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Press Release



March 25, 2009

Cowley College partners with Barton County to offer MLT degree


Cowley College has partnered with Barton County Community College to bring Barton’s nationally accredited Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program to south central Kansas to help meet the current regional demand for qualified healthcare professionals. 

The MLT associate degree program consists of online coursework combined with clinical training in several local medical laboratories, and prepares students to work in hospitals, physician offices, and other high demand areas.

The MLT degree program may also be utilized as a ‘stepping-stone’ to further education to become a medical technologist, physician assistant or physician.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students in south central Kansas to complete the MLT program without leaving the area.” said Chris Cannon, Cowley College Allied Health Department Chair. “Barton has one of the top MLT programs in Kansas, and I’m excited to have this opportunity to partner with them.”

There is currently a national shortage of medical laboratory professionals, and the demand for medical laboratory technicians (MLT) and medical laboratory technologists (MT) is expected to grow by 15-25 percent over the next decade, with Kansas being on the high end.

“Barton Community College welcomes an opportunity to partner with Cowley College to help meet the shortage of laboratory professionals in Kansas,” said Cheryl Lippert, Barton County MLT Program Director. “With this collaboration, both colleges make the MLT degree attainable for more people, no matter their responsibilities or distance from a college.”

The medical laboratory is vital to healthcare, and laboratory professionals play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease. It is estimated that 70 percent of medical decisions involve laboratory test results.

“The thing they really need in the laboratory is knowledgeable and skilled workers, this program will help meet those health care needs,” said Slade Griffiths, Cowley College vice president of Academic Affairs. “Barton (County) has a long tradition of providing outstanding education training in the MLT arena. This partnership truly is a win-win situation for the students and both institutions. The students can acquire classes locally and the schools are able to provide this program in a cost effective fashion.”

Griffiths praised the work done by Chris Cannon, Cowley College Allied Health Department Chair; Leonard Bunselmeyer, Jr., Barton County Executive Director of Healthcare; Cowley College president Dr. Patrick J.McAtee, and Barton County president Dr. Carl Heilman.

“Those four all worked very hard to make this a reality,” Griffiths said.

The MLT program begins in August. Prerequisite courses, including phlebotomy, may be obtained through Cowley College. For more information about the program or to enroll, please call 620-229-5985.