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Oregon Tech/OHSU Program Graduates 45 New Practitioners from Oregon’s only Clinical Lab Science Degree Program this Saturday

Dec 09, 2015
45 Clinical Laboratory Science students to graduate from Oregon Tech/OHSU on Saturday
Wilsonville, OR – This Saturday, Dec. 12, 45 new Clinical Laboratory Science graduates will enter Oregon’s workforce, graduating from an academic program that has a stunning job placement rate of nearly 100 percent within six months of graduation from Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). 
Clinical Laboratory Science is a health profession that provides laboratory information and services needed for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The 82-year-old nationally accredited Clinical Lab Science program was established by OHSU in 1933 and today is a joint Oregon Tech/OHSU program administered by Oregon Tech. It is the only four-year degree program of its kind in the state and the largest in the Pacific Northwest. 
The Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) degree is a four-year Bachelor of Science program that prepares students with an intensive curriculum with heavy biology and chemistry emphases; labs that include analysis of human samples on the latest equipment; and a four-month, 40-hour a week externship at one of 53 medical facilities that partner with Oregon Tech, mostly in the state, but in neighboring states as well. 
CLS is a highly competitive program, admitting only 50 students a year, with two to three times that number applying for the degree program. Located at Oregon Tech’s Wilsonville campus just south of Portland, the program trains students in labs built to spec, so students are learning in the same environments in which they will eventually work. With a low student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1, students get the attention they need from the program’s five faculty members. Attrition rates in the program are a less than 1 percent.
Sarah Wright, who will be graduating this weekend said, “The CLS program was both the most challenging and the most rewarding experience of my life. After 15 months of intense, hands-on practical training, I feel well-prepared to embark on a career as a clinical laboratory scientist. The education and training I've received has enabled me to find a financially stable career in a field where I'll be intellectually challenged, have opportunities to grow, and most importantly, will be providing vital health care services. It really is a dream come true!” Sarah also noted that her clinical externship experience led directly to a job offer at her training site, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, which hired her as a medical technologist.
Dawn Taylor, CLS Department Chair said, “These CLS students are very talented. They formed a close-knit group and helped each other through the rigorous professional year. It was a pleasure to have them in the classroom, and we have received nothing but excellent remarks regarding their abilities from their clinical externship sites. They are ready and eager to join the team of medical professionals serving patients. We are proud to have them as Oregon Tech alumni.”
Graduates of the CLS Class of 2015 are a diverse group, with about 71 percent women and 29 percent men, the majority age 25 to 35. Most graduates will work at a hospital or clinic, medical research lab or in a health-related industry, with 80 to 90 percent of them working in Oregon. Numerous students have already been offered jobs, and Taylor reports that faculty are receiving reference requests daily. Some of the current job offers are at employers such as Samaritan Health; St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada; Mercy Medical in Roseburg; Providence in Medford; Three Rivers in Grants Pass; Legacy Health’ Providence in Everett, Washington; Sky Lakes in Klamath Falls; and the VA Portland Health Care System.
All CLS graduates must pass a comprehensive, nationally administered exam that tests students’ knowledge in a number of areas. Graduates have much higher average scores than are seen nationally, and have received the top scores in the nation a number of times. CLS graduates have a wide field of employment from which to choose and can be found working as clinical laboratory generalists in hospitals, clinics or commercial laboratories; specialists in areas such as microbiology, hematology, molecular biology/DNA, immunology, stem cell/bone marrow labs; or quality management specialists in hospitals or industry operations such as pharmaceuticals. Starting salaries for Oregon Tech CLS graduates are in the low-to-mid $50,000 range, and graduates of the program are in virtually every medical lab in the state of Oregon. 
About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic university in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls, an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville, and extension sites serving specific program needs. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.
About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only public academic health and research university. As one of Oregon's largest employers, with more than 15,000 employees, OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of Oregon and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.
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