Demand for certified medical laboratory professionals is expected to grow 11% through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Centenary University is eager to answer the call.
The Hackettstown school, which launched the Bachelor of Science in medical laboratory science in fall 2019 and has clinical affiliations throughout the Skylands region and Pennsylvania, received initial accreditation for its program from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, the school announced this week.
Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, NAACLS is committed to being the premier international agency for accreditation and approval of quality educational programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and related health professions.
Dr. Craig Fuller, the director of the university’s health sciences and medical laboratory science programs, and a faculty member in health sciences, said the medical laboratory science degree is part of a broader initiative to expand Centenary’s career-focused educational offerings in the health sciences to meet increasing demand for well-trained professionals in northwestern New Jersey and beyond.
Centenary also recently introduced a new Bachelor of Science in health science, a Bachelor of Science in public health and a Bachelor of Science in exercise science.
“This is an exciting time at Centenary,” Fuller said. “The university is expanding into diagnostic testing, health and wellness — areas that are critical to the well-being of our society. These degrees offer our students fascinating practical experiences to help build careers in these growing fields.”
The MLS program incorporates chemistry, immunology, microbiology, hematology, immunohematology and molecular biology into the course of study. These disciplines prepare students for the exciting world of clinical testing to help clinicians with disease diagnosis, treatment and health maintenance.
The majority of medical laboratory professionals work in hospitals and reference labs. At the height of the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, they made headlines as the professionals responsible for COVID-19 testing.
Centenary’s first MLS graduate, Evonne Scott, completed the university’s rigorous educational and practical program last August.