Surgical Technology

Associate of Science in Surgical Technology

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Earn your associate degree in surgical technology, and work to build the skills to help care for patients, prepare for surgery, keep areas sterile, and assist surgeons during surgical procedures.


Surgical technologists are vital to surgeons, serving as an essential part of the surgical team and helping to save lives. In our Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program, you’ll receive hands-on training and education for this key role. You’ll study pharmaceutical drugs, surgical procedures, and clinical care, including how to position, prep, and drape a patient. You’ll discuss sterilization procedures, the importance of keeping surgical areas sterile, and the role of microorganisms in the environment. In addition to time in the classroom and our Surgical Technology lab, you’ll gain practical clinical experience in operating rooms at various hospitals and out-patient surgery centers. When you graduate, you’ll have worked to develop an understanding of what to expect in the operating room and be ready to perform vital tasks before, during, and after surgery.

Develop Essential Skills In
  • Surgical patient care
  • Decontamination and sterile processing
  • Surgery preparation and support
  • Pharmaceutical drug use and effects
  • Instrumentation and supply handling
See All Surgical Technology Programs

South College Surgical Technology

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Tuition and Fees

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Examples of Scholarships and Grants That May Be Available (Check with Your Campus Financial Aid Office For More Information)

21st Century Scholarship

Available to Indiana students who are recent high school graduates which is designed to provide two years of tuition-free attendance to an approved school.

Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program

South College is an approved educational institution for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program establishes lottery-funded scholarships to reward Florida high school graduates for high academic achievement.

South College Promise

This Grant is offered to provide assistance for recent high school graduates in order to help keep student loan debt to a minimum. Qualifications are required.

TN Promise

South College is proud to offer the TNP Scholarship for those that qualify helping to offset the first 2 years of tuition with required Community Service hours.

TN Reconnect

South College is pleased to participate in this Grant which is available to students who qualify who have not previously earned an associate degree or more advanced degree and are enrolled in an eligible program of study.

Yellow Ribbon

South College proudly participates in this program with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help pay for education for military members and Veterans.

Concentrations in this Program

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You May Enjoy This Line of Study If You…

  • Enjoy being a key member of the team and part of a high-performance group
  • Thrive on being “in the middle of” what’s going on
  • Are fascinated by surgery and the complexity of the human body
  • Do your best work under pressure, fast-paced and rapidly changing environments where accuracy and timing is crucial
  • Act professionally and ethically in all settings


The goal of the South College Surgical Technology program is to prepare competent entry-level surgical technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Graduates of this program of study will:
  1. Demonstrate competency in the background information, content, and skills required for performance as a surgical technologist in the operating room.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively with all members of the health care team in terms of staff and patient needs.
  3. Exhibit conduct that reflects practice standards that are legal, ethical, and safe.

Additional Information

Professional Certification Acknowledgement

Currently there are no requirements for state licensure for Surgical Technologists. Professional certification is required to practice as a Surgical Technologist. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting currently sets certain eligibility criteria to take the surgical tech certification exam. Graduates of an accredited program in surgical technology or surgical first assisting programs can take the exam with a notarized letter from their program director stating their graduation date, with a copy of their transcript.

The Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program offered at the Asheville, Knoxville, and Pittsburgh campuses is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( (9355 – 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775, 727-210-2350), based upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA).

The application and self-study for the Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program offered at the Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Orlando campuses to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (9355 – 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775, 727-210-2350) has been submitted and a site visit scheduled for pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. This step in the process is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted. Accreditation must be awarded to the program prior to graduates being able to attempt the required certification examination to practice as a Surgical Technologist.

State Law Overview

The following states have passed law related to the education and certification of surgical technologists. This includes graduation from a CAAHEP-accredited surgical technology program, obtain the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST®) credential from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), and maintain the CST® credential by completing mandatory continuing education (CE) hours.

NOTE: When a state passes this law, nothing in the law prevents an employer from requiring all of its surgical technologist employees (not just new-hires) to meet the full requirements of the law regardless of whether the employee fits into the “grandfathered” or “military” exceptions.

Indiana (2009)
Massachusetts (2012)
Nevada (2017)
New Jersey (2011)
New York (2015)
Oregon (2016)
Pennsylvania (2020)
South Carolina (2018)
Tennessee (2013)
Texas (2009)
Idaho (1991) – Idaho has an administrative rule requiring that surgical technologists (referred to as “operating room technicians” in the rule) either complete a CAAHEP-accredited program OR satisfy the NBSTSA requirements for CST/certification.
The following states require surgical technologists to register in order to work in the state:

  • Colorado (2016) (CST not required for registration)
  • North Dakota (2011) (“Unlicensed Assistive Person” registry; CST not required for registration)
  • Washington (2010) (CST not required for registration)

The following states offer optional registration/title protection for surgical technologists:

  • Arkansas (2017) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
  • Illinois (2004) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
  • Virginia (2014) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
CST Exam Pass Rate
CampusGraduating ClassRetention RatePlacement Rate(must be CST to work in TN)CST Exam Pass Rate
KnoxvilleSeptember 202186% (6/7)43% (3/7)100% (3/3)
 March 202271% (5/7)80% (4/5)80% (4/5)
 September 202280% (8/10)100% (8/8)100% (8/8)
 March 202375% (6/8)67% (4/6)17% (1/6)
 September 202370% (7/10)86% (6/7)67% (4/6)
 March 2024 76% (13/17) 92% (12/13)  92% (12/13)
Admission Requirements
Students applying to this program must:
  1. Be generally admitted to South College;
  2. Meet specific health and/or essential functions pertinent to the responsibilities performed by the Surgical Technologist;
  3. Successfully complete STE 1000 Introduction to Surgical Technology, STE 1100 Patient Care Concepts I, and STE 1101 Patient Care Concepts I Lab courses;
  4. Students will be required to consent to a drug screening and background check prior to beginning clinical rotations. Failure to pass the screenings will result in non-admission;
  5. Clinical sites are dispersed; assigned sites may exceed 75 miles from South College. It is the responsibility of the student to allow for the proper travel time to ensure prompt arrival at the clinical facility.
Students will be accepted on a conditional basis until all admission requirements are met. Readmission is subject to completing all the specified admission requirements. Cohort sizes are campus-specific and based on clinical rotation slots.


Beginning in the year 2000, only graduates of a surgical technology program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) may take the certification exam. Beginning in July 2006, surgical technologists practicing in the state of Tennessee must be certified or a graduate of a CAAHEP-accredited program. This accreditation is provided in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).


Asheville, Knoxville, and Pittsburgh

The Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program offered at the Asheville, Knoxville, and Pittsburgh campuses is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (, 9355 – 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775, 727-210-2350, upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (AR/STSA).


Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Orlando 

The Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program offered at the Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Orlando campuses have a site visit scheduled for pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( This step in the process is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

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