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Nicolet College - New Lab Tech degree at Nicolet

New Clinical Lab Tech

degree coming to Nicolet College


In January students can begin taking classes for a new degree at Nicolet College that can lead to a career as a Clinical Laboratory Technician.

"There is continued demand locally for Clinical Lab Technicians," said Lenore Mangles, dean of Health Occupations at Nicolet. So strong, in fact, that local health care providers approached Nicolet to see if the college could offer the degree to fill their need for more professionals in the field, Mangles added.

Graduates can follow a number of different career tracks including the obvious, Clinical Lab Technician, but would also be qualified to become a Forensic Laboratory Technician, Physician Office Laboratory Technician, Pathology Research Assistant, Quality Control Technician, or Phlebotomist.

Average starting pay in Wisconsin in 2007 was $33,797, according to the Wisconsin Technical College System Graduate Follow-Up Report.

The 67-credit associate degree is being offered at Nicolet through a partnership the college has with Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. Under the arrangement, students will take their general education classes, such as communications, chemistry and anatomy and physiology, at Nicolet and the classes specific to the degree through Northcentral.

Upon graduation, students would have the option of entering the workforce or transferring to the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, which has a credit transfer agreement with Northcentral for students to continue their education and earn a four-year bachelor's degree from UW-Stevens Point.

The curriculum for the associate degree is structured over four semesters and one summer session. Students will need to travel to Wausau to take classes at Northcentral two to three days a week for three of those semesters. Mangles said students in the program would likely carpool in order to save on travel expenses.

While the Clinical Lab Technician program will not officially start at Nicolet until the Fall Semester of 2009, Mangles encouraged students to begin taking their general education classes, which are required for just about every health occupations program at Nicolet, in the upcoming Spring Semester which starts Jan. 22.

"The more general education classes students can get out of the way prior to starting their occupational specific courses, the better off they'll be," Mangles explained.

All students interested in becoming a Clinical Lab Technician will also job shadow a working professional in the field for one day. "This is something we're doing early on throughout the health occupations to give prospective students the chance to experience firsthand what the job is like," Mangles said. "The last thing we want is for students to take several courses and then determine two or three semesters down the road that the career is not right for them."

Individuals interested in applying for entry into the Clinical Laboratory Technician program must submit their applications the week of Feb. 2 to 6, 2009, in the Nicolet College Admissions Office, University Transfer Center Room 210. Applications will be available in the Admissions Office prior to that date.

For more information, contact the Admissions Office at (715) 365-4451, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4451 or by email at