MSU students can earn two degrees and help alleviate medical technology shortage with new partnership

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Contact: Sarah Nicolas

Angus Dawe, professor and head of the Department of Biological Sciences at MSU, is pictured outside Harned Hall. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

STARKVILLE, Mississippi — A new Memorandum of Understanding between Mississippi State University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences allows students to earn an MSU bachelor’s degree in medical technology as well as a UAMS bachelor’s degree in medical technology. medical laboratory science.

The program prepares graduates for careers as medical technologists, a in-demand profession with shortage levels according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s 2019 workload statistics.

Mary Celeste Reese, director of MSU's Dr. A. Randle and Marilyn W. White Health Professions Resource Center, advises a student in the Harned Hall office.
Mary Celeste Reese, director of MSU’s Dr. A. Randle and Marilyn W. White Health Professions Resource Center, advises a student in the Harned Hall office. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

The double degree program begins in the fall of 2020.

MSU medical technology students spend their final year of undergraduate study doing an off-campus internship at UAMS, then an additional semester at an Arkansas hospital to meet the requirements for the additional bachelor’s degree.

Angus Dawe, professor and head of the Department of Biological Sciences at MSU, stressed the importance of the field. “As COVID-19 tests during the pandemic grab headlines, it is vital to be able to provide additional laboratory scientists for this purpose,” Dawe said.

Medical technologists are instrumental in performing tests to determine if people have diseases, such as COVID-19. Dawe said that although the coronavirus is high in the news, “urgent diagnoses for other illnesses are still needed and the number of trained personnel available to perform these tests is limited.”

“We are proud that our program can help train the next generation of individuals who can help tackle these issues in the near future and in the years to come,” said Dawe.

“We are always looking for ways to make the best and most diverse opportunities available to our students,” he added. “This dual degree program really takes advantage of the best of both institutions to provide students with a comprehensive education in a very important and indispensable area.”

Mary Celeste Reese, director of MSU’s Dr A. Randle and Marilyn W. White Health Professions Resource Center, said that an attractive factor for students is the ability to earn two bachelor’s degrees, which increases their market value and offers more internship possibilities.

“This MOU is similar to other MSU affiliation agreements in which medical technology students, in their final year, intern at an affiliated hospital. After a full year of didactic and laboratory training at the hospital, course credits are transferred to MSU and students receive a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from MSU, ”said Reese.

“This UAMS agreement differs slightly in that students must complete an additional semester at an Arkansas hospital,” Reese said. “Students will have the opportunity to complete this semester at a hospital near the Arkansas-Mississippi border.”

Reese said MSU students currently have a 100% pass rate on the Medical Laboratory Scientist Certification Exam.

For certification and licensure, medical technologists must master the subjects of hematology, immunology, urinalysis, microbiology, chemistry, parasitology, toxicology, blood banking and transfusion, as well as the safety and operation of laboratories.

As part of the MSU College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Biological Sciences is online at www.biology.msstate.edu. The College of Arts and Sciences comprises more than 5,200 students, 325 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs, 14 master’s programs and 27 undergraduate academic majors offered in 14 departments. It is also home to the most diverse units for research and academic activities, including the natural and physical sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. To learn more about the College of Arts and Sciences, visit www.cas.msstate.edu.

To learn more about the new dual degree program, contact Reese at mcreese@prehealth.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s premier university, available online at www.msstate.edu.


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