For years, Miami Dade College sent its ultrasound students to Jackson Memorial Hospital for their hands-on training. Then in 2010, without explanation, Jackson told the publicly supported college that its students would no longer be accepted for training.
It turns out that a private for-profit school, Dade Medical College, had offered the public hospital system $7,500 for each ultrasound student training spot, the Miami Herald reports. So far, the fast-growing college has paid out more than $330,000 to the hospital.
MDC, a state-funded community college operating on a tight budget, could not compete; it charges students about $8,500 for a two-year ultrasound degree, compared to Dade Medical’s $47,000.
The ultrasound training is an example of a problem that has grown in Florida, with private for-profit schools paying to take training slots that used to belong to public school students. Laws passed by the Florida Legislature in 2009 and 2010 may have made the situation worse, at least in nursing. But now that many of the newer private schools are on academic probation, the Legislature may be having second thoughts.