VGCC adding Histotechnology program, holding information session


New opportunities to train for medical laboratory technician careers will soon be available at Vance-Granville Community College through a new degree program in Histotechnology. The two-year program will start when the fall semester begins on Aug. 15, and enrollment is already underway.

An information session about Histotechnology and the college’s other Health Sciences programs will be held on Wednesday, June 8, at 9 a.m. in the small auditorium in Building 2 on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. Attendees will hear from VGCC faculty and staff about the various program options, admissions and financial aid, and take a career assessment.

The newly-added program is rare within the state. Only one other North Carolina community college, Davidson County Community College in Lexington, currently offers a Histotechnology program.

Histotechnology provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare tissue specimens for microscopic examination using various stains and dyes to identify tissue and cell structures. Histology Technicians play key roles in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases including cancer.

“We are excited about offering Histotechnology to our community to meet a growing need for professionals with these skills at a number of health care facilities in our region,” said VGCC Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas. She said that the college was encouraged to explore adding the program by Duke Medical Center.

Course work covers scientific concepts related to laboratory testing, histology (the study of the microscopic structure of tissues), microscopy and quality assurance. As part of the program, students will complete clinical experiences in approved clinical histology labs.

Graduates may be eligible to apply to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification national examination. Employment opportunities for graduates of the program will be found in pathology labs within hospitals and clinics, and in medical or research labs. Graduates are expected to be in high demand, with job growth projected to be much faster than the average occupation in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

New students interested in Histotechnology may start the application process immediately by going to www.vgcc.edu and clicking “Apply Online.” Orientation and advising of new students will take place throughout the summer. For more information, contact Audrey Stainback at stainbacka@vgcc.edu or (252) 738-3210.