University News

Six WIU Students Accepted into Hospitals' CLS Programs

February 21, 2011

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MACOMB, IL – Six Western Illinois University students in the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program have been accepted into three affiliated hospitals for a CLS one-year program.

Each fall semester, students from the WIU CLS program apply to affiliated hospitals, hoping for acceptance into their CLS one-year program. Western Illinois offers the CLS as a 3+1 or 4+1 program. The 4+1 is for students who are not accepted into a hospital program or who choose to complete a biology degree. They complete their last year at WIU with a bachelor's degree in biology with a zoology option and chemistry minor, and can then reapply to hospitals. The 3+1 students graduate from Western Illinois with a Clinical Laboratory Science degree and opportunity for national certification as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist.

Area Illinois hospitals at which the students will be working are OSF St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria; Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines; and St. John's Hospital, Springfield. The program is competitive, with only six seats available at St. Francis, six-to-eight seats available at Hines VA Hospital and four-to-six seats available at St. John's Hospital.

"All of our affiliated hospitals have more than 10 other affiliations with area universities and colleges in nearby states as they do with Western Illinois University," said Vicki Walters, biology department academic adviser. "In years past, we have had maybe one or two students accepted. Last year, each hospital accepted one of our students. We are so proud of our students who have successfully been accepted into this highly competitive program."

"We are grateful for the invaluable support from our affiliated hospital directors for making our Clinical Laboratory Science program such a success," added Biological Sciences Interim Department Chair Michael Romano.

Walters makes visits to affiliated hospitals each fall to build and to maintain the relationship between the two programs and to establish goals to get Western students accepted. The biological sciences department also hosts a CLS luncheon, where the three hospital directors come to campus and speak to the CLS students and other interested students.

"We applaud our biology/CLS students and the administrators, faculty, staff and advisers that have worked with our students, who took one-third of the CLS seats this year. That's a wonderful accomplishment and a great honor for WIU and our students," Walters said.

The six students accepted into the program are from Illinois, as follows:

HOMER GLEN (60491) - Matthew Cuello (Hines), senior, biology (microbiology) major/chemistry minor

WINFIELD (60190) – Shannon Fleming (St. John's), senior, biology (microbiology) major/law enforcement and justice administration and forensic chemistry minor

CRYSTAL LAKE (60012) – Alyssa Jeris (Hines), senior, clinical laboratory science major

OREGON (61061) – Ian Kopp (St. John's), senior, biology (microbiology) major/chemistry and zoology minor

QUINCY (62301) – Lauren Moenning (St. Francis), junior, clinical laboratory science major

POLO (61064) – Katie Ohlwhine (Hines), senior, clinical laboratory science major/chemistry minor

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