Mary Ettling, interim director, SIUE Office of Educational Outreach.EDWARDSVILLE - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), and Office of Educational Outreach is partnering with BJC HealthCare to offer a special Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies degree that allows current medical laboratory technicians (MLT) to complete the program and obtain the medical laboratory specialist (MLS) credential.

The partnership fits into SIUE’s mission driven interest in serving the public good by providing innovative and interdisciplinary programs that empower individuals to achieve their full potential.

“When BJC identified almost 100 internal job openings for medical laboratory scientists and highlighted the critical need to create a pathway for existing credentialed technicians to advance in the field, SIUE created a degree completion program for those individuals,” said Mary Ettling, interim director, SIUE Office of Educational Outreach. “This customized option allows MLT credentialed individuals to take appropriate coursework, earn the undergraduate degree and sit for the MLS certification exam.”

The program is fully online to accommodate working individuals while providing customized student support through CAS and the Office of Educational Outreach.

“It is so rewarding to see BJC’s partnership with SIUE result in creation of a program that will benefit our workforce in this way,” says Beth Camp, BJC Senior Learning and Development Consultant for Academic Partnerships. “With completion of this degree program, our lab staff will have new opportunities to advance their careers at BJC.”

“I’m extremely pleased that we are enhancing the already rich collaboration between SIUE and BJC HealthCare, “said CAS Dean Greg Budzban, PhD. “Our Bachelor of Liberal Studies program is designed precisely for providing this type of educational opportunity that can help BJC HealthCare employees in their career aspirations.”

Requirements for the MLS certification exam include a number of chemistry and biology courses, but SIUE provides other high-interest courses that align with working adults’ needs. The coursework is built into an individualized plan for each student, in consideration of their prior academic experience and the degree requirements. With the degree offered through the Liberal Studies program, a variety of interdisciplinary courses are specifically designed to help students learn, and apply competencies relevant to increasing professionalism and 21st century skill development.

Time to degree completion depends upon the number of accumulated transfer credits and each student’s own pace based on individual needs and circumstances. SIUE works with students to create a degree completion plans that allow students to maximize their employee tuition benefits and best suit their intended graduation timeline.

Admission is open and students can start approximately every eight weeks. For more information, contact Stephanie Simpson at strober@siue or 618-650-2661.

About BJC HealthCare

BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. Serving the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities, BJC includes 15 hospitals and multiple health service organizations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care, and hospice. BJC’s nationally recognized academic hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, are affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.

About SIUE College of Arts and Sciences

Central to SIUE’s exceptional and comprehensive education, the College of Arts and Sciences offers degree programs in the natural sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences and communications. The College touches the lives of all SIUE students helping them explore diverse ideas and experiences, while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of the global community. Study abroad, service-learning, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities better prepare SIUE students not only to succeed in our region's workplaces, but also to become valuable leaders who make important contributions to our communities.

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