To identify the degrees held and the graduate majors or fields of study for faculty teaching full-time and part-time in university-based, baccalaureate-degree clinical laboratory science/medical technology (CLS/MT) programs.
A survey and letter of project explanation was sent electronically to the 110 program directors of NAACLS-accredited university-based CLS/MT programs in the United States in May, 2003. Program directors were requested to provide for each full-time and part-time faculty member the following information: titles for all degrees held, major/field of study for each degree held, all specialist certifications held, all other formal degrees or certificates held, and all courses/areas taught in the CLS curriculum.
Information was provided on 288 faculty in 52 CLS/MT programs, for a response rate of 47%. The majority of faculty (75%) described were full-time. A doctorate was held by 43% of the reported faculty, while 46% held a master's degree as their highest degree, and 11 % only a BS in CLS or in biology plus a certificate from a hospital-based CLS/MT program. Graduate degrees in a science major or field represented 52% of the degrees held by the reported faculty, while 48% of the graduate degrees were in education, public health, or administration. Only 13% of the reported faculty held master's degrees specifically in CLS. Detailed results are provided for degrees held, majors/fields of study, and specialist certifications by specific courses/areas of the curriculum taught.
The results of this survey indicate that many faculty teaching in university-based CLS/MT programs are extending their preparation as scientists to the graduate level. This should prepare these faculty for their responsibilities in not only teaching but also research. A case cannot be made that a doctorate, as opposed to a master's degree, is viewed as the 'terminal degree' as less than half of the reported faculty in this study as well as others, held a doctorate. The results reported provide a national perspective on the graduate backgrounds of CLS faculty for comparison to an individual program's faculty during programmatic or institutional accreditation reviews.