Medical Laboratory Technology

Applications for Fall 2014 are CLOSED. Applications for Fall 2015 are accepted Sept. 1, 2014 through Feb. 1, 2015.

Medical Laboratory Technology

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Medical Laboratory Technology program prior to enrolling in any MLT program courses. Entrance into the Medical Laboratory Technology program is competitive.

Increase your chances of being accepted.

"Clinical Laboratory Technician ranks #17 on the list of 100 best jobs for 2013 named by U.S. World and News Report."    

More Information

Review the menu below for a career overview, program overview and additional information.

Career Overview

Job Description

Southwestern Illinois College’s Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program prepares students with the entry-level skills necessary to become a medical laboratory technician.

Medical Laboratory Technicians:

  • Examine and process body fluids and cells
  • Look for bacteria, parasites and other microorganisms
  • Evaluate the chemical content of fluids
  • Match blood for transfusions
  • Test for drug levels in the blood to show how a patient is responding to treatment
  • Prepare specimens for examination
  • Count cells
  • Look for abnormal cells in blood and body fluids
  • Use automated and computerized instruments, microscopes, cell counters and other sophisticated laboratory equipment

Career Resources:

The SWIC Career Activities and Employment Center offers a Career Mentor program, including job shadowing.

The American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science website provides career and certification information.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides additional information regarding the MLT field.

Job Opportunities

Nationally, about 80 percent of MLTs are employed in hospital laboratories.

Opportunities are also available in:

  • Independent labs
  • Physician's offices
  • Public health agencies
  • Federal government agencies
  • Pharmaceutical and industrial firms
  • Research and educational institutions

Career Outlook

Ninety-five percent of SWIC medical laboratory technology graduates are working in hospital medical laboratories.

Job opportunities continue to grow as the elderly population continues to increase.

Salary

Starting Salary

Starting salaries are about $27,000-$31,200 annually and vary depending on the size and location of the health care facility.

Salaries are higher when working on the second or third shifts.

Applicants

Application Requirements

Materials Needed to Apply

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Medical Laboratory Technology program before beginning program courses.Applicants must submit the following to the Enrollment Services Office:

1. Medical Laboratory Technology application

  • Applications are available between Sept. 1 and Feb. 1 each year for fall start.

Supporting documentation (transcripts, test scores, etc.) must be on file by identified deadlines.

Proof of completion of prerequisite courses:

Prerequisite courses in biology, algebra and chemistry must be completed to be considered for admission.

  • Prerequisite courses must be completed within 10 years of Feb. 1.
  • Grades earned must be at least a C, although more application points are awarded for higher grades.
  • College grades supersede high school grades when both appear on official transcripts.
  • The most recent grade in courses meeting these requirements will be used.

2. Official Transcripts

  • Official high school transcripts or proof of GED
  • Official transcripts from all colleges, universities or accredited schools of Medical Laboratory Technology attended
  • SWIC transcript evaluation form, a requirement for the transfer of credits from another institution

3. Test Scores

  • ACT or SAT or SWIC GPA Option
  • The COMPASS test identifies skill levels in math, reading and language. Students must score high enough to be eligible to enroll in ENG 101 and MATH 97. If COMPASS results are too low, students must complete required developmental courses prior to enrolling in ENG 101, BIOL 157 & 158 and MATH 94.

Questions?

All applicants are encouraged to contact the MLT program coordinator, Jean Deitz, prior to application.

For an individual review of your application, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.

Prepare to Apply

Complete Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses in biology, algebra and chemistry must be completed to apply for the Medical Laboratory Technology program.

Fill out the Planning Guide

The MLT Planning Guide explains application requirements and offers suggestions on how to maximize points in each section and increase chances of being accepted to the program.

Understand the Application Point System

Applications for the MLT program are rated by a point system, with points based on:

Meet with a Counselor

Call or visit a SWIC Counseling Office for more information on entrance requirements for the MLT program.

Questions?

All applicants are encouraged to contact the MLT program coordinator, Jean Deitz, prior to application.

For an individual review of your application, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.

Applicant Selection

Application Point System

Applications for the MLT program will be rated on a point system, with points based on:

Notification of Acceptance:

Applicants will be notified of their status regarding admission as quickly as possible, typically late May or early June depending on the number of applications received.

 

Fewer Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are fewer qualified candidates than there are spaces available, applications will continue to be accepted until the program’s maximum capacity has been reached or through the first week of classes during the fall semester.

The college reserves the right to fill the program when there are fewer applicants than spaces available by whatever means it deems necessary to assure both academic integrity and fairness in the selection process.

More Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are more qualified applicants than spaces available in this program, applicants residing outside the SWIC district or in a district that does not have a joint agreement with SWIC for this program will not be eligible for consideration or admission if there are more applicants than positions to be filled. Resident status is determined by address on file with the Enrollment Services Office by Feb. 1.

For a list of colleges that have joint agreements with SWIC, view the college catalog and search for Interdistrict Cooperative Agreements.

The admission procedures for the Medical Laboratory Technology program are in accordance with Illinois law. The law requires that programs with insufficient space and resources to accommodate all applicants will accept the best qualified applicants, using rank, ability and achievement scores as guides, with preference given to students residing in the district.

Other Requirements

The following criteria are required of accepted applicants, and all information will be explained in detail at program orientation meetings:

Orientation & Performance:

Applicants accepted to this program must attend all required orientation sessions and be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Any applicants or enrolled students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Health Insurance:

Health insurance is required during clinical education courses. Students are personally responsible for any costs incurred for injuries occurring during their clinical experience.

