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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chris Bender (619) 482 – 6564

Southwestern College Announces Nearly $49,000 To Improve Medical Lab Training

Grant Will Help Increase Number of Biotech Graduates, Support College's Nationally-Accredited MLT Program

CHULA VISTA, CA – Southwestern College today announced $48,567 in new federal funding to increase the number of Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) graduates from its nationally-accredited program. The funding will provide more clinical training possibilities at local hospitals.

“This is great news for our students, faculty and staff, giving people new reason to choose Southwestern College as a starting point for their career,” Dr. Raj K. Chopra, Superintendent/President of Southwestern College, said. “With these funds, our MLT students will have new and unique opportunities to take their classroom experience and apply it in a hands-on way.”

In addition to increasing clinical training sites, the funding will create partnerships between Southwestern College and four-year institutions that offer a Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) degree. The goal is to allow credits accrued from the College’s MLT program to count a CLS degree, easing the transfer process.

“Currently there is no clear articulation process between MLT and CLS programs in the state. This grant will allow our students to reach the next step in their career ladder,” Luis A. Nuňez Jr., Medical Laboratory Technician Program Director said.

The funding is part of the College’s Biotechnology Clinical Laboratory Consortium Project. Started in 2009 in conjunction with other two-year and four-year colleges, the Project is a collaborative effort to increase the number of licensed Clinical Genetic Molecular Diagnostic Scientists, Cytogeneticists, Clinical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Laboratory Technicians and phlebotomists in California and working in the San Diego area.

Located at the College’s Higher Education Center in National City, Southwestern College’s MLT program prepares students for entry into a technician-level position in a clinical laboratory environment aiding medical diagnosis and patient treatment. The 18-month program integrates classroom instruction and a 26-week clinical laboratory internship. Currently 19 local hospitals and health centers serve as the student’s clinical laboratory sites.

In October, Southwestern College announced that its MLT program received national accreditation from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, making it only the second community college program in California to receive the status.

About Southwestern College

Fully accredited since 1964, Southwestern College is the only institute of higher education in southern San Diego County and is the primary source of higher education for approximately 400,000 residents of communities including Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Nestor, Otay Mesa, Palm City, San Ysidro, Sunnyside and Coronado. The College serves approximately 20,000 students each semester and offers more than 285 associate degree and certificate options.