DeVry University has earned initial accreditation for its bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS, 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, Ill.). NAACLS is committed to being the premier international agency for accreditation and approval of education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and related healthcare professions. With this achievement, DeVry University becomes the only higher education institution in Arizona to currently offer a NAACLS-accredited bachelor's degree program in CLS.
The CLS bachelor's degree program was launched at DeVry University's Phoenix campus in 2008 to address a national shortage of highly skilled laboratory science professionals. The program is headed by former Chief of the Applied Technology Center at the U.S. Air Force Institute for Operational Health, Naomi P. McMillan.
DeVry also operates a campus in Westgate City Center, Glendale.
Clinical laboratory scientists, also called medical laboratory scientists, are in high demand, with employment expected to grow 14 percent by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Population growth, expanded healthcare coverage and the development of new tests have magnified an already dire need for newly trained laboratory professionals. Additionally, many states require practicing laboratory scientists to pass licensing and/or certification exams which have a prerequisite of graduating from an NAACLS-accredited bachelor's degree program. Local laboratory officials also cite the low number of accredited lab programs in the state as part of the problem.
"The state of Arizona undeniably faces an immediate and critical shortage of skilled and appropriately-credentialed laboratory science professionals," said Sherry Gamble, microbiology manager at Maricopa Medical Center. "Those of us who run medical labs should be encouraged by DeVry University's commitment to a program that meets NAACLS standards. I look forward to working with their CLS students on clinical rotations and hope that they can become part of a much-needed solution to our state's lab professional shortage."
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