The Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training Program, offered by the Department of Biological Sciences at San Jose State University, is a 12 month training program that prepares students to take the ASCP national exam for Clinical Laboratory Scientists and obtain a California State Clinical Laboratory Scientist license.
The training program is a 40 hour per week commitment with an emphasis on hands-on learning in the hospital setting. Most weeks, students will spend 32 hours training at a clinical site and 8 hours in lecture. For more information on the program, please visit our website at www.sjsu.edu/cls.
As part of the application process, a group of applicants will participate in interviews which include representatives from our clinical affiliates. Students are admitted to the program based on a weighted score which takes into account the documents in their application, their performance during interview and an essay written on the day of the interview.
Admission Policies and Prerequisites
To be admitted to the program you must have:
- A bachelor’s degree in biology or a related science
- 18 semester units of Biology including instruction in Immunology, Hematology, Medical Microbiology
- 16 semester units of Chemistry including instruction in Biochemistry and Quantitative Analysis
- 3 semester units of Physics including instruction in optics and electromagnetism
- 3 semester hours of mathematics (statistics or calculus)
- A minimum G.P.A. of 2.8 on a 4 point scale
- A minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 in last 60 units
- Completion of Hematology, Immunology and Medical Microbiology courses with a grade of B or better within 5 years of application
- Coursework in Human or Mammalian Physiology and Human or General Genetics
- Three (3) letters of recommendation
- Acceptance by the SJSU CLS Program Selection Committee and a Clinical Affiliate
- All applicants must have completed 12 semester units of upper-division science course work at an United States university before applying to the program
- All applicants must have the legal right to work in the United States
- For students with a degree from a foreign university, TOEFL (minimum score of 100 or equivalent IELTS score)
- Meet admission requirements for San Jose State University (do not apply until AFTER you have been accepted to SJSU CLS Training Program and have been given instructions on how to proceed)
- Hold CLS Training license granted by State of California, Laboratory Field Services (apply AFTER you have been accepted to SJSU CLS Training Program)
Interview and Matching Process
A committee comprised of SJSU Biology Department faculty members review and score each candidate’s application and then meet to determine which candidates they will be inviting to interview. Candidates who are invited to interview receive the contact information for the education coordinators at the various clinical sites. They are invited to arrange tours of the participating facilities before they come to interview. We like to give at least a month for the candidates to make these arrangements. Candidates are asked to come to interview prepared to rank the clinical sites in their order of preference.
The interviews are conducted over two days, with each day having a morning and an afternoon interview session. Each session begins with a short essay (topic to be revealed at that time). Following that, there is a brief opportunity to speak with the education coordinators and CLS Training Program staff at a meet & greet breakfast (or lunch). Candidates will then have an opportunity to interview with the education coordinators, scheduled in 15-minute increments. There are generally 8-12 education coordinators seated around the conference table with the candidate sitting at the head of the table. Candidates are all asked the same questions, with time at the end for additional discussion as desired. The educations coordinators score each candidate on their interview.
At the end of the two days of interviews, the education coordinators are asked to fill out a form indicating which candidates they would be willing to train. They do not rank the candidates, they merely check “Yes” next to the names of candidates that are acceptable to them.
The CLS Training Program compiles all of the scores (application 50%, interview 40%, and essay 10%) to determine a ranking. With that ranking in hand, we take the preference sheet from the highest ranked candidate and determine his/her 1st choice of training facility. We then look to the form filled out by the education coordinator to see if they had indicated a willingness to train them. If they checked “yes”, we have a match. If there was no match, we go to the candidate’s 2nd choice of training facility, continuing until we have a match. We then continue down the list matching candidates in order of their ranking until all training positions have been filled.
We announce matches in coordination with the other training schools to allow candidates the opportunity to weigh their options from each school at the same time. We send out emails notifying the candidates of their matches. Candidates who are not matched are notified of their alternate status. If a candidate chooses to decline a match to accept a position at another school, we then go to the highest ranked candidate in our alternate list and go through the matching process again.
Candidates not placed stay in our alternate pool until training begins. If they do not receive a placement, we are happy to move letters and transcripts forward to a new application cycle, but a new application must be submitted.