ACPHS, St. Rose Team for New Joint Programs

Responding to a critical need in the nation’s health care system, The College of Saint Rose and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences have teamed to offer in Albany a combined five-year degree program to prepare students for the high-demand field of medical technology.

A joint program of study between the two colleges will enable qualified Saint Rose students to transition directly into master’s degree programs in clinical laboratory sciences or cytotechnology and molecular cytology at ACPHS. Students may complete the first three years at Saint Rose and then move seamlessly into graduate study including clinical training at ACPHS. Saint Rose will award a bachelor of science degree after the first year of study at ACPHS. Upon successful completion of the five-year program, ACPHS will award the master of science degree in clinical laboratory sciences or cytotechnology and molecular cytology. Both programs prepare students to meet the New York State licensure requirements as well as national certification by the American Society of Clinical Pathology.

Clinical laboratory technologists run diagnostic tests on patients’ samples and provide the essential data that enable doctors to properly diagnose their patients’ illnesses and conditions. Cytotechnology is the microscopic study of cells for evidence of cancer.

The partnership between Saint Rose and ACPHS provides for assured acceptance into the ACPHS master’s degree programs for Saint Rose students who have earned the required 3.0 grade-point average over the three years of undergraduate study in ACPHS program-specific prerequisite courses, with emphasis on science and math. ACPHS will waive its graduate school application fee and Graduate Record Exam requirement. ACPHS has already identified those courses at Saint Rose that meet ACPHS prerequisites.

Saint Rose has offered a medical technology major since 1978 and a cytotechnology major since 1983. Until now, students majoring in medical technology have been required to complete their clinical training away from Albany at either Rochester Medical Center in Rochester or Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. Saint Rose and ACPHS have collaborated on a cytotechnology program for the past decade.

“A tremendous shortage of skilled medical technologists in the nation’s hospitals and pathology laboratories has led to a high demand for trained specialists. This new collaboration means that a student in the medical technology program now can complete all of his or her training in five years right here in Albany and likely have a job waiting before graduation. We are delighted to partner with Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to offer this opportunity,” said Richard J. Thompson Jr., dean of the Saint Rose School of Mathematics and Sciences.

“We have been very pleased with the caliber of the students who have come through the cytotechnology program at Saint Rose. I am confident we will continue to see the same high level of preparation from those students heading into the clinical laboratory sciences program,” said Elyse Wheeler, chair of the Department of Health Sciences at ACPHS.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Projection Data, more than 52,000 job openings for laboratory professionals are anticipated due to growth and replacement needs through 2020. For this reason, the BLS projects that employment in health care support occupations is “expected to grow most rapidly (34.5 percent)” of the 22 major occupational groups between 2010 and 2020.

June 10, 2013