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Akron Cooperative Medical Laboratory Science Program

The Akron Cooperative Medical Laboratory Science Program (ACMLSP or MLS Program) is a collaborative effort among Akron Children’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, and Summa Health.  In keeping with each institution’s dedication to professional education for allied health professionals, the Akron Cooperative Medical Laboratory Science Program is committed to quality education and clinical training of students in Medical Laboratory Science.  Recognizing this important role in diagnosis and treatment of disease, the program promotes advancement of science and technology in patient care through life-long development of technical skills and competency.

MLS Program Accreditation

The Akron Cooperative Medical Laboratory Science Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). 

The program is committed to:

  1. Providing an educational experience that will enable a student to acquire competencies needed to function in any clinical laboratory setting within a standard period of orientation.
  2. Providing guided experience in scientific investigation and innovation to stimulate curiosity and intellectual growth.
  3. Developing the student’s understanding, skills, and attitudes for effective cooperation with other health care professionals.
  4. Providing an environment conducive to professional growth and development, with emphasis on quality care and patient safety.
  5. Preparing graduates to pass a national certification examination in order to enter professional practice.

Program Officials: Tracy Frankowski, MHA, MLS(ASCP)cm
Program Director and Laboratory Safety Officer
Akron Children’s Hospital
Office:   330-543-8720
Cell:        330-714-2814
tfrankowski@akronchildrens.org

Mary A. Garchar, MLS(ASCP)cm, QLScm     
Laboratory Education & Safety Coordinator
Summa Health
ACH:        330-543-3067
SUMMA: 330-375-3687
garcharm@summahealth.org
mgarchar@akronchildrens.org

Sandra Miller, MLS(ASCP)cm
Laboratory Education Coordinator & Safety Officer
Cleveland Clinic Akron General
ACH:        330-543-8428
CCAG:      330-344-6256
Millers19@ccf.org
Smiller2@akronchildrens.org

Address: Akron Children's Hospital
One Perkins Square
Akron, OH 44308-1062
mlsprogram@akronchildrens.org
 
Phone: 330-543-8720
 
Hours: 8:30 am. - 3:30 p.m.


The MLS Program year runs from July to July the following year.  MLS Program policies regarding tuition refunds, program withdrawal, academic advisement, confidentiality, grievances, criteria for program completion, academic probation/suspension/dismissal, and service work, and explanation of program structure and current academic calendar may be requested by emailing MLSProgram@akronchildrens.org.

Applicants must fulfill the following to be considered for the program:

  1. Prerequisite courses
    • Chemistry – 16 semester hours or 24 quarter hours. To include Organic and/or Biochemistry.  A separate course in Biochemistry is strongly recommended.
    • Biology – 16 semester hours or 24 quarter hours. To include Microbiology, Immunology, Anatomy/Physiology, and Genetics/Molecular Biology.
    • Mathematics – one college-level statistics course.  Remedial courses do not meet this requirement.
    • Chemistry and Biology courses must be acceptable toward a major in either Chemistry or Biology, or a major in Medical Laboratory Science. Survey courses do not meet these requirements.
  2. Completion of at least 3 years of college credit totaling at least 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours.  The candidate must be eligible for a bachelor’s degree upon completion of the MLS Program.
  3. A minimum overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.70 with a minimum combined Chemistry/Biology GPA of 2.5.
  4. Recommended elective courses include Parasitology, Instrumentation, Quantitative Analysis, Physics, Management and/or Education, and Computer Science.
  5. The applicant must complete all required pre-professional university/college courses before beginning the MLS Program.  These courses must also have been completed within the last 7 years.
  6. Degrees and credentials from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by an agency approved by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.  The agency must provide a report to the MLS Program listing the courses taken and the United States equivalent grade.  An original or emailed copy of this report must accompany application materials.  A list of ASCP approved agencies can be found at www.ASCP.org/boc.
  7. No persons will be denied admittance to the MLS Program based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, or sex; nor will any otherwise qualified handicapped individual be denied admittance to the MLS Program solely by reason of the handicap.

Essential Functions for Admittance

The Essential Functions (non-academic) established by this program are those functions that the student must be able to accomplish to engage in the education and training activities in a manner that allows progress in the curriculum, and will not endanger other health care workers, trainees, or the public, including patients.  Reasonable accommodations will be made, providing they will not endanger the health and safety of others.

STANDARD FUNCTION
Vision The student must be able to read charts and graphs, read instrument scales, discriminate colors, view microscopic materials, and record results.
 
Speech and Hearing The student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively in order to elicit information, be able to assess non-verbal communication, and be able to adequately transmit information to all members of the health care team.
 
Motor Functions The student must possess the dexterity necessary to carry out clinical laboratory procedures, manipulate tools, instruments, and equipment.
 
Psychological Stability The student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of the applicant’s intellectual abilities and be able to recognize  emergency situations and take appropriate action.

 

Tuition for 4+1 students (those with a bachelor’s degree prior to program admission) in the 2018-2019 class is $8,700, payable in two installments in August 2018 and February 2019.  Tuition is subject to change annually. 

Tuition for 3+1 students (those who are completing the final year of their bachelor’s degree at the MLS Program through an affiliated university) will continue to pay tuition to the university.  The MLS Program has agreements with university affiliates for tuition payment to the MLS Program by the university directly.

Additional fees for textbooks, professional society dues, and liability insurance are subject to change.  Please email MLSProgram@akronchildrens.org for current information.

Outcomes Measures

Year Graduation Rate Job Placement Board of Certification
First Year Pass Rate
2015 100% 100% 90%
2016 100% 100% 100%
2017 100% 100% 100%

 

 

 

 

Employment Opportunities

The current demand for Medical Laboratory Scientists is high in the Akron and surrounding area.  In past years, our graduates were able to obtain jobs within 6 months of graduation.  Due to the current shortage of qualified laboratory professionals, our graduating class of 2018 were all hired for laboratory positions prior to graduation, many of them as early as February. 

