CLEMSON — Beginning this fall, Tri-County Technical College graduates with an Associate in Applied Science degree in medical laboratory technology who meet specific criteria can enroll as juniors at Clemson University. Qualified students will be accepted in the bachelor's in microbiology degree program with a concentration in biomedicine.

With a bachelor's degree in microbiology and two years of work experience, graduates will be eligible to take the board exams for certification as a clinical laboratory scientist, the highest accreditation level. With this accreditation, they will be qualified for positions in hospitals, public health clinics, industry, research and forensics.

Medical laboratory scientists are an important part of the medical specialists’ team that determines the presence, extent or absence of disease, and monitors treatment. Seventy-five percent of all medical decisions are based on the results of medical laboratory testing.

“Clemson University is proud to launch this program with Tri-County Technical College that will give students affordable opportunities for well-paying careers in the medical profession,” said Clemson President James F. Barker.

“Our partnership with Clemson University spans nearly 50 years, when former President R.C. Edwards donated Clemson land to build our Pendleton campus in 1963,” said Tri-County Tech President Ronnie L. Booth. “That was only the beginning. Articulation agreements like this one, our Bridge to Clemson program and countless other initiatives have made our two institutions role models for collaboration.”

“According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. alone needs 10,000 new board-certified laboratory scientists/technicians a year just to maintain current levels of staffing, but the educational programs across the country are graduating only 4,000,” said Vincent Gallicchio, who has a joint appointment in Clemson's biological sciences and public health departments. He is president of the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science.

“I foresee these graduates as future managers and innovators in clinical laboratory science. With a baccalaureate degree, they may also wish to pursue graduate degrees in research or other aspects of medicine,” said Hap Wheeler, chairman of Clemson’s biological sciences department.

“I believe the outstanding reputation of our science department was a key factor in Clemson’s confidence that our graduates would be well-prepared for their program,” said Polly Kay, program coordinator for the medical laboratory technology program at Tri-County Tech.

For more information about this program, contact Tamara McNealy at Clemson or Polly Kay at Tri-County Tech.

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