Medical Requirements:

These requirements do not have to be fulfilled until they are explained at the orientation meeting. Students accepted will be required to possess current CPR certification at the Healthcare Provider level, show proof of immunizations, TB test and physical examination, and verify health insurance coverage before beginning any clinical experience.

Background Checks and Drug Testing:

Background checks and drug testing are required.

  • A list of disqualifying convictions is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health website. Students with convictions must possess a waiver from the IDPH to participate in the program.
  • Drug testing will identify illegal and prescription drugs. If results are positive, the student must provide proof of prescription in his or her own name in order to pass the drug test.

Graduation Requirements:

Applicants admitted to the program must follow the requirements for graduation at the time they are admitted and must meet all course, program, degree and sequencing requirements specified. Students are responsible for program policies as listed in the MLT Student Handbook. Students who fail to meet program specific requirements will be dropped from the program and may be required to re-apply and compete for admission in the next application period.

Program Overview

Course Sequence

Acceptance to the program is required before an applicant will be permitted to register for MLT courses.

Medical Laboratory Technology Degree

Medical Laboratory Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree (0022) Course Sequence

This is a 70-71 credit-hour, two-year accredited degree program, which can be completed in four semesters and two summers and includes:

    • 36-37 credit hours of general education courses
    • 34 credit hours of Medical Laboratory Technology courses

The curriculum includes mathematics, chemistry and biological sciences, as well as MLT technical courses and assigned clinical experiences.

Course Information

General Education Courses

General education courses can be completed prior to admission. However, because the course schedule is primarily general education courses during the first year, it is not recommended to complete all courses before the program starts. Only 12 credit hours of the general education courses are required to use the SWIC GPA option in lieu of ACT/SAT scores. These courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City or Red Bud campuses. If general education courses are not completed prior to admission, they must be completed during the semesters indicated.

Medical Laboratory Technology Courses

The Medical Laboratory Technology program courses begin in the fall for those applicants accepted into the program. These courses are only offered at the Belleville Campus during the day. View the course sequence.

Clinical Education Experiences

Clinical experience courses begin in the second year of the program and are completed off campus in various settings. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses and must have background checks and drug testing prior to starting clinical practice. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

Program Capacity

Belleville Campus

The MLT program generally accepts 14 students each fall semester at the Belleville Campus.

Program Location

The Medical Laboratory Technology program consists of general education courses, MLT pre-fix courses and assigned clinical courses. Specific locations depend on the course type.

General Education Courses

The required general education courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City or Red Bud campuses.

Medical Laboratory Technology Courses

The MLT program courses are only offered at the Belleville Campus during the day.

Clinical Experience Courses

Clinical experiences are completed at hospitals and clinical facilities throughout the district and in the St. Louis area. Students are assigned two nine-week clinical experience/practicums in the second year of the program. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses. Background checks and/or drug testing may be required prior to clinical experiences. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

Program Cost

Medical Laboratory Technology Degree program

For details, see the MLT cost sheet

Financial Assistance is available!

SWIC Financial Aid Office

Financial aid is available subject to financial need and satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the college.

The student work program does not require financial aid eligibility.

SWIC Foundation

The SWIC Foundation offers more than 200 scholarships based on residency, enrollment and GPA criteria.

Time Commitment

MLT courses are only offered during the day. The program can be completed in four semesters and two summers.

First-Year Students

(Course schedule is primarily general education courses during the first year.)

Summer Semester:

    • MATH 097 or MATH 112 - schedule chosen by student

Fall Semester:

    • MLT classes are in the morning from October through December, two days a week

Spring Semester:

    • MLT classes are in the morning from March through May, four days a week

Second-Year Students

Summer Semester:

    • MLT classes are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, 8 a.m. to noon

Fall Semester:

    • First eight weeks of MLT classes are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Second nine weeks – 40 hours/week clinical experience

Spring Semester:

    • First eight weeks of MLT classes are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Second nine weeks – 40 hours/week clinical experience

More Details

Program Accreditation

NAACLS Accreditation

The SWIC Medical Laboratory Technology program is accredited by:

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
5600 N River Road, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018
772-714-8880

Verification of accreditation can be viewed at the NAACLS website.

Accreditation Benefits

The program's curriculum is guided by the standards developed by the NAACLS. Our accreditation status means that SWIC has met the NAACLS's required standards and assures the public that our curriculum will graduate competent clinicians. It also allows SWIC MLT graduates to take the national registry to certify their competency, which many employers require.

Certification Requirements

National Certification Exam

Upon successful completion of the MLT curriculum, graduates are awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree in Medical Laboratory Technology and are eligible to take a national certification examination. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Medical Technologist (AMT) both offer national certification testing, which earns technicians the title of Certified Medical Laboratory Technician.

Employment Requirements

Regulations vary from state to state, but certification is highly recommended because many employers require it.

Certification Pass Rate

The SWIC graduate certification pass rate average over the past three years is 91 percent.

Contacts

For more information about this program, please contact:

Coordinators' Assistant Candice Rodgers

618-235-2700, ext. 5355
Candice.Rodgers@swic.edu

Enrollment Admissions Evaluators

618-235-2700,
ext. 5541 or 5542

Counseling Center

618-235-2700, ext. 5206