College of The Albemarle’s Medical Laboratory Technology Program receives accreditation


College of The Albemarle (COA) is pleased to announce that our Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program was recently awarded accreditation for ten years by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

NAACLS provides international accreditation for healthcare-related educational programs such as MLT.  The NAACLS is recognized by the Council for Higher Education as an accrediting agency.

COA’s MLT program prepares individuals for clinical laboratory careers in hospitals, medical offices, industry, and research facilities.  Students learn how to perform laboratory procedures in clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and immunohematology.  This specific program at COA begins each January and takes approximately 18 months to complete.  Graduates are eligible to take the examination given by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology.  Many MLT graduates are offered jobs prior to graduation.  

“I advertise this incredible program every chance I get,” said Jeff Carter, Department Chair, Allied Health. “In 18 months, a student can complete this Associate in Science and become employed in a very well-paying job. Our MLT students are almost always hired before graduating. Who knows — the CSI fans may even decide to get into forensics. Terri Riddick and her faculty do an incredible job teaching Medical Laboratory Technology and creating a culture of camaraderie and success among their students.”

The accreditation process is not required; however, it is important in our efforts to produce highly qualified healthcare employees within our region and beyond.  This is a rigorous process that ensures our program meets national educational standards.  It also establishes the practice of ongoing self-evaluation which provides for continual reflection and improvement.  

Robin Harris, the Dean of Health Sciences, shared:

Taking good care of our community members takes a wide variety of health care professionals to make sure we are getting the right information to get clients the help they need. The medical laboratory is an extremely important part of helping to get the right diagnosis, so that treatment can be targeted and effective.  Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLT) are at the very heart of that work and their precision and dedication to ensure accurate results are a huge part of successful health care anywhere.  We are so fortunate to have a quality MLT program for our area that helps multiple facilities have the workforce they need to do this important work.  This reaffirmation of accreditation is another wonderful achievement for the program and speaks to the quality work of Terri Riddick, the Program Coordinator, our clinical facility partners and our students.