By Yasmen Simonian, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM
As I peruse the ASCLS’s Educators Listserve, it is so heartwarming to see the comradery between our educators. I notice that a number of important topics are currently addressed. The topics run from current and up-to-date textbooks, proper and affordable instrumentation to be used in the student laboratories, online offerings, recruitment, grants, credit hour reduction, and clinical rotation shortages.
The ASCLS Committee on Education Programs and Initiatives (CEPI) plans to submit a proposal to the CLEC 2017 on finding ways for clinical sites to take (more) students for rotations. Also, I serve as a member of a taskforce on the Association of School of Allied Health Sciences (ASAHP) and we are also examining various issues relating to clinical education. This would be a great time to combine forces and share our findings to improve and expand much needed clinical experience opportunities for our students.
Another passionate subject that recently received attention was the future of our profession. There is a justified concern as our professionals near retirement, creating an acute need for additional trained laboratory professionals. Steps and investments are necessary now in order to avoid the same shortage problems the nursing profession has faced. What are the possible remedies? Stakeholders working together can and should address those problems by working together.
Finally, pressure from the U.S. Department of Education on accrediting agencies is increasing to demonstrate more transparency in their accreditation of institutions and programs and to enforce rigorous standards. The Department seeks to hold accrediting agencies accountable and assure that they fulfill their responsibilities in protecting students from underperforming, low-quality and predacious schools.
NAACLS is recognized by CHEA and is required to comply with its transparency standards, One of those standards is that recognized accreditors must require all programs to make student outcomes readily accessible to the public. In compliance with that standard, NAACLS requires programs to post these outcomes:
- Graduate Rates
- Benchmark: Three year rolling average of a 70% graduation rate for students who have begun the final half of the program.
- Graduate Certification Pass Rates
- Benchmark: Three year rolling average of a 75% pass rate on BOC examinations (accredited programs) or BOC/AMT/NCCT (approved programs) taken within first year of graduation.
- Graduate Placement Rates:
- Benchmark: Three year rolling average of 70% of graduates finding employment or continuing education within one year of graduation.
As most prospective students seek information electronically, it is highly recommended that all programs post these outcomes on the program or sponsoring institution website. Also, it is imperative that our accredited and approved programs provide working links with up-to-date outcomes when completing the NAACLS Annual Survey of Programs. By these actions, programs provide the public (including prospective students) with important information and comply with NAACLS requirements.
Until next time, wishing you many accomplishments and great success – Yas