WSCC MLT program graduates achieve 100% pass rate on national board exams

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The 2023 Wallace State Community College MLT cohort visits the Southeastern Division of LabCorp of America in Birmingham. Students in the 2023 MLT cohort achieved a 100% pass rate on all attempted certification exams on their first try. (Wallace State)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Recent graduates of Wallace State Community College’s Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program achieved a 100% pass rate on all attempted American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) exams on their first try. In 2023, average national pass rates of BOC exams on first attempt were less than 80%.

“We are honored to play a role in shaping the futures and professional paths of our students. Witnessing their achievements and watching them enter the workforce, equipped to make positive contributions to healthcare in our region, is immensely gratifying,” said Chris Cleghorn, program director of the MLT program at Wallace State Community College. “We are incredibly proud of our students and eagerly anticipate their continued success.”

Wallace State Community College’s MLT program is a five-semester program that provides the training and education needed to enter the workforce. The program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), and upon completion of all Wallace State Community College degree requirements, the student will receive an associate degree and can take the ASCP BOC exam.

Katie Brewer is a Wallace State alumna and a member of the 2023 MLT cohort. Brewer currently works in a lab, and she said the Wallace State MLT program taught her an array of information that helped her land a job right out of college. Since 2021, the Wallace State Community College MLT program has boasted a 100% average program placement rate, with every student finding employment in the field or continuing their education within one year of graduation.

“The thing that sticks out most when asked about Wallace State’s MLT Program and their involvement in helping me pass my ASCP BOC exam on my first try was their ability to provide so much knowledge at a pace that is quick and efficient, but not overwhelming,” said Brewer. “Thinking back at what I was learning this time last year, I hadn’t even taken a microbiology test yet, but today I’ve been employed in a microbiology lab for over six months.”

MLTs utilize sophisticated lab equipment to examine and analyze bodily fluids and cells. They also prepare specimens for examination, count cells and look for abnormalities. By performing analyses and relating findings to physicians, technicians play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Students in the Wallace State Community College MLT program look at collected samples through microscopes. (Wallace State)

MLT students typically possess a strong interest and aptitude in scientific disciplines such as biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology and chemistry, as these subjects form the foundation of the MLT field. A deep understanding of these sciences enables MLT students to analyze and interpret laboratory results accurately, troubleshoot problems and contribute to patient care and diagnosis.

In addition to the MLT associate degree, Wallace State also offers a Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA) short-term certificate. In two semesters, this option prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed to become an MLA. This course of study covers the basic principles and techniques used in a medical laboratory with emphasis on basic laboratory equipment, terminology, specimen collection and analysis of samples. MLA students will complete a practicum course during their second semester, and following the course, will demonstrate competency as an entry-level MLA and be eligible to sit for the ASCP BOC exam.

The Wallace State MLT program accepts students once a year in the fall semester. The program begins accepting applications on March 1, 2024, and will continue until the fall cohort reaches full capacity or until Aug. 9, 2024.

The application requirements for the Wallace State MLT program include unconditional admission to the college, completion of course prerequisites, a minimum super score of 18 on the ACT and a GPA of at least 2.5.

The application requirements for the MLA short-term certification program include the completion of prerequisites, a high school diploma or equivalent, an ACCUPLACER or ACT score and a GPA of at least 2.0.

For more information about the Wallace State Medical Laboratory Technology program, contact Chris Cleghorn at 256-352-8347 or chris.cleghorn@wallacestate.edu or visit www.wallacestate.edu/MLT.