MoHealthWINs Allowed MACC To Go Above and Beyond to Help Students
The MoHealthWINs grant enabled Moberly Area Community College to develop an alternative delivery format for its Medical Laboratory Technician associate degree program. MLTs work in a clinical laboratory, helping doctors and nurses diagnose patients. MACC improved retention and completion rates by providing intensive advising. Each student had an advisor dedicated to his or her progress throughout the program.
The grant made it possible for MACC to move academic materials to the web, so students could use the web portal to “virtually” attend a lecture and ask questions in real time from their home. This greatly improved students’ digital literacy while reducing the need for travel.
MLT students attended clinical rotation in one of 13 affiliate hospitals in the 16-county area served by MACC. The hands-on experience resulted in a 100 percent placement rate for graduates.
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MACC Brings Medical Laboratory Experience to Life with New Technology
When Moberly Area Community College Vice President Dr. Jeff Lashley was asked to name the top contribution of the MoHealthWINs grant for MACC, he didn’t hesitate: “It allowed us to implement the Medical Laboratory Technology program.”
MACC’s Medical Laboratory Technology, or MLT program teaches the knowledge and skills necessary to perform general tests in all laboratory areas including blood banking, hematology, immunology, and microbiology. Housed at the Advanced Technology Center in Mexico, MO, the program allows MLT students to access a broad array of technology and equipment, along with many new items funded by the MoHealthWINs grant.
MLT Program Coordinator Kristine Hayes – shown here – describes how the newly installed Virtual Playback system allows instructors and students to communicate through several settings, from laboratory to classroom. “The MLT course is very interactive like the career itself, where teams of technologists and pathologists collaborate to investigate the causes of diseases,” she said. “Our new web-based course delivery system allows students to download and review previous class lectures and facilitates new flexible ways for instructors to provide course information.”
New microscopes, hematology analyzers, and various other lab equipment funded by the grant – presented below by Dr. Lashley – also help students learn with the same equipment they’ll be using on the job. Since Kristine started her own career as a medical laboratory technician, she knows firsthand the importance of first-rate technology in career fields like healthcare. Ensuring graduates have work ready skill levels is also a firm commitment of the college. Currently, graduates from MACC’s MLT Associates in Applied Science degree are immediately eligible to take the national Board of Certification exam by the American Society of Clinical Pathology.
Ultimately for MACC, the value of the participation in the statewide MoHealthWINs grant program is about creating a better learning experience overall, not just providing free tuition in healthcare careers. The new equipment allows faculty and administrators to appeal to students’ diverse learning styles, as well as address the needs of growing adult learners, who may be returning to college after careers in other fields, and appreciate the added course flexibility.
MoWINs Project Director