BS in Clinical Laboratory Science Completion Program (CLSC)
About the CLSC Major
WSU’s CLS Completion Program provides a focused program of study designed to provide associate level Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree. The CLSC program is part-time with online components to meet the needs of the working MLT. The program prepares the student for the national certification exam administered by the American Society of Pathology and potential career advancement.
- The CLSC Program is pending accreditation with National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).
- The Winona State University’s Clinical Laboratory Science Completion (CLSC) program originated in 2010 as a partnership with Saint Paul College and Allina Hospitals and Clinics (funded through a Department of Labor Grant administered by Saint Paul College).
- The CLSC program at WSU currently has an articulation agreement with SPC but also accepts graduates from other Medical Laboratory Technician programs. Transfer credits from the other institutions may vary due to the credits per course and the course content. A DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) report and the MLT transcript are reviewed by the CLSC Program Coordinator.
- The CLSC program culminates a baccalaureate degree. Granting of the degree/certificate IS NOT contingent upon the students passing any type of external certification or licensure examination.
To accommodate the needs of working students, the program suggests no more than two to three courses each semester, allowing for program completion within seven semesters of continuous enrollment (spring, summer, and fall). Professional experience helps the student to apply what they have learned in the course to the clinical setting.
Why choose the CLS Completion program at WSU?
To meet the needs of the working MLT, the CLSC program offers convenient online lectures utilizing Designed2Learn (D2L) platform and in-person laboratory sessions at Saint Paul College, St. Paul, Minnesota. The CLSC is a student-centered program that is prepared to provide the additional complex technical skills and theory-based knowledge appropriate of a CLS as well as challenging the critical thinking, leadership, and professional skills required by the profession. Lectures utilize traditional exams, discussion questions, and projects that are relevant to the field and develop the student’s abilities to become future educators in the clinical or educational setting. Laboratories are well-equipped with instrumentation and equipment appropriate for the profession.
Courses are taught by credentialed faculty who are dedicated to providing a quality, student-centered education. One on one advising is also provided to meet the needs of the student. A field advisory board helps to maintain quality and currency in the profession.
What are the CLSC learning outcomes?
- Apply knowledge of the theoretical principles and practices to laboratory procedures and operations.
- Evaluate and correlate laboratory data with clinical, physiological, and pathological data.
- Demonstrate technical skills necessary to manipulate laboratory instrumentation, equipment, and laboratory information systems.
- Apply scientific knowledge to evaluate new laboratory procedures, instrumentation, and the writing and revision of standard operating procedures.
- Perform analytical laboratory testing procedures, including quality control and other quality assurance measures, with precision, accuracy, and efficiency for the diagnosis of physiological and pathological states.
- Utilize critical thinking skills and take appropriate action to resolve problems relating to specimen integrity, patient testing, quality assurance, and laboratory operations.
- Evaluate, write, and revise standard operating procedures.
- Demonstrate organization and teamwork skills in a laboratory setting.
- Develop and deliver educational material to other laboratory students and professionals.
- Demonstrate support of the profession through active participation in professional organizations and healthcare teams.
What essential functions are expected of a laboratory professional?
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of technology software and equipment
- Utilize computer skills to navigate in laboratory information programs and maintain and utilize laboratory instrumentation
- Read text, graphics and numbers on a computer screen.
- Utilize a keyboard to enter information and data
- Lift and move objects of at least 40 pounds with reasonable accommodations
- Bend over bedside to collect blood samples from patients
- Reach for objects stored above the counter and below
- Perform moderately physical work for short or long periods of time
- Demonstrate fine motor skills, with reasonable accommodations, in performing laboratory testing such as pipetting, maintaining equipment, inoculating media, and blood drawing procedures
- Demonstrate sufficient mobility with reasonable accommodations to maneuver in a laboratory and healthcare setting
- Demonstrate sufficient visual acuity to perform macroscopic and microscopic functions
- Respond to critical situations in a timely manner
- Observe laboratory function
- Evaluate the physical characteristics of specimens, reagents, and reactions such as color, odor, viscosity and clarity
- Demonstrate the ability to operate equipment and instrumentation and work with potentially hazardous materials according to safety protocol
- Utilize comprehension, analysis, and synthesizing skills to resolve problems
- Demonstrate mathematical skills in preparing different concentrations and dilutions
- Comprehend and correlate theoretical and clinical significance of laboratory testing relating to patient health status
- Read, comprehend, evaluate, and potentially modify medical materials and procedures
- Follow oral and written instruction
- Comprehend and demonstrate an understanding of standard safety protocol
- Demonstrate ethical behavior in laboratory testing
- Treat others with respect and dignity
- Maintain patient and healthcare confidentiality
- Communicate respectfully and effectively with patients, peers, and other healthcare staff
- Demonstrate composure in stressful and difficult situations
- Possess emotional health to determine the appropriate ethical judgments
- Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability to change
- Follow universal precautions and other laboratory safety guidelines when working with biological samples such as blood and body fluids, reagents and laboratory testing
- Comply with institutional professional policies such as appropriate attire and attendance
What are the CLSC Admissions Requirements?
Students are accepted into the CLSC program as a cohort of students every fall or as enrollment permits. The benefit of a cohort is that it provides the student with a peer support system and allows for effective communication and consistency within the program.
Applications to the fall cohort must be submitted six months prior to the yearly start to allow time for advising, additional prerequisites, and pre-skills assessments. The following additional documentation should accompany the application and be submitted to the admissions office:
I. Provide proof (official transcript) of completion of a NAACLS (National Accrediting Association of Clinical Laboratory Science) accredited Medical Laboratory Technician Program.
II. Provide transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate educational institution.
Enrollment - minimum requirement of a 2.8 cumulative GPA or approval from Education Coordinator
Continued enrollment - minimum requirement of a 3.0 cumulative GPA
III. Provide proof of MLT certification through American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP Board of Certification letter)
IV. Provide proof of employment as an MLT (contact information of supervisor)
V. Successfully pass a Federal background check
VI. Provide a letter of recommendation
Preferably from a supervisor or manager that will comment on the applicant’s leadership potential, critical thinking skills, and professionalism
VII. Provide a personal statement regarding work experience, other than the clinical experience as part of the educational program, including chemistry, hematology, immunohematology, microbiology, urinalysis, and coagulation. Also include any involvement in professional organizations, examples of leadership and critical thinking, and any relevant personal goals. Please include any additional information that demonstrates the ability to manage an advanced degree and career.
It is preferred that students have medical coverage as they are responsible for any medical expenses that may occur during the program enrollment.
Proof of immunizations is also required at WSU. Submit the immunization record to Dr. Judith Loewen, MT (ASCP), the CLSC Program Director.
The CLSC program culminates a baccalaureate degree. Granting of the degree/certificate IS NOT contingent upon the students passing any type of external certification or licensure examination.
What is the Pre-skills Assessment & Exam?
A pre-skills assessment is required for admission to the program to assess the student’s preparedness for entering the CLSC program. The assessment is a mandatory one day evaluation of the student’s MLT knowledge and skills in hematology, blood bank, urinalysis, microbiology, clinical chemistry and general laboratory practice or an employer evaluation of skills. A one-on-one advising session is conducted to evaluate and implement a curriculum plan for each student based on the skills assessment and exam and academic history.
To register for the pre-skills assessment and to request a list of expected competencies, please contact:
CLS Project Coordinator
Daniel Gebrekidan, MT (ASCP)
What two year programs are affiliated with the CLSC program?
The CLSC program originated as part of an articulation agreement with Saint Paul College due to a Department of Labor Grant objective. The pilot of this articulation began in the fall of 2010 and is now available to graduates of other NAACLS accredited MLT programs.
Admission of MLT graduates from other NAACLS certified MLT programs may admitted into the CLSC program following review of the DARS report and MLT transcript by the CLS Program Coordinator.
What are the curriculum requirements for the CLS Completion Program?
Following application and enrollment, a DARS report is created based on the student’s previous undergraduate transcripts. The report aids the program coordinator in evaluating the courses that are acceptable for transfer. General Education courses for transfer must match the WSU requirements for semester hours and content area. A maximum of 16 technical credits may be transferred from the NAACLS accredited MLT program. A one-on-one advisory meeting is recommended for new students with Dr. Fran Ragsdale, Program Coordinator. In addition, to obtain a degree from WSU, 30 credits must be from WSU during the junior and senior year.
What are the CLSC course requirements?
The CLSC program requires:
- General education courses – many may transfer from other institutions.
