SouthCoast residents working in the allied health field now have a new educational track available to them through a new program developed by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth). Health Care professionals, with either an associate degree or certificate in an allied health field, may now complete a baccalaureate degree in Medical Laboratory Science acquiring knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of business methods, health care policy and people management.
The University, through Professional and Continuing Education, will offer an interdisciplinary program that awards a Bachelor of Science degree to the hundreds of south coast residents interested in professional advancement in the health care field. UMD's Department of Medical Laboratory Science has designed the program to build on the academic experiences of allied health professionals in over 50 different careers.
As the medical field has evolved in the 20th century, many of the highly focused technical fields of study and practice have moved from on-the-job training to more formalized educational programs at community colleges. Today the bar has risen again, and health care organizations expect individuals with technical expertise to broaden their range of knowledge with a bachelor's degree if they want to grow professionally. The Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science with a Health Services Option will expand career opportunity into larger career paths.
The SouthCoast regional community has approximately one million people and numerous hospitals, clinics, physician and dental office practices that provide both advanced and general care. According to discussions and surveys conducted through the university, in many of these businesses, a baccalaureate degree was either required or preferred for supervisory positions.
"To be eligible for the Health Services program through the University, individuals need 1) an associate degree from a community college in related programs and have successfully taken their appropriate credentialing examination or 2) have successfully completed a post-secondary course of study at a certificate level and successfully taken the appropriate credentialing examination," notes Dr. James Griffith, Department Chair.
To accommodate individual needs and work schedules, the program can be undertaken by both full and part-time students and classes will be offered during the day and in the evening. Individuals presently unemployed, but who qualify for the program, are encouraged by university officials to apply through their local Career Centers.
Dr. Joy McGuirl-Hadley, Assistant Chancellor for Professional and Continuing Education "is excited about this Health Services Option and sees it as a win--win: it will help employers to upgrade their workforce's skills while providing an avenue for health care professionals to transfer their technical course work from the community college into the bachelor level educational credentials they need to advance in their field."
For more information or to register, individuals should contact the University of Massachusetts, Professional and Continuing Education at 508.999.9202 or visit www.umassd.edu/pce/hso.