Frequently Asked Questions

What is Histotechnology? 

Histology is the science dealing with the structure of cells and their formation into tissues and organs. Histotechnology is a structural science concerned with the demonstration of cellular change, chemical composition, and function of normal and abnormal tissue. Histology technicians (HTs) prepare sections of body tissue for microscopic examination by pathologists or other medical scientists. The histology technician freezes and cuts tissue, then mounts them on slides and stains them with special dyes to make them visible under the microscope. The tissue may be of human, animal, or plant origin. Prepared sections enable pathologists to identify signs of disease, illness, or malignancies in the body, as well as signs of normality or improvement.

What is the HCC Online Certification in Histotechnology?

The Harford Community College Online Histotechnology Certification program is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL, 60018, 773-714-8880. This program is an option for students to prepare for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) national certification examination. Those who pass the exam are certified as Histology Technicians (HT). Certified HTs usually work in human health care, veterinary, industrial or research laboratories.

What is the admission process?

Admission to the program is subject to approval by the director. Application instructions are included in the admission packet. Students must provide the non-refundable application fee, payment for the program, and complete all of the required documents to be considered. Once the admission packet has been reviewed, students will receive notification of their status at the email address provided in their packet. Incomplete packets will be returned.

Is Harford Community College able to register students from my state?

Harford Community College offers online courses and programs to in-state and out-of-state students. A recent higher education policy requires colleges and universities to receive approval from states/jurisdictions to offer classes to their residents. Some states/jurisdictions charge colleges and universities a fee to offer classes to students who are their residents.

Harford Community College is approved to offer classes in most states/jurisdictions. However, in order to comply with the policy, Harford Community College is not registering students who reside in the following states/jurisdictions: Arkansas, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Utah.

For additional questions regarding the Histotechnology Program, please contact David Mack, Director of Academic Program Enhancement and Partnerships, at 443-412-2158 or dmack@harford.edu.

What are the requirements for this program?

This program is for incumbent workers and therefore requires students to be currently employed by a laboratory. Prerequisites for the program are transcripts with successful completion of biology, chemistry and math. These may be high school and/or college credits.

*Students who are Florida residents must also apply for a clinical laboratory trainee license at the Florida Department of Health. Prior to applying for your trainee license, first make a copy of your lab's Florida State License and fax it with your full name and contact information to Online Histotechnology: 443-412-2482. Once your name has been submitted by Harford Community College to the FDOH, you may then apply for your trainee license. A copy of this license must be included in your admission packet.

What are the payment options?

Payment is due at the time of registration. Students have the option to pay by check, credit card, approved employer invoice request, the FACTS Payment Plan, or loan from a financial institution. Payment will not be processed until the student is accepted into the program, with the exception of the nonrefundable application fee and inital FACTS deposit.

The FACTS Payment Plan requires 1/4 down of the program fee, plus a $35 application fee. This inital amount is immediately withdrawn from the designated account at the time of application. The remaining balance is divided into 4 equal monthly installments, deducted on the 5th of each subsequent month.

Note: Financial aid through FASFA does not apply to this Continuing Education and Training program.

How long is the course?

Since this is a self-paced course, actual times will vary slightly for each student. Students must complete the program in 10 months. Under special circumstances students may apply for an additional two-month extension. After twelve months, students are required to reapply and pay additional fees to continue in the program.

When can I begin this program?

Enrollment is On Demand. Students must complete and submit all required documents, fee, and payment to be considered. The admission to the program is subject to approval by the Program Director. Once approved, students will receive an acceptance email and begin the course.

How much time can I expect to spend each week on this program?

You should plan to spend an average of 20 hours per week on the combination of coursework and clinical assignments.

How do I complete the clinical work?

Clinical work is required and is designed to complement the online instruction. Students perform clinical assignments in the laboratory where they work. Students will need a certified HT to agree to be their educational clinical mentor. This mentor will review, work, verify completion of assignments, and help to keep the student on track. Students will mail clinical assignments to the online instructor for grading.

Are there any scholarships or payment programs available?

There is a payment plan – Harford Community College offers the FACTS Payment Plan to all students.
Financial aid approved through FASFA does not apply to this Continuing Education and Training program.

What are the required practicums?

Students will need access to specific stains and tissues. Full-service histology labs, with access to a variety of stains, will have everything the student needs. Students employed by dermatology labs may need to have access to a partnering institution willing to provide access to required stains and tissues.

Are transcripts required?

Students are required to submit copies of high school and/or college transcripts demonstrating the successful completion of biology, chemistry, and math. Offical transcripts or unoffical copies of your records from the institution[s] are accepted. Unofficial copies are preferred.

What is required of a clinical mentor?

Students have both a clinical mentor at the lab at which they work and an assigned online mentor, employed by the College, to teach theory. As a clinical mentor, your primary responsibilites are to assist the student in developing skills according to specified compentencies in the student handbook; to conduct a quick reveiw of assignments prior to the student sending the assignments to the online mentor for grading; and to help the student stay on a ten-month schedule for program completion. (Students in online classes often fall behind in course work, because they are not in contact with other classmates. Therefore, your encouragment will be invaluable to maintain a schedule.)

What can students do if they need to take math, biology, and/or chemistry to meet the program prequesites?

Students may take courses at other community colleges or universities. Before taking courses, students must request the approval of the program director at HTOnline@Harford.edu. Harford Community College, Continuing Education and Training, offers Math for Healthcare Careers, Introduction to Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology (which meets biology prerequisite), through Ed2Go.

Why is the affiliation agreement required?

The Agreement between Harford Community College and Histotechnology Labatories defines the responsibilites of the College, the participating clinical laboratory, and the student for this particular program. This program is nontraditional in that it is for incumbent workers. The student and the clinical mentor are both employees of the laboratory site and the College does not send faculty or other students to your site. Additionally, Harford Community College does not and is not required to collect immunization records, drug tests, or perform criminal background checks, as these are conditions of employment by your site. Therefore, no outside agreements are necessary or will be considered for this program.

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