Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Program overview

Accreditation and Advisory Committee

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS)
5600 N. River Rd, Suite 720 Rosemont, IL 60018
Phone: 773-714-8880

Learn about the MLT Advisory Committee.


The Medical Laboratory Technology program is 97 credit hours; 80 credits of which are MLT courses and the remainder are other program requirements and general education requirements. Consult a program advisor for help in planning general education courses. You must meet college graduation requirements including general education, math, and English competencies.

View the program costs page, our FAQ page, and our list of partner labs for more information.

Preparation for employment

The Medical Laboratory Technology Program, nationally known for its excellent and realistic education, provides traditional campus-based courses as well as extensive experience in actual clinical laboratories.

The campus-based courses are taught at Cascade Campus in the newly remodeled Jackson Hall. Here, the lecture and laboratory exercises focus on up-to-date theory, learning manual techniques, instrumentation, problem-solving, and application of knowledge. The facilities are modern and well equipped for this purpose.

To begin the transition to “real world” medical technology, you spend time in a simulated laboratory setting (SimLab) at the Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital. Here, you receive instruction using actual clinical specimens in a laboratory environment.

Finally, in the affiliate laboratories, you continue to develop your understanding of principles, mastery of basic skills, and professionalism. Every aspect of the students’ education on campus, in the SimLab, and in affiliate labs has been designed to be as thorough as possible to prepare graduates as healthcare professionals in clinical laboratory medicine.

Where are classes held?

Campus-based instruction

Campus lectures and labs provide you with a substantial knowledge base as well as fundamental skills and techniques. You are challenged to critically examine all data and results and to be alert for potential technical errors.

You are actively involved in discussions relating theory to tests results, and perform detailed lab write-ups, which also help to correlate laboratory findings with theory. Examinations are designed to further help students hone their critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills.

During the first year of the MLT Program, all activities are designed to give you a solid framework for the more rigorous curriculum of the program’s second year.

During the second year, the classroom activities and laboratory components of the campus setting complement each other in an integrated and sequential manner. Each module of instruction prepares you for subsequent concepts and techniques, laying a solid foundation for entry-level knowledge and skills.

Simulation Laboratory at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital

To provide as much realism as possible, a Simulation Laboratory (SimLab) is located at Legacy Good Samaritan with PCC instructional staff on-site. The SimLab helps you make the transition from the structured laboratory setting on campus to a more independent clinical setting.

You refine skills and develop confidence through the repetition of basic procedures. You also develop analytical skills by researching answers for your study questions, performing practical examinations to test your technical competency, and completing written exams to determine how well you can relate theory and practice.

This component of the clinical laboratory practice takes place during the fourth and fifth terms of the program and corresponds to a total of approximately 140 to 150 hours.

Clinical laboratories

During the second year, a variety of affiliate laboratories provide the training required for the clinical lab practice component of our program. Within these laboratories, there is never more than one student per clinical instructor in any given department. You are supervised while you continue to learn procedures and instrumentation and apply knowledge to practice.

Each student rotates through key areas of the clinical laboratory including:

  • Blood bank
  • Chemistry
  • Hematology
  • Microbiology
  • Phlebotomy

During the last two terms of the program, each student is scheduled for an average of 32 hours per week in a clinical setting with the last few weeks spent in an area of special interest. Rotation clinical sites will be assigned by the clinical coordinator based on site availability.

The location of the final rotation is based on student and clinical coordinator discussion about student achievement throughout the program and ultimate student career goals.

This experience is designed to provide you with the opportunity to apply what you have learned throughout the year, and to further enhance practical clinical experience and develop professionalism. Although it is not a guarantee of employment, this final rotation often results in a job for the student. It also may provide networking opportunities for future employment.

The overall training in clinical laboratory practice, including student lab activities and clinical lab training, amounts to nearly 800 hours.

See the partner laboratories page for a list of laboratory affiliates.

