The Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) Program of Maine, a collaborative program sponsored by the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the University of Maine at Augusta, has been awarded continuing reaccreditation for 10 years—the maximum length term, based on program quality—from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
“The accreditation process ensures that clinical laboratory science programs are meeting established qualifications and national educational standards,” Leigh Belair, UMPI professor and MLT Program Co-Director, explained. “Educational programs must provide evidence that they are meeting the NAACLS standards, which include: university sponsorship, continuous assessment and quality improvement, resources, faculty, operational policies and curriculum. This process involves not only the Co-Directors, but also members of the program advisory board, university administration and faculty, instructors from the clinical affiliates, students, graduates and laboratory employers.”
Reaccreditation is a multi-step process that includes a self-study review, a site team visit to both campuses, a recommendation by the NAACLS Review Committee for Accredited Programs, and final approval by the NAACLS Board of Directors, which votes on the matter during its semi-annual meeting. Upon program completion, graduates of a NAACLS-accredited program are eligible to take the MLT certification exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).
The University of Maine at Presque Isle Medical Laboratory Program has been in existence since 1980. UMPI and the University of Maine Augusta merged their programs in 2002 in an effort to reduce duplication of resources and make the program available across the state of Maine. It now supplies medical laboratory technicians to hospitals, clinics and research facilities around the state.
“The site visitors noted that the quality, success, and professionalism of the graduates are excellent and appreciated by the clinical affiliates and state-wide employers,” Belair said.
The two-year Associate of Science degree program sponsored by the two University of Maine System campuses is the only medical laboratory technology program of its kind in the state. Through a combination of compressed video (coordinated through University College), web-enhanced courses and on-campus delivery, the program delivers its curriculum to students across Maine. The program works closely with lab managers and hospital labs to ensure students receive the most up-to-date training possible; for example, when changes happen in the clinical setting, curricular adjustments are made as necessary so students are prepared for the practicum training and future employment.
“The site team felt we are an exemplary model of a consortium type program and were impressed with how the MLT content is delivered throughout the state,” Belair said. “In the exit interview, the site team recognized the dedication of the Co-Directors, the engaged faculty, supportive Advisory Committee, and solid support from both Universities as program strengths that have led to outcomes that are above the national benchmarks.”