HISTORY OF CLINICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-CORPUS CHRISTI

Clinical Laboratory Science (under its former name of Medical Technology) appeared in Corpus Christi in 1959 as a hospital-based program offered by Spohn Hospital. The Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA) initially approved an enrollment of four students in this program.

In 1974, the program became part of the new Texas A&I University-Corpus Christi, and the Council on Medical Education of the AMA approved increasing its enrollment to twelve students. At this time, the program also began to expand its clinical affiliate base beyond Spohn Hospital. The program has persisted through several changes in the institution's name: Texas A&I University-Corpus Christi (1973-1977), Corpus Christi State University (1977-1993) and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (1993-present).

In 1990, the Clinical Laboratory Science Program developed an associate-to-baccalaureate articulation curriculum that is a model for the state of Texas. This curriculum allows for the timely completion of coursework and certification requirements (even for part-time students) by offering Level I courses during the Fall Semester, Level II courses during the Spring Semester, and Clinical Experiences during the Summer Semester. By 1991, the program had affiliations with ten clinical facilities located throughout the Coastal Bend region of South Texas.

In 2003, Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science became an option in the Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) Program. Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science students complete the courses required for the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences in the Spring Semester (and can graduate in May). The title of this option includes "Pre-" because the clinical experiences required for CLS certification are offered in the Summer Semester after the students have graduated (post-baccalaureate). (Students also can choose to graduate at the end of the Summer Semester.) Students from other majors and options in the BIMS Program can now take some of the traditional Clinical Laboratory Science courses. Interdisciplinary associations between Clinical Laboratory Science and other areas have been responsible for the development of the new Forensic Science Option in the BIMS Program.

In 2006, the College of Science and Technology was reorganized. Following a decade of phenomenal growth, the large Department of Physical and Life Sciences was divided into two smaller departments. The Biomedical Sciences Program became part of the new Department of Life Sciences. This reorganization gives the programs greater flexibility to respond quickly to the needs of the academic and regional community. It also underscores the College's commitment to quality teaching and research (both basic and clinical) to develop and maintain a high standard of health-care in the Coastal Bend. This commitment will also help to alleviate regional health-care problems caused by a combination of a nation-wide shortage in health-care personnel coupled with a high percentage of chronically ill persons in the local population (common conditions include diabetes, heart and kidney disease, tuberculosis and other diseases caused by microbial pathogens).


For more information about Clinical Laboratory Science, visit the Biomedical Sciences Program website:
http://bims.tamucc.edu

… or contact the Director of Clinical Laboratory Science, Dr. Jean Sparks

Telephone: (361) 825-2473
FAX: (361) 825-3719
Office: CS-130G, Unit 5802
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
6300 Ocean Drive
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5802