Deena Sarno’s interest in health care started with a conversation with her parents.
“My dad was talking about a sonography conference he worked and how interesting it was,” she said. “After talking with him, I started looking into diagnostic imaging and the programs offered at College of DuPage. Once I started examining these programs, I decided that Radiography was what most interested me. I took the ‘Intro to Radiography’ class and that helped prove I made the right decision.”
Sarno initially didn’t attend College of DuPage, instead completing her first year at a local university.
“When I realized all the health and science programs COD had to offer and at an affordable price, I transferred and began classes that summer,” she said. “College of DuPage and the Radiography faculty provided an amazing program that challenged me but prepared me for my career in radiology. Through the program, I was assigned a local hospital for clinicals for two years. After graduating, I was hired at a local hospital and still work there today.”
But Sarno didn’t stop with her Associate in Applied Science degree. When she discovered that COD had a 3+1 program with Concordia University for a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management, it was an easy decision to make. Through the 3+1 program, students take their third year of study through College of DuPage, while the fourth year is offered by the partner institution on COD’s campus at a reduced tuition rate.
“The 3+1 program was a great opportunity,” she said. “Classes were offered at night after work in five-week increments so that I could take one class at a time but still complete multiple classes a semester. A lot of the people in my program work full time like I do, so focusing on one class at a time is a huge benefit. This program taught me a lot about the health care field and gave me insight into aspects of health care beyond the patient care setting I am used to. The faculty keeps the material relevant and current, which is another added benefit.”
Right now, Sarno’s goal is to get as much experience as possible in the health care field, using what she learned at both College of DuPage and Concordia to do so. She currently works for the American Lung Association and ultimately would like to combine her love of health care with children and work at a children’s hospital.
Her advice for students considering College of DuPage is to just go for it.
“I wish as a senior in high school I would have decided to go right to COD instead of spending a year at another university, taking classes I didn’t necessarily need for my degrees,” she said. “COD has offered me two amazing programs that I am very grateful for.”