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DeVry University Begins New Clinical Lab Science Degree Program in Arizona to Complement Maricopa Program.

Headed by Former Air Force Lab Director, DeVry's exemplary graduate employment rates position the university to address shortage of clinical laboratory scientists

PHOENIX -- Addressing a shortage of skilled clinical laboratory scientists (also referred to as medical technologists) in the state of Arizona, DeVry University began teaching classes for a new bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science at its Phoenix campus in September. DeVry University's Clinical Laboratory Science program is one of only two bachelor's degree programs of its kind offered in Arizona. Until now, Arizona State University has been the only school to offer a CLS program in the state after the University of Arizona closed its program in 2004.

Technologists in Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease. These allied health professionals are responsible for approximately 75 percent of medical diagnoses by virtue of the test results they provide to healthcare providers. Using an array of advanced technology, clinical technologists are responsible for identifying microorganisms; analyzing the chemical content of fluids; cross-matching blood for transfusions; and testing various drug levels in blood that may indicate how a patient is responding to treatment. Technologists analyze the results and relay them to physicians who then determine a diagnosis and treatment plan options.

"Arizona is in critical need of additional options for educating our clinical laboratory sciences workforce and DeVry's effort to address this issue is greatly welcomed," said Julie Stiak, Clinical Laboratory Sciences program director for Phoenix College, a member of the Maricopa Community College (MCC) education system. "With two associate degree programs for educating technicians and only one bachelor degree program for producing qualified technologists, Arizona simply will not be able to keep up with the allied health demands of its growing and aging population without additional resources. We are pleased to partner with DeVry to provide a seamless articulation for Maricopa graduates to pursue their baccalaureate degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences."

DeVry University's CLS degree program is designed to complement MCC's Clinical Laboratory Technician program, by allowing graduates of MCC's associate degree program to transfer easily into the DeVry University CLS bachelor's degree program. Locally, a total of 16 hospitals and reference laboratories have indicated support for the DeVry CLS degree program, many whom the university intends to partner with for student clinical training as the program matures.

As the volume of laboratory tests continues to increase with both population growth and the development of new types of tests, job opportunities for medical technologists are not only strong in Arizona but across the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2006 and 2016, faster than all other occupations. Use of computer technology and the complexity of tests performed increase the level of judgment needed for these positions; and the amount of responsibility workers assume depends largely on the amount of education and experience they have.

Air Force Clinical Lab Veteran Leads DeVry CLS Program

Earlier this summer, Naomi P. McMillan, M.S.A. joined DeVry University as academic program director for the new Clinical Laboratory Science degree program. McMillan, served as Chief of the Applied Technology Center, part of the Air Force Institute for Operational Health in San Antonio, Texas. She brings more than 20 years of lab management experience to the DeVry program. During her career, McMillan has managed Air Force labs in Arizona, in California and Japan. She earned a bachelor's degree in Microbiology from Miami University in Ohio and a master's degree in Health Services Administration from Central Michigan University.

"The demand for degreed clinical lab scientists simply is not being met by the current supply sources," said McMillan. "This is true not only here in Arizona, but across the country, as an aging population begins to place more stress on the current lab workforce."

According to McMillan, the university anticipates being able to assist graduates of its new Clinical Laboratory Science bachelor's degree program achieve similar employment results as graduates from its other undergraduate degree programs. Ninety-two percent of DeVry University Arizona's June '07, October '07 and February '08 graduates in the active job market were employed within six months of graduation at an average salary of $46,000.

About DeVry University

As one of the largest degree-granting higher education systems in North America, DeVry University provides high-quality, career-oriented associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in technology, healthcare technology, business and management. More than 57,000 students are enrolled at its 92 locations in 26 states and Canada, as well as through DeVry University Online. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA), www.ncahlc.org. DeVry University, a division of DeVry Inc. (NYSE: DV), is based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. For more information about DeVry University, visit http://www.devry.edu.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 18, 2008
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