Please enable JavaScript to view this page.

Surgical Technology

Associate in Applied Science

Program Overview

The surgical technologist’s primary function is to provide a safe and therapeutic environment for the surgical patient by assisting the surgeon and performing related services in the operating room.

Surgical technologists prepare the operating room by creating a sterile field, setting up surgical equipment, supplies and solutions. During surgery, surgical technologists pass instruments, fluids and supplies to the surgeon and prepare and manage surgical equipment.

This program is accredited by CAAHEP and graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Certifying Exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Delta's program is two semesters long, starting in the fall. It's a cohort program, so students come in as a group and take their classes together from their first semester until their last.

Students have more than 540 clinical hours and have a variety of hospitals/surgical centers to choose from to complete their clinical assignments. Delta College graduates are being recruited by hospitals all over the State of Michigan. Many students over the last several years have received offers of employment prior to graduating from the program. There is a strong need for the services that surgical technologists provide and Delta College remains committed to providing these professionals locally, nationally and globally.

Delta's Surgical Technology program started in 1974. We believe our vast experience over such a long time period is one reason why our students have high pass rates on the Certified Surgical Technology Exam. Delta consistently averages higher pass rates than the national average pass rate. This program meets the requirements to sit for certification. Certifications are recognized nationwide.

Be successful. Develop these skills.

  • Listening 
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Stress management
  • Detail oriented
  • Physical stamina
  • Customer service
  • Dexterity
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Operative procedures
  • Medical terminology
  • Occupational wellness
  • Patient care and management

The Surgical Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of Accreditation Review Council on Education for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
9355 - 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775

The faculty and administration are fully committed to the accreditation process. Working with the Accreditation Review Committee on Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP), Delta maintains the highest level of accreditation for the Surgical Technology Program.

Program application process

Getting your degree in the health field is unique compared to other programs. You first take your prerequisite core courses and then you apply for validation.

What's validation?
The registrar's office validates your prerequisite courses to confirm you are eligible to begin the clinical portion of your program.

Success tips

  • Declare the Surgical Technology program.
  • Meet with your advisor regularly. Stay on track with what you need to do to apply.
  • Apply for validation with the Registrar's Office once you've started your final semester of prerequisite courses.
  • Stay connected for important updates from Delta.
Program effectiveness data

We begin with 15 students each Fall. Our program effectiveness rates for the last five years are as follows:

National Certification Pass Rates
Total percent of candidates in the graduation class who took the CST Exam and passed.

  • 2021, 91%
  • 2020, 100%
  • 2019, 73%
  • 2018, 87%
  • 2017, 100%

Program Completion Rates*

  • 2021, 73%
  • 2020, 100%
  • 2019, 100%
  • 2018, 100%
  • 2017, 87%

*Note the program completion rates are calculated once the student is admitted to the clinical portion of the program. It does not include time on wait list.

Employment Rates

  • 2020, 93%
  • 1019, 87%
  • 2018, 87%
  • 2017, 92%
  • 2016, 82%
Program outcomes

We want to make sure you're ready when you graduate and that the knowledge you gain from your Delta degree is top-notch. When you're done here's what you'll be able to do:

  • Perform as a competent entry-level surgical technologist.
  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge base in scientific principles.
  • Demonstrate collaboration skills when working as a member of a healthcare team.
  • Demonstrate respect for diversity in the professional workplace.
  • Exhibit strong ethical behaviors in the professional workplace.
  • Explain the importance of assuming responsibility for lifelong learning.
  • Demonstrate effective communication.
  • Apply critical thinking skills to make independent clinical judgments.
Student handbook

The Surgical Technology Program Student Handbook is written for students who have been admitted to the program and is a supplement to the Delta College Student Handbook. You will find policies utilized by the Surgical Technology program as well as student services that are available. 

See the Surgical Technology Student Handbook (PDF)

Surgical rotation case requirements
  1. You will be keeping a spreadsheet record called “Counted Cases for Accreditation Reports.” The total number of cases you must complete to meet graduation requirements is 120.
  2. You are required to complete 30 cases in General Surgery.  Twenty of the cases must be in the First Scrub role.
  3. You are required to complete 90 cases in various surgical specialties outside of general surgery.  Sixty of the cases must be in the first scrub role and evenly distributed between a minimum of 4 surgical specialties.  A minimum of 10 cases in the first scrub role must be completed in each of the required minimum of 4 surgical specialties (40 cases total required). The remaining 20 cases in the first scrub role may be distributed amongst any one surgical specialty or multiple surgical specialties.
  4. You will be recording for verification (through clinical documentation) your progression of your ability to first or second scrub surgical procedures of increased complexity as you move toward entry-level graduate abilities.
  5. Diagnostic endoscopy cases and vaginal delivery cases are not mandatory. However, up to 10 diagnostic endoscopic cases and 5 vaginal delivery cases can be counted toward the maximum number of cases in the second scrub role.
  6. You must maintain a record of your cases in the observation role but these cases cannot be counted toward the 120 required cases.
  7. There will be times when you may be involved in multiple procedures on the same patient. Here are a few scenarios and how to count them.
    • Cases will be counted according to surgical specialty.  For example:
      • A trauma patient requires a splenectomy and repair of a LeFort I fracture.  Two cases can be counted and documented; the splenectomy as a general surgery case and the LeFort I as an oral-maxillofacial specialty.
      • A patient requires a breast biopsy followed by a mastectomy.  It is one pathology (breast cancer) and the specialty is general surgery.  Therefore, it is counted and documented as one procedure.

Related Programs

Surgical Technology – Dual Associate with General Management

In addition to the Surgical Technology associate degree, Delta also offers a dual degree with General Management. With this program, you have the opportunity to earn a second associate degree in General Management at the same time as your surgical technology associate's degree. It's a great way to get that business background and increase earning potential.


Surgical First Assistant – Post Associate Certificate of Completion

Delta offers a Surgical First Assistant Post Associate Certificate of Completion for those who have successfully completed their Surgical Technology Associate degree. This program qualifies you to sit for the national certification (CSFA®) through the National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.


Explore all programs

Delta College offers over 140 degree, certificate and training options. Whatever your path, when you leave here, you’ll be ready.  

Explore all programs

Transfer opportunities

Option 1
One of the very best things about Delta is your ability to start here and go on. And, in the process, save thousands (and thousands) of dollars. It's a smart choice!

In fact, if you're interested in earning a bachelor's degree, you have several options by coming to Delta first, and then transferring. Delta has signed transfer agreements to continue your studies with:

  • Davenport University - Applied Business
  • Ferris State University - Allied Health Sciences
  • Siena Heights University - BAS Health Care Management

Option 2
MIWorkforce Pathways, transfer your applied workforce degree in Healthcare to the following universities:

Alma College
Baker College
Davenport University
Grand Valley State University
Northwood University
Rochester University
Saginaw Valley State University
Siena Heights University
Walsh College

Interested? Make an appointment with academic advising to discuss your interests. Courses transfer differently based on the university you plan to attend. An advisor can help you determine the exact courses you need to get the education you’re looking for.

Testing materials

93% of students from the last five years passed the CST examination.


Students scrub a minimum of 120 surgical cases during their clinical rotation.

Patty Muehlenbeck

"Knowing that I am all set as far as a job goes after graduation is a big relief. I am very rooted here, in this area. So having the opportunity to have that externship at the hospital and then take on a position there is very comforting."

Patty Muehlenbeck
Surgical Technology graduate