About the program

Program mission statement

The Portland Community College MLT program provides high-quality education in an atmosphere that recognizes the potential of each student and supports a comprehensive and innovative approach to meet the needs of Oregon’s healthcare community.

Program goals
  1. To provide high-quality education in an atmosphere that promotes successful completion of the program.
  2. To address the shortage of qualified laboratory professionals.
  3. To prepare graduates to function effectively as members of the healthcare team and the greater community.
  4. To build and maintain strong partnerships in the healthcare community throughout the Pacific Northwest.
  5. To teach a curriculum that is reflective of current technologies in healthcare.
Program outcomes
  1. Act professionally and adhere to ethical and legal responsibilities toward consistent quality patient care.
  2. Apply knowledge of theory and principles of related content areas (e.g. clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunohematology, etc.) to the clinical laboratory setting in making appropriate professional decisions.
  3. Select, prepare, perform, correlate, and evaluate appropriate laboratory procedures in a high quality, professional, accurate, and timely manner.
  4. Recognize and identify technical, mechanical, and physiological problems within the laboratory and effective resolution of problems according to the protocols of the institution.
  5. Function effectively as a contributing member of the laboratory team and the broader healthcare delivery system.

Professional objectives

Theoretical knowledge, technical skills, and interpersonal relations and professionalism provide the cornerstones for success as a medical laboratory technician. Students must demonstrate competence in each of these areas to become competent medical laboratory technicians.

Knowledge and knowledge application (cognitive skills)

Upon completion of the MLT Program, students will:

  1. Communicate effectively through reading, writing, listening, and verbal skills.
  2. Explains the facts and principles related to laboratory test procedures.
  3. Apply knowledge to working situations.
  4. Recognize problems, errors in performance, and discrepancies in test results.
  5. Troubleshoot and solve problems as required and/or suggests appropriate corrective actions.
  6. Interpret and correlate test results.
Performance (psychomotor skills)

Students will demonstrate the following skills with increasing ease throughout the sequence of laboratory courses:

  1. Adhere to laboratory safety policies.
  2. Demonstrate good organizational skills as seen by a logical workflow and ability to prioritize tasks.
  3. Strive to increase productivity to include timely output and economy of time and materials.
  4. Exhibit good manual dexterity, coordination, and ease in handling equipment with a minimum of mishaps or abuse.
  5. Achieve accuracy in test results.
  6. Perform techniques in a skillful and orderly technique with good attention to details of the test procedure.
  7. Employ good record keeping skills so that reports are complete, accurate, legible, and according to established protocol.
Professional skills (affective skills)

Interpersonal skills and professionalism are essential for the medical laboratory technician in providing high-quality patient care and in performing as a member of the healthcare team. Upon completion of the MLT program, students will:

  1. Demonstrate interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn as seen through active participation.
  2. Show initiative and motivation as demonstrated by independence in:
    1. Performing routine procedures.
    2. Preparation before class.
    3. Decreased need for supervision.
    4. Willingness to go beyond the required assignments.
    5. Recognition of opportunities to improve the quality and productivity of work.
  3. Adapt to stressful and/or new situations by maintaining composure and flexibility without compromising individual integrity.
  4. Exhibit teamwork through cooperation, courtesy, respect, and sensitivity towards others.
  5. Convey a professional attitude as shown by an appropriate level of confidence and a positive outlook toward work and other people.
  6. Demonstrate integrity as shown by the:
    1. Admission and documentation of errors.
    2. Recognition of the potential danger of short cuts.
    3. Maintenance of patient and co-worker confidentiality.
  7. Act responsibly as measured by punctuality, attendance, dependability, and quality of work.
  8. Respond favorably to supervision and feedback.
  9. Persevere until tasks are completed satisfactorily.
  10. Present an acceptable level of cleanliness as seen by one’s:
    1. Personal hygiene.
    2. Professional appearance.
    3. Maintenance of the workspace.