As a large number of laboratory professionals retire in the next 5 years, the demand will continue to increase.  Many of our graduates are in leadership and management positions much sooner than expected because of this exodus.  We encourage you to consider Medical Laboratory Science as a career choice that will offer stability, opportunity for advancement, and competitive wages and benefits.  It is truly a rewarding profession!

Deadline for applying to the program is December 1 for the class beginning in July of the following year.

Deadline for receiving all materials required in the application is December 15.

Please download these resources:

  • Application Instructions
  • Application form
  • Reference form
  • Undergraduate courses in progress form

MLS Program officials prefer that application materials, except for payment, are emailed to MLSProgram@akronchildrens.org

Application fee is $45, nonrefundable.  Payment must be in the form of personal check or cashier’s check made payable to Cooperative Medical Technology Program of Akron.  Please send payment using the United States Postal Service to: 

Akron Cooperative MLS Program
Akron Children’s Hospital
One Perkins Square, Room 4504 Main Building|
Akron, Ohio 44308

The applicant’s eligibility for interview for the MLS Program is determined by a scored evaluation that considers college or university affiliation, grade achievement and trends, courses completed, prior work or volunteer experience, knowledge of the profession, communication skills, personal goals, and reference information.

The interview typically occurs between October and December and is scored using highly structured, predetermined questions.  Program officials evaluate traits such as interest, attitude, communication skills, presence of goals, knowledge of the profession, ability to handle stress, sense of responsibility, and problem-solving/decision-making skills.  The interview score is combined with pre-interview data for a final applicant score.

The top-ranking students are offered positions in the MLS Program.  Up to 10 positions for a class of 20 students may be offered immediately upon completion of the interview if the overall scores meet predetermined requirements.  An alternate list is prepared from the next highest scores; offers will be made to alternates upon declination from the original group of offers.

Applications are accepted year-round and will not be evaluated until all requested information and the application fee is received.  The applicant is responsible for ensuring that all materials are received at the MLS Program.

The Akron Cooperative Medical Technology Program is proudly affiliated with these universities:

Preference is given to students from affiliated universities, although applications will be accepted from students attending non-affiliated colleges or universities.  A full year of academic credit is granted by the affiliated and nonaffiliated institutions to students enrolled in the MLS Program, so that a 3+1 graduate will receive a bachelor’s degree at the next scheduled college/university commencement following their graduation from the MLS Program.

Undergraduates from nonaffiliated institutions must have a statement from the degree-granting institution certifying that it will award a degree at the completion of the MLS Program, according to the standards of the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science. 

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree are considered nonaffiliates and receive 35 credit hours of instruction from the MLS Program.  All graduates receive a certificate upon completion of the clinical year coursework.

Graduates of the MLS Program are eligible to take the national certification examination offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC).  More information regarding this examination can be found at ASCP.org.

Clinical Sites

The Akron Cooperative Medical Laboratory Science Program is proudly affiliated with these clinical sites:

These clinical sites provide hands-on experience with current instruments, methods, and technology.  These sites set the ACMLSP apart from other MLS Programs because of the diversity of clinical experiences available.  Our clinical sites include large adult hospitals, a large pediatric hospital, smaller community hospitals, stand-alone emergency department laboratories, a network of patient service centers, and cover a 4-county area (Mahoning, Medina, Stark, and Summit). 

In addition, MLS Program students are offered an elective week to explore non-hospital laboratories, or other specialties such as electron microscopy, cytogenetics, histology, or cytology.

Courses consist of theory, practice and interpretation of diagnostic procedures employed in the clinical laboratory, including operation and management of the laboratory and supervision of personnel.  Clinical decision-making skills are developed by correlating laboratory data with disease states.

Clinical Bacteriology - Theory and laboratory methods, including molecular diagnostics, are correlated with isolation and identification protocols for clinically significant bacteria.   Pathogenesis and epidemiology of bacterial infections are included.

Clinical Mycology - Theory and laboratory exercises related to identification, etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and immunology of mycotic disease.

Clinical Parasitology - Theory and laboratory procedures related to the morphology and life cycles of human parasites.

Immunohematology - Study of human blood groups, compatibility testing, detection and identification of antibodies, transfusion therapy and management of a transfusion service.

Clinical Immunology - Theory and laboratory procedures related to the formation and detection of antibodies and cellular changes in various diseases.  Includes flow cytometry and molecular diagnostics.

Clinical Hematology - Study of development of the cellular elements of blood and bone marrow with emphasis on recognition of normal and abnormal elements.  Includes lectures on detection of blood dyscrasias, hematological procedures, and cytology and morphology of body fluids with the clinical correlation of laboratory results to diseases.

Coagulation - Theory of coagulation mechanisms and their relationship to disease states, with emphasis on identification of coagulation deficiencies and abnormalities.

Clinical Chemistry - Theory and clinical laboratory experience involving the analysis of chemical constituents of blood and body fluids in normal and disease states. 

Urinalysis/Body Fluids - Physiology of the urinary system and related diseases with emphasis on detection methods for chemical and cellular elements of urine.  The course includes a review of body fluid analyses of cerebral spinal fluid, synovial fluid, miscellaneous body fluids and fecal analysis.

Laboratory Management and Personnel Practices - Theory and discussion of critical thinking, effective communication, management principles, laboratory information systems, QC and QA, financial management, research, professionalism, credentialing, regulatory agencies, problem solving, team building, presentation skills, technical procedure writing and human resource management.

Special Topics - Examples include Histology, Cytogenetics, Virology, Molecular Diagnostics and Electron Microscopy.