East Central College will roll out a new Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program beginning in the fall.
Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president, said students completing the program will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Laboratory Technician. This program will be administered through the Allied Health Division.
Last month, the ECC Academic Council approved the recommendation to initiate the new program. The ECC Board of Trustees approved the new program Monday.
The college will offer the MLT program through the Missouri Health Professions Consortium (MHPC). It will be coordinated through Moberly Area Community College (MACC).
“By utilizing the MHPC we will be able to offer this specialized program with a shared enrollment and expense model,” Dr. Bauer said.
Robyn Walter, vice president of academic affairs, said students would complete the program after taking general education classes their first year and then apply for the program. Those accepted would work toward the MLT degree in their second year at the College.
“The students will be ECC students and they will graduate with degrees from ECC,” Walter said.
MLT lectures will be online, however, the labs will be conducted three times throughout the program at the MACC campus in Mexico and students will be placed in various clinical sites within 90 minutes of their home campus/residence.
Walter added that University of Missouri–St. Louis has shown interest in an articulation agreement with ECC for students seeking a four-year degree.
Walter added that MLT clinical rotations will be done locally at the ECC health care partners.
“The gives students the opportunity to do something in the medical field other than bedside care,” she said.
According to Walter, there is support locally in the medical community due to significant vacancy rates of laboratory professionals at area facilities.
Representatives from Phelps Health in Rolla and Mercy Hospital Washington have indicated a need for a local MLT program.
“Medical lab professionals are in high demand, and not just now because of COVID-19,” Walter said.
“Medical Laboratory Technicians occupy an essential function on the healthcare team,” Dr. Bauer added. “Local employers are in support of the program in terms of providing clinical training as well as employment opportunities.”
Each summer, an average of thirty students are selected to begin the program in the fall for the entire consortium. The MLT specific portion of the program is designed to be completed within 12 months beginning in August.
When students have successfully completed the MLT program, they will be eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology certification examination.
Walter explained that the consortium primarily serves rural areas around the state. The same consortium model has been successful with the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at ECC.
For more information, contact Nancy Mitchell, Interim Dean of Health Science, at Nancy.Mitchell@eastcentral.edu. To learn more about the ECC Nursing and Allied Health Division, visit www.eastcentral.edu/nursing/.