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Medical Lab Tech Program

October 12th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Clinical laboratory jobs, 50 at WVU Medicine and 139 at UPMC, are on Allegany College of Maryland’s Medical Laboratory Technology Program Director Stacey Rohrbaugh’s mind. She is currently accepting applications for the college’s next cohort of Medical Laboratory Technology program students. The priority deadline is November 1. 


We invite more students to choose this field of study. Our graduates are in demand and COVID-19 has only magnified the existing shortage. The impact on patient care is clear: When you lack in-house laboratory technicians, phlebotomists and scientists to do blood draws and conduct testing, institutions could be forced to send out their testing or limit testing menus. These practices can affect specimen integrity, delay turnaround time and prove dangerous in critical care situations.” said Rohrbaugh. 


Incentives Address Staffing Challenges 

"The laboratory's vital role in patient care became even more evident when labs were overrun with testing due to the pandemic. Throughout the existing shortage of technicians and scientists, we've been fortunate to maintain a program at ACM that provides excellent, well-trained medical lab technicians. These graduates are highly sought after by hospitals in our tri-state region because of the high number of vacancies available. Institutions like ours are offering attractive sign-on bonuses and other benefits," said Kimberly Smith, director of laboratory services at UPMC Western Maryland. "If you're contemplating a career in healthcare, this program is a great start. You are truly needed."  


The MLT program at ACM is designated a Health Manpower Shortage Program by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, meaning that the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has determined it to be an in-demand health occupation where qualified workers are in short supply. 


Personalized Academic Support 

MLT students develop knowledge and hands-on skills through traditional lectures and lab coursework before completing one-semester internships at regional clinical laboratories. After completing general education courses required for program admission, students in the program’s clinical phase can earn their Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Laboratory Technology in 16 months and become eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Medical Laboratory Technician certification exam. One-hundred percent of MLT graduates in the 2020 and 2021 cohort found employment, with 93% passing their Medical Laboratory Technician certification examination on their first attempt. 


“Because of our program’s smaller size, MLT students receive very personalized training and academic support. We can pivot to tailor our instruction and tutoring to help students through the program, which is admittedly challenging at times, while preparing them to be successful in the next phase of their careers,” said Rohrbaugh.  


Full admission requirements are available online at The program is popular with reverse transfer students (individuals with an associate or bachelor’s degree in biology or other sciences) as well as individuals with prior college experience.  


Potential for Advancement 

The Medical Laboratory Technology program is a career ladder program, meaning that additional credentials may lead to opportunities for advancement or specialization. The profession is one that recognizes prior educational attainment.  

  • ACM’s MLT degree seamlessly transfers into Medical (Clinical) Laboratory Science programs at four-year institutions. Students, upon graduation in one or two years (depending on whether or not they hold other degrees), then become eligible to take ASCP’s Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) certification exam and become qualified to supervise or manage a laboratory.  
  • MLT graduates with a previously completed bachelor’s degree who’ve obtained their American Society of Clinical Pathology Medical Laboratory Technician certification may take the ASCP Medical Laboratory Science certification exam after just one year of full-time on-the-job experience. 
  • Advanced degrees such as master’s or doctoral degrees in Clinical Laboratory Science, Business Administration, Education or other fields can lead to positions as a laboratory director, clinician consultant, or instructor.  

Scholarships Available  

The ACM Foundation offers four scholarships with multiple awards each specifically for MLT students. Other financial aid and assistance through the Foundation and college make the program an affordable option for recent high school graduates, nontraditional students and college grads seeking quick entry in an in-demand field.  


Instagram Live Q&A Scheduled 

Professor Rohrbaugh and current MLT students will host an Instagram Live Q&A on Wed., Oct. 20 at 12pm @alleganycollegeofmd. Participants can post questions to receive real-time answers and go behind-the-scenes in the MLT lab for a demonstration of how a rapid COVID-19 test is administered and processed by students.    


For program information or to enroll, visit or contact Stacey Rohrbaugh at 301-784-5547 or