This program provides a quality education that prepares graduates with the technical skills needed to work in a variety of histology laboratories. Students who successfully complete either the vocational specialist certificate or the associate of applied science degree will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
The mission of Elgin Community College's NAACLS accredited Histotechnology program, is to provide quality education that supports the development of medical laboratory practioners for the healthcare community.
Illnesses such as cancer or serious infections can often be detected by the arrangement of cells in a tissue sample. The histotechnician (HT) is responsible for processing surgical biopsies and autopsy specimens for microscopic review by pathologists.
This rewarding healthcare career is best suited for individuals who are detail-oriented and enjoy working with their hands. The HT cuts tissue samples into very thin slices, mounts them on slides and stains them with special dyes to make abnormal cell details more visible. By examining the section of tissue, the pathologist and surgeon can determine if disease is present, or has spread, and then decide on the best course of treatment for the patient.
The curriculum integrates general education and professional courses with hands-on experiences in a variety of clinical settings. Online education combined with on-campus labs prepare students with technical skills needed for tissue grossing, embedding, cutting and staining.
Criminal background checks and drug testing are required for all health professions programs. Students applying to the health professions programs must provide a valid social security number in order to complete the criminal background check required by clinical agencies and to take licensing/certification exams. Students demonstrating a positive background check or positive drug test will be denied admission to health professions programs. Students demonstrating a positive background check or positive drug test while enrolled in health professions programs will be dismissed from the program.
The histotechnology program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, 773-714-8880.
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- Grade of C or better in BIO 110 or equivalent
- Grade of C or better in MTH 098 or equivalent or appropriate score on the algebra placement test
- Grade of C or better in MTH 097 or equivalent or grade of C or better in two semesters of high school geometry or appropriate score on the geometry placement test
- Score in the 25th percentile or better in each section of the PSB-HOA exam.
All histotechnology candidates must submit the following items to the ECC Records Office:
- ECC application for admission -
how to apply»
- Complete and submit
health professions application
- Official high school transcripts/GED scores.
- Official transcripts from other colleges attended.
Admission Screening Procedures
Admission to this program is selective. Students may obtain applications for admission online at
http://www.elgin.edu/enroll. Applications are reviewed in the order received, and candidates will be notified of their status. Candidates are encouraged to apply during the spring semester (January) to be considered for acceptance into classes that begin each fall semester (August).
Special Admission Requirements
Criminal background checks and drug testing are required of all health professions students. Students demonstrating a positive background check or drug test will be denied admission to health professions programs. Students demonstrating a positive background check or drug test while enrolled in health professions courses will be dismissed from the program.
Students must complete all required courses with a minimum grade of C. Prior credits in biology, chemistry and mathematics must have been earned within the last 10 years. A completed medical form and proof of health insurance must be on file prior to beginning clinical practicums. Students must provide their own uniform and transportation to and from all clinical sites.
It is the responsibility of the student to know and fulfill all degree/certificate academic requirements and graduation procedures.
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