Dec. 10, 2018


operating room showing surgical technologists and physicians


City College and Great Falls College MSU partner to offer Surgical Technology in Billings



University Communications and Marketing, 657-2266


MSU Billings News—Students at City College at MSU Billings now have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Surgical Technology from Great Falls College MSU while remaining in Billings.


The partnership between City College and Great Falls College provides students the opportunity to pursue a highly-skilled and rewarding career in an operating room. Great Falls College MSU has offered the Surgical Technology program since 2001 and has a successful track record of educating and training students for careers in the field.


“We have had a lot of success with the Surgical Technology program at Great Falls College MSU. By expanding this program to Billings, our colleges are able to help meet the demand of the industry,” said Dr. Heidi Pasek, Chief Academic Officer at Great Falls College MSU.


Surgical technologists, sometimes referred to as scrub nurses or operating room techs, are an integral part of the operating room team where they assist the physician during surgery by preparing and handling instruments, equipment, supplies and medications. Surg Techs play a critical role in patient safety and care.


A critical component in offering the Surgical Technology program was ensuring students would have a location to complete clinical rotations.  Both St. Vincent Healthcare and Billings Clinic signed on and will host the clinical time required, and provide access to space, supplies and equipment students need to earn the degree.


Students from the Billings region interested in pursuing the Surgical Technology program will apply to City College, where they will complete their prerequisite courses. Once accepted into the program, students will remain in Billings and take courses online through Great Falls College MSU. 


While not having to physically attend classes at Great Falls College, course work will be delivered online and also live streamed to City College. Clinical courses will be completed in Billings at St. Vincent Healthcare and Billings Clinic. The Sim Lab at Billings (SD2) Career Center will also be utilized for hands-on experience alongside the local hospitals. This model will give students the opportunity build relationships with their classmates and maintain their everyday life responsibilities in Billings.


After completing their prerequisites at City College and before applying for the Surgical Technology program, students must be admitted to Great Falls College MSU.  However, transferring between MSU institutions has become much simpler through the work of the One MSU initiative. OneMSU has focused an incredible amount of energy to streamline the transfer and enrollment process for students who want to earn credits from multiple institutions.


“We are excited to offer this new degree in partnership with Great Falls College MSU, St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings Clinic and the Career Center,” said Dr. Melinda Arnold, MSU Billings Provost. “This will help our region fulfill current and future workforce demands while serving Montanans in the medical corridor of Billings.”


Students pursuing the Surgical Technology degree will have access to services at both campuses that support student success at no cost. Those services include advising, tutoring, access to libraries, computer labs and other educational resources.


City College will provide a designated advisor for Billings area students interested in pursuing a future as a Surgical Technologist. The Advisor will guide students through prerequisite coursework and act as a liaison with Great Falls College MSU. 


To learn more or to apply, contact Stephanie Cowen, Director of Student Services at City College by calling (406)247-3005 or by emailing


Media requests should be directed to:


MSU Billings:

Kelsi Gambill

Communications Specialist

Phone: (406)657.2269, Email:


Great Falls College MSU:

Lewis Card

Executive Director of Development, Communications and Marketing

Phone: (406)771.4412, Email: