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Oregon Tech/OHSU Program Graduates 47 Practitioners from State’s only Medical Lab Science Degree this Saturday

Dec 09, 2016
The MLS program has a stunning job placement rate of nearly 100 percent within six months of graduation, with many graduates offered immediate positions from their externship sites

This Saturday, Dec. 10, 47 new Medical Lab Science (MLS) graduates will enter Oregon’s workforce after graduating from a rigorous bachelor’s degree program at Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). The MLS program has a stunning job placement rate of nearly 100 percent within six months of graduation, with many graduates offered immediate positions from their externship sites.

Medical Laboratory Science (previously named Clinical Laboratory Science) is a health profession that provides laboratory information and services needed for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The 83-year-old nationally accredited MLS 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, with its graduates earning starting salaries in the $57,000 range, and in positions in virtually every medical lab in Oregon.

The MLS degree is a four-year Bachelor of Science program that prepares students with an intensive curriculum, strong in 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 50 medical facilities that partner with Oregon Tech, mostly in Oregon, but in neighboring states as well.

MLS 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 faculty. Attrition rates in the program are less than 1 percent.

Leticia Alvarez Frias, who will be graduating this weekend said, “For three years I worked at a food processor testing their products for microbes. I knew I wanted a lab-related career, so with the help of Google I found out about Oregon Tech’s MLS program. Here I am now about to graduate and begin my career. I want to thank my family for all their support. Remember to chase your dreams, there will be storms along the way, but rainbows will always follow!” Leticia is a first-generation college student who completed her prerequisites while working part-time before transferring to Oregon Tech. She is graduating with a 3.7 GPA.

Graduates of the MLS Class of 2016 are a diverse group, with about 74 percent women and 26 percent men, ages 22 to over 45, and an impressive average GPA of 3.8. All MLS 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. MLS graduates have a wide field of employment from which to choose and can be found working as medical 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. Numerous students have already been offered jobs at employers such as Bay Area Hospital, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Providence Health & Services, and St. Charles Medical Center.

The MLS Class of 2016 is also the last class to benefit from the teaching of Dr. Abraham Furman, an Associate Professor who has taught at Oregon Tech for more than 20 years. Dr. Furman teaches Clinical Chemistry and Immunology and is a member of numerous professional societies (American Association of Clinical Chemistry, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, and American Society for Clinical Pathology), and has been on the editorial review board for Medical Laboratory Science journals, for more than a decade. As Oregon Tech says farewell to Dr. Furman, he shared his feelings related to his teaching and working at Oregon Tech; “I have loved science and learning for as long as I can remember. I wanted to be in a college environment where my technical skills, love of learning, and the experience of sharing with people eager to learn and grow, could be possible. Oregon Tech more than fulfilled that vision.”


About Oregon Tech

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic university the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering, technology health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on, applied learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls, an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville, an Online campus, as well as other degree deliver sites. 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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