- Additional Requirements (may be part of General Education Requirements and/or Program Pre-requisites):
- Basics of Life BIOL 241
- Organismal Diversity BIOL 242
- Principles of Chemistry I CHEM 212
- Principles of Chemistry II CHEM 213
- Organic Chemistry CHEM 340
- Pre-calculus Math MATH 120
- Human Anatomy BIOL 201 (offered online in summer of odd numbered years; pre-requisite for General Physiology BIOL 323 Lecture/324 Lab)
- Program Required Courses
- Biometry STAT 305
- Clinical Biochemistry CHEM 340
- Cell Biology BIOL 307 Lab/308 Lecture
- Genetics BIOL 310
- General Physiology BIOL 323 Lecture/324 Lab
- Clinical Physiology BIOL 440
- Immunology BIOL 445 Lecture/446 Lab
- Laboratory Management BIOL 442
- Clinical Immunohematology BIOL 456
- Clinical Microbiology BIOL 457
- Clinical Hematology BIOL 458
- Clinical experience BIOL 459 (completed in 1-2 semesters)
The above courses must also meet the intensive course requirements discussed under General Education. As part of the residency requirement, Winona State University requires:
- 40 semester hours at the 300 or 400 level to be completed in the junior and senior year
- 30 semester hours must be Winona State University offered courses
*Indicates courses offered on alternating years:
- Clinical Immunohematology BIOL 456 – Fall of odd numbered years
- Clinical Microbiology BIOL 457 – Fall of even numbered years
- Clinical Hematology BIOL 458 – Spring of even numbered years
- Laboratory Management BIOL 442 (On campus) – Spring of even numbered
- Laboratory Management BIOL 442 (Online) – Spring of odd numbered years
- Offered Spring & Summer:
- Clinical Biochemistry CHEM 400 (CHEM 212, 213, 340 prerequisite)
- Offered every Summer:
- Genetics BIOL 310
- Immunology BIOL 445 (BIOL 310 prerequisite)
Example Plan of Study
Clinical Microbiology BIOL 457
Elective – degree studies
Chemistry or math pre-req
Lab Management BIOL 442
Cell Biology BIOL 308
Chemistry or math pre-req
Genetics BIOL 310
Elective – degree studies
Gen Phys BIOL 323/324
Clinical Hematology BIOL 458
Clinical Physiology BIOL 440
Clinical Blood Banking BIOL 456
Chemistry or math
Immunology BIOL 445/446
Biochemistry CHEM 400
*Both Clinical Experiences may be taken in the same semester
What is the Clinical Experience?
Each student will be required to complete a clinical experience at an affiliated medical institution. As each student may enter the program with a variety of laboratory experience, the length of the clinical experience is individually determined based on the student’s clinical experience and competency. The length of the clinical experience is typically no longer than five months unless special circumstances require.
During the rotation, the student will also be required to complete various projects and testing that develop and provide exposure to management, leadership, education, research and quality assurance. To successfully complete the clinical experience, the student must demonstrate competency of entry-level CLS skills to the clinical affiliate as well as successfully completing all assignments required by the CLSC program.
The clinical experience assignments may not be local for the student and, therefore, the student should be financially prepared for the relocation. The student is responsible for all costs associated with the relocation. Placement is based on the “best fit” for the student, the availability of clinical sites, and the student’s GPA.
Where will my clinical experience occur?
The CLS Completion program is responsible for securing a clinical experience for all qualified students enrolled in the program. The clinical experience may require relocation. The clinical experience is an unpaid experience that is not part of the student’s scheduled hours as an employee. The student should notify their employer of their pending enrollment into the CLSC program. The student may also request the employer to consider providing all or part of the clinical experience. Once the employer is notified of enrollment in the program, a representative from WSU will contact the employer to determine if the site is qualified and willing to provide a portion of the clinical experience. Keep in mind, the employer is not obligated to provide a clinical experience to the employee. An affiliation agreement must be established with institutions providing a clinical experience.
What are the technology requirements for the CLSC program?
As the CLS completion program contains online coursework, the student must have daily access to a computer with high-speed internet connection. Software should include Microsoft Office 2007 with Word, Excel, Acrobat and Adobe. WSU has a computer rental program but is unable to assist with the internet connection. The online courses utilize a learning management system called Desired2Learn (D2L). All assignments must be submitted through the course drop-box in D2L. It is best to have Microsoft Office Word or be able to convert other programs to this format for successful submission of the assignments. D2L training is provided online and must be completed prior to the first course.
What is the program’s accreditation status and process?
The CLSC Program is currently under serious accreditation application status with National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). The NAACLS accreditation process is an intensive continuous peer review process that may not be complete until the first student is about to graduate from the program. The process begins with the new laboratory education program submitting an application and preliminary report with required documentation to NAACLS. If NAACLS determines the program has a suitable plan to deliver a quality education, it approves the admission of the first students into the new program. Prior to the first student graduation from the program, the new program submits a self-study report to NAACLS for paper followed by a NAACLS site visit. A site visit report is submitted for review by the NAACLS Program Review Committee who determines compliance or non-compliance with the NAACLS standards and recommends accreditation actions to the NAACLS Board of Directors. Based on the recommendations of the Program Review Committee and the evidence presented, the NAACLS Board of Directors withholds or awards the accreditation of the program.