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Raritan Valley Community College and Labcorp are sharing their expertise to train the next generation of highly skilled medical laboratory technicians. 

A new partnership between Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) and Labcorp, a global leader of innovative and comprehensive laboratory services, has led to the development of an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program at RVCC.  

The AAS degree, which began summer 2023, officially launched during a Sept. 29 ceremony at the college. The event was attended by leadership from RVCC and Labcorp, as well as Senator Andrew Zwicker (D-16). The program also included a tour of the new Labcorp laboratory, located in the college’s Christine Todd Whitman Science Center. 

“Labcorp is proud to partner with RVCC to support their new Medical Laboratory Technology program,” says Mary Williamson, Ph.D., vice president, Laboratory Operations, Labcorp’s Northeast and North Central Divisions. “Once enrolled in this program, students will have the opportunity to train with our team of incredible laboratory professionals during their clinical rotations, and upon completion, explore the many opportunities for qualified candidates to join our team of over 800 laboratory personnel working inside Labcorp’s Raritan laboratory.” 

According to Michael J. McDonough, president, Raritan Valley Community College, “The new Medical Laboratory Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree program at RVCC represents the very best in public-private partnerships and is a model for others to follow. We are grateful for Labcorp’s commitment to establishing this new academic track and for the ‘workforce-ready’ talent it will produce.” 

The idea for a partnership between RVCC and Labcorp originated about five years ago when students in the college’s Authentic Engineering program were working on a project at Labcorp’s Raritan facility. Initial conversations identified a need to expand the company’s talent pipeline for medical laboratory technicians, and RVCC collaborated with Labcorp to establish a new educational track at the college. 

Planning the new degree was truly a team effort. Labcorp leadership and RVCC faculty and administrators worked together for many months on program design, curriculum development, licensing approval, staffing, and program promotion, all culminating with the launch of the Associate of Applied Science degree in MLT. 

 The company’s commitment to the partnership with RVCC is multifaceted and includes direct support to students through the Labcorp MLT Scholarship at RVCC. The first three recipients of the Labcorp MLT Scholarship are Laura Bacino, Essa Conteh, and Qunying Zhao. 

Students enrolled in the MLT program take the required academic courses at RVCC’s Branchburg campus and then complete their clinical rotations at Labcorp’s state-of-the-art regional lab in Raritan. The first cohort of 10 students has already completed its prerequisite courses at RVCC and is now beginning the program’s core courses and practical experience. 

The 68-credit MLT program, which takes two years to complete and includes summer sessions, provides students with the foundation in clinical laboratory sciences required for entry into the healthcare field as a medical laboratory technician. It also prepares students to work effectively as a member of a medical laboratory team. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field is projected to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031. 

The program is composed of two segments: the MLT Pre-Clinical Program, which consists primarily of 100-level General Education foundation courses, and the MLT Clinical Program that includes 100- and 200-level clinical laboratory courses and clinical rotations. 

Through a combination of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences in clinical microbiology, clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunohematology, and urinalysis, students learn how to perform diagnostic laboratory tests used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. The program is designed to train students to immediately enter the workforce in medical reference, hospital labs, and independent laboratory companies such as Labcorp. The program also prepares students to pursue additional education and training in laboratory science and further career opportunities. 

RVCC is currently seeking accreditation by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and has initial application of accreditation approved. Once accredited, graduates of the MLT program will be eligible to sit for the Board of Certification examination. 

For additional information about the MLT program, contact Program Coordinator Siddra Majeed Dar at siddra-majeed.dar@raritanval.edu. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu. 


PHOTO CAPTION 

Mike Marion, executive director of the RVCC Foundation, second from left, with the first three recipients of the Labcorp MLT Scholarship at Raritan Valley Community College: (from left) Essa Conteh, Laura Bacino, and Qunying Zhao. – Photo courtesy of RVCC.