The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) will now offer Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) students the opportunity to transfer to CSM’s Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program and pay CSM’s in-county tuition rate. The agreement builds on a 15-year model that has allowed CSM students to articulate to PGCC for Radiography and Respiratory Therapy classes and more recently, the PGCC Nuclear Medicine Technology program.

“This on-going collaborative relationship that conserves college resources, yet allows program expansion, is a win‐win for both colleges and our students,” said Acting Dean of the School of Science and Health Dr. Laura Polk.

Each of these agreements uses the same model:

Students complete General Education requirements at their home community college, then apply for admission to their specialized program at the neighboring college.

Each college reserves 25 percent of specialized program spaces for students who are transferring to the neighboring college.

Students receive in-county tuition rates after transfer to the neighboring college.

“The benefits of such programs are numerous,” Polk said. “The supplies and equipment requirements for such specialized health programs are extensive and expensive. Articulating with PGCC allows CSM students access to the three specialized health fields without CSM incurring the cost or physical space requirements for the laboratory, and now PGCC students will get the same benefits with our MLT program. Through these partnering agreements, CSM and PGCC students can take advantage of the tuition savings by paying in-county tuition rates and each college benefits by the increase to its respective program’s enrollment for these highly specialized health classes.”

Never has the work of MLT’s been more important than it is today as the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic. CSM’s MLT program prepares students to perform diagnostic lab work that is a critical part of patient care. MLTs perform tests that include complete blood counts, urinalysis, cross matching blood for transfusion, identifying pathogenic organisms and chemical analysis of blood and other body fluids. CSM MLT graduates can apply to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification exam to obtain national certification as a medical lab technician and for the last three years, CSM graduates have had a 100 percent pass rate for ASCP certification and a 100 percent placement rate.

CNBC recently reported MLTs are one of 21 of the most in-demand jobs in the United States. According to a 2018 study from the Mercer human resources consulting firm, the United States will face a shortfall of around 95,000 nursing assistants and 98,700 medical and laboratory technicians and technologists by 2025. Overall employment of MLTs is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. An increase in the aging population is expected to lead to an even greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or Type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures.

For more information about these articulation agreements or to learn more about the Health Pathway at CSM, visit online at https://www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/pathways/health/.