Medical Technology and pre-Clinical Laboratory Science Department
Welcome to the Medical Laboratory Technician and pre-Clinical Laboratory Science department. This website contains detailed information related to the MLT program, such as costs, application requirements, how to apply, etc. Applicants are also asked to consult the current version of the MLT Program Handbook (PDF). The Folsom Lake College MLT program is accredited by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Laboratory Field Services (LFS), and National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
The department has also created a pre-CLS trainee certificate aimed at guiding individuals who are hoping to become a licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist in California. As part of that process, one must first obtain a CLS trainee license from the State, which also requires some prerequisite coursework. Several of these prerequisite courses are difficult to find and often very expensive. Fortunately, many of the didactic courses currently offered through the college’s MLT program have also been approved by the State to meet said prerequisite requirements for the CLS trainee license.
More information on the pre-CLS training license requirements can be found on the California Department of Public Health Department of Laboratory Field Services (CDPH-LFS). It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to ensure they meet all pre-CLS trainee requirements, and also ensure their prospective CLS programs accept the courses offered.
To be clear, pre-CLS trainee certificate is not a CLS program, does not grant entry into a CLS program, nor does it specifically allow graduates to work in the clinical laboratory upon graduation. Pre-CLS trainee students do not receive a clinical rotation, and do not gain any advantage if also applying to the MLT Program.
The pre-CLS certificate is simply a collection of difficult-to-find prerequisite courses which allow students to move closer to their goal of becoming a CLS. For more information on the pre-CLS trainee certificate, please refer to the department’s FAQ and Overview (Degree’s and Certificates) webpages.
What advice would you give to a new college student?
The best advice I could give is to learn how to be a college student. The key here is engagement. If you push yourself to become engaged in the material you will learn several skills critical to being a college student. It may take a semester or two, but engagement will teach you how to study and keep yourself focused on your greater goal.
Engagement doesn't stop at the classroom though. Get involved with on-campus activities and use as many of the provided resources as you can. College is an experience that you will gain more than book smarts from. You will learn life, job, and communication skills; and so much more, but you have to be engaged in order to truly benefit from it.
I call this the epiphany moment. It's the moment when you realize that what you thought was the best you could do, really wasn't. I went through this myself in college and found that engaging myself in the college experience was key to my academic success. Go to office hours – even if you do not need help. Utilize the tutoring center, or better yet become a tutor. The college experience does not stop once you leave the classroom.
My final piece of advice is to never pursue money. It's understandably easy to get caught up in the pursuit of a six figure job; however you should never sacrifice your quality of life for it. Do what you love and the money will come. If you don't know what you love, get out there. Do internships, contact companies, ask for informational interviews. Of course this all ties back to engagement; if you love what you do then you'll be great at what you do.
What's the favorite part of your job?
The variation. There is always something new happening, some new problem that needs solving. It keeps me on my toes and I love it. Best of all, it brings me back to the college experience that I loved so much.
What was your proudest moment working with students?
The proudest moment is seeing my students transform from individuals first learning how to hold a needle, to professional Medical Laboratory Technologists. It's amazing what our program manages to accomplish in such a short period of time. Our program has a steep learning curve and engagement is pretty much a requirement for success. Seeing our students enter into the medical field with professional licensure and a passion for what they do has to be one of the best feelings in the world.
What is unique about FLC's Medical Laboratory Technician program?
Well it's one of the first Medical Laboratory Technician programs in California. Also interesting is all MLT programs are governed by California law, which mean a few unique criteria are put upon us here at the college. For instance all MLT instructors, at minimum, must be current California-licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientists. As you can imagine, keeping up with these unique criteria brings some interesting, but solvable, challenges to our campus.
Furthermore, we set our standards very high for our program and its students. Laboratory professionals play a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. We set our standards so high because as a patient you expect your medical team to be the best and the brightest, and that is what we aim to provide with this program.
Jason received his B.S. in Microbiology from UC Davis and is a State and Nationally Licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist.