drug screens are required by clinical agencies/healthcare systems. If a student is refused access to clinical experiences because of a positive CBC or drug screen, the student will be unable to complete the clinical component of the course. Inability to complete the clinical requirements will result in a failure to progress in the program.

Under North Carolina law some people with criminal backgrounds may be eligible for an expunction to remove charges or convictions from their record. If you would like to know whether or not you are eligible, contact Single Stop at 704.330.2722 ext.: 6435 or email singlestop@cpcc.edu to schedule a legal consultation. To learn more about expunctions, explore the NC Justice Center’s guide.

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Q: What if I have more questions?

A: Contact the Program Chair per the information listed on the Contact Us page.

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