Roane State launches new medical lab tech program

By Bob Fowler

Roane State staff writer

Responding to requests from area healthcare leaders, Roane State is launching a new associate degree program in Medical Laboratory Technology.

“We intend to admit the first class in the fall semester,” said Dr. Patricia Jenkins, dean of the community college’s Health Sciences Division.

The two-year program will be a joint venture with Covenant Health, a community-based healthcare provider with nine acute care hospitals in East Tennessee.

Students will have access to specialized laboratory equipment at Covenant’s Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge. Classroom work and lectures will be held primarily on Roane State’s Oak Ridge Branch Campus.

Medical laboratory technicians work in hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices and conduct diagnostic tests. The new program will admit 12 students every other year.

“The objective is to meet, but not exceed the workforce needs of the local healthcare community for medical laboratory technicians,” Jenkins said. In preparation for the medical lab tech (MLT) program, a needs assessment based on employment projections was conducted.

Both traditional students and adults who qualify for the Tennessee Reconnect grant would be eligible to enroll in the MLT program, which has been approved by national, state and collegiate oversight and regulatory agencies.

Madeline Hibbard, who has served as lab manager at Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, will be the MLT program director.

“This is a unique opportunity for Roane State to partner with Covenant Health to meet the needs of the area health care community by sharing resources,” Jenkins added.

Students will take the standard core of general education courses to meet all of the academic requirements for an associate of applied science degree. While they will have the option of taking general education courses online, the major field lecture and laboratory courses will be delivered via traditional in-person instruction.

Graduates will have to pass a certification examination before they are licensed by the state. Roane State’s Health Sciences Division has 18 other programs of study. For more information on the Medical Laboratory Technology program, visit

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