SUNY Broome’s online Clinical Laboratory Technician (CLT) program: The first and only online-enabled program of its kind in New York State

Traditional education for key healthcare professions has focused on affiliations, with a limited number of affiliated clinical sites local to the sponsoring college or university. Although effective, this model limits the number of enrolled students to those that can be accommodated at clinical slots in local healthcare institutions. Most healthcare professions require that students graduate from approved educational programs to qualify for licensure or certification to practice in New York State. Development of new programs is prohibitively expensive, so student access to healthcare education and employer access to graduates of those programs is tied geographically to locations in New York State with existing programs of study.

SUNY Broome Community College has developed a successful model for a clinically-based, accredited Clinical Laboratory Technician Associate in Applied Science degree program that has been effectively delivered throughout New York State through distance education. The model has three interrelated and integrated primary elements:

  • fully-online core curriculum and general education courses, including online laboratories in natural science courses
  • hands-on learning of basic laboratory skills through preceptorships in healthcare facilities local to the student, and ·
  • clinical education in healthcare facilities local to the student

This model prepares students for a progression that begins with acquisition of foundational concepts, to practical application of knowledge skills, and culminates in a clinical capstone that demonstrates mastery of the program learning outcomes.

SUNY Broome’s innovative fully-online Clinical Laboratory Technician (CLT) program is the first and only online-enabled program of its kind in New York State, and was one of the first to be offered in the nation. Communities and hospitals in rural areas that have had difficulties recruiting clinical laboratory technicians can now offer current working adults the opportunity to advance professionally by enrolling in the Online Clinical Laboratory Technician program. In this model, students can continue their employment and complete their laboratory and clinical experiences in their own communities. Graduates who are already invested in their community are also more likely to be retained in the as long-term members of the workforce in the community in which they trained.

Using this delivery model, SUNY Broome has also developed a fully-online Histological Technician Certificate program, also the first and only of its kind in the state.