College of The Albemarle (COA) is pleased to announce that our Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program was recently accredited for ten years by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
NAACLS provides international accreditation for healthcare-related educational programs such as MLT. NAACLS is recognized by the Council for Higher Education as an accrediting agency.
COA’s MLT program prepares individuals for clinical laboratory careers in hospitals, medical practices, industry, and research facilities. Students learn to perform laboratory procedures in clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and immunohematology. This COA-specific program begins each January and lasts approximately 18 months. Graduates are eligible to take the exam given by the Certification Board of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Many MLT graduates are offered jobs before graduation.
“I advertise this amazing program every chance I get,” said Jeff Carter, department director, Allied Health. “In 18 months, a student can complete this Associate of Science and get a very well-paying job. Our MLT students are almost always hired before they graduate. Who knows, CSI fans might even decide to go into forensics. Terri Riddick and her faculty do an amazing job teaching medical laboratory technology and creating a culture of camaraderie and achievement among their students.
The accreditation process is not required; however, it is important in our efforts to develop highly skilled healthcare workers in our region and beyond. This is a rigorous process that ensures our program meets national educational standards. It also establishes the practice of continuous self-assessment that allows for continuous reflection and improvement.
Robin Harris, the Dean of Health Sciences, shared:
Taking good care of our community members requires a wide variety of healthcare professionals to ensure we get the right information to provide customers with the help they need. The medical laboratory is an extremely important element in helping to obtain the correct diagnosis, so that treatment can be targeted and effective. Medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) are at the very heart of this work, and their precision and dedication to ensuring accurate results are an important part of successful healthcare everywhere. We are so fortunate to have a quality MLT program for our region that helps several facilities have the workforce they need to do this important work. This reaffirmation of accreditation is another wonderful achievement for the program and a testament to the quality work of Terri Riddick, the program coordinator, our clinical partners and our students.