Clinical Laboratory Science Degree (CLS) (selective)

Prepare to play a vital role in patient care by performing a wide range of clinical laboratory procedures used in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. The CLS curriculum provides general education courses and introductory CLS courses in the first year, then career-related courses and practical experience in the second year. The first year courses are open to students wishing to enter the CLS program. The second year CLS courses are restricted to those selected for the CLS program. Clinical laboratory technicians analyze specimens for bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms; analyze the chemical content of body fluids; match blood for transfusions; and test for drug levels in the blood to show how a patient is responding to treatment. Clinical laboratory technicians also collect and prepare specimens for analysis. The important laboratory results generated by this testing are then analyzed and relayed to physicians. The modern clinical laboratory uses increasingly sophisticated instrumentation interfaced with computer technology. The CLS program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 North River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, Illinois 60018, telephone 773-714-8880. Graduates of the CLS program will be eligible to take the national certification examination, such as that offered by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. The application deadline for the second year of the curriculum is April 1(for clinical courses starting in the fall). This selective enrollment program requires additional application components. The selection process is competitive and space is limited (see page 14). For more information, call Dr. Cheryl Wilson at 978-630-9433.

Number Suggested Course Order Cr Semester Grade Prerequisites/Notes
Semester I
ENG101 English Composition I

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
MAT134 College Algebra

3

    MAT096 or placement
BIO204 Anatomy and Physiology II

4

    BIO099, ENG098, FYE101, MAT096, RDG098, or placement
CIS127 Computer Technologies

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
CLS103 Introduction to Clinical Lab Science I

4

    Prerequisites: ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement

Note: Only offered in fall

  Humanities Elective

3

    Electives: ART, ASL, DAN, ENG, FRE, HUM, MUS, PHL, SPA, SPC, THE

Note: Can be taken any semester

Semester II
ENG102 English Composition II

3

    ENG101
CHE203 Introduction to Inorganic, Organic, and

Biochemistry

4

    ENG098, FYE101, MAT096, RDG098, or placement
BIO205 Microbiology

4

    Prerequisites: ENG098, FYE101, MAT096, RDG098, or placement; BIO099 (or placement), BIO109, BIO199 (formerly BIO203), or BIO115 with grade of C or better
CLS105 Introduction to Clinical Lab Science II

4

    CLS103; BIO204 highly recommended as a pre-requisite or co-requisite
  Social Science Elective

3

    Electives: ANT,  ECO, GEO, HIS, POL, PSY, SOC, SSC
Semester III
CLS203 Clinical Hematology I

4

    Restricted to students accepted to CLS Program
CLS205 Clinical Immunohematology I

4

    Restricted to students accepted to CLS Program
CLS207 Clinical Microbiology I

4

    Restricted to students accepted to CLS Program
CLS213 Clinical Chemistry I

4

    Restricted to students accepted to CLS Program
Semester IV
CLS204 Clinical Hematology II

4

    CLS203; Restricted to students accepted to CLS Program
CLS206 Clinical Immunohematology II

4

    CLS205; Restricted to students accepted to CLS Program
CLS208 Clinical Microbiology II

4

    CLS207; Restricted to students accepted to CLS Program
CLS214 Clinical Chemistry II

4

    CLS213; Restricted to students accepted to CLS Program
                                                                                           Total: 70 credits

Campus/format:  CLS 103 and CLS105 are offered at the Gardner Campus. Clinical CLS course format consists of lectures at the Gardner Campus and in-hospital internships. CLS is a day only, full-time, selective program.

Requirement for consideration: Applicants must meet certain academic standards. See page 14 of the college catalog for specific details or refer to the program application available on our website or through the admissions office.

Helpful hints: Success in this field requires attention to detail, flexibility to multitask and change tasks when interrupted, a strong concern for order, sound judgment and ability to conduct laboratory procedures accurately and when under pressure.

Transfer options: Consult the program director to discuss transfer and advanced career options.

Special requirements: Any student (after meeting with department chair) is eligible to enroll in courses in the first year of the curriculum. Only students accepted into the CLS program will enroll in CLS courses in the second year. CLS applicants must complete first year requirements before beginning the CLS program. Students enrolled in any CLS course have additional requirements. Applicants must meet all requirements for consideration before entering the program. Students must meet technical standards (see page 93) with or without accommodations and additional requirements including immunizations, physical examination, liability insurance, and a Criminal/Sexual Offender Records Information (CORI/SORI) check (see page 15). Students must maintain a C+ (77 percent) or better in all BIO, CHE, CLS, and MAT courses to maintain good standing. All students in selective majors must participate in the Massachusetts Community College Health Insurance Plan or provide accurate information regarding comparable coverage. Drug testing may be mandatory at some MWCC clinical instruction sites.

Career options: Clinical laboratory scientists may work in hospital laboratories; physicians’ offices; private clinics; commercial and research laboratories; pharmaceutical, industrial and biotechnology firms; as well as government and public health facilities.

Earning potential: $28,420 to $44,310.

Program Competencies for CLS

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Procure laboratory test samples in an efficient, timely manner.
  • Produce accurate laboratory test results within acceptable limits of quality control.
  • Correlate and interpret laboratory test data.
  • Disseminate laboratory test information to clinicians in a timely manner.
  • Consult with more experienced team members when necessary.
  • Exhibit knowledge of laboratory tests and standards.
  • Exhibit basic knowledge of professional ethics, laws and regulations.
  • Demonstrate continued competency in the field at least annually.
  • Maintain membership in a professional organization.
  • Perform multi-functional tasks.
  • Actively participate in continuing education.

Technical Standards* for CLS

* For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see page 68.

Students entering the CLS program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at a college level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Stand for a minimum of two hours.
  • Walk for a minimum of six hours, not necessarily consecutively.
  • Stoop, bend, and twist for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time and be able to repeat this activity at frequent intervals.
  • Differentiate colors as assessed by standard color blindness evaluation.
  • Differentiate by touch, hotness/coldness, wetness/dryness, and hardness/softness.
  • Use the small muscle dexterity necessary to do such tasks as gloving, gowning, and operating controls on laboratory instrumentation.
  • Respond to spoken words, monitor signals, and instrument alarms.
  • Identify behaviors that would endanger a person’s life or safety and intervene quickly in a crisis situation with an appropriate solution.
  • Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.