Kirtland Community College students can now fast-track into an LSSU medical laboratory science degree

LSSU-KCC MLS AgreementMED TECH CAREER MADE EASIER – Lake Superior State University Provost Lynn Gillette, right, and Kirtland Community College President Tom Quinn ink an agreement on Aug. 13 that lets Kirtland students lever coursework towards an LSSU Medical Laboratory Science baccalaureate degree. Looking on from right is LSSU Medical Laboratory Science Program Director Martha Hutchens. (LSSU/David Myton)

Lake Superior State University Provost Lynn Gillette and Kirtland Community College President Tom Quinn signed an articulation agreement on Aug. 13 that will provide a seamless transfer of students from KCC to LSSU’s Medical Laboratory Science program.

The agreement will let Kirtland students roll biology, chemistry, math, and general education courses into an LSSU bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science (MLS). That means almost half of an LSSU MLS baccalaureate – 55 credits – can be done at Kirtland, with the remaining 70 credits being completed at LSSU’s Sault Ste. Marie main campus.

“LSSU is excited to expand our collaboration with Kirtland Community College through this program, and looks forward to other opportunities with this important partner,” says LSSU President Rodney S. Hanley.

Lake Superior State University’s Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program was awarded full accreditation by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) in May.  LSSU was given a five-year term, the longest possible for a first-time accreditation.

“This accreditation is recognition that the program meets national standards and prepares students for personal certification through the American Society for Clinical Pathology,” says LSSU Provost Gillette. “And articulation agreements like this build clear pathways for students from early coursework to career entry.”

The program enables graduates to understand and analyze medical laboratory tests; quickly, accurately, and precisely perform medical laboratory test procedures; and conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner within the healthcare industry.

Students in the MLS program at Lake State are eligible to apply for a six-month clinical internship after on-campus coursework.

“Hospitals and independent laboratories are eager to hire MLS graduates. Wages for bachelor-level grads start at around $52,000 a year in this area of the country,” said LSSU Biology Professor Martha Hutchens, who is also MLS program coordinator. “We’re excited to be able to offer a clear pathway to a high-demand career to Kirtland students.”

Officials at both schools hope to alleviate the current shortage of qualified laboratory workers in northern Michigan.

Eligible transfers can happen immediately. Students should contact Kirtland Community College Associate Registrar Renae Klee at 989-275-5000, ext. 291, for details. Specific questions about LSSU’s Medical Laboratory Sciences program can be directed to Prof. Hutchens by calling 906-635-2806.