Thirty-Five U.S. Navy Students Graduate from Med Lab Technology Program at TNCC

Published: February 6, 2008

On Wednesday, February 7 at 9:00 a.m., 35 U.S. Navy students, nine of which are foreign-born members serving in the military, will be graduating from the Medical Laboratory Technology Program at Thomas Nelson Community College. The ceremony will take place at the Mary T. Christian Auditorium on the College’s Hampton campus with keynote speaker CDR Christine L. Howe, Senior Laboratory Officer, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va.

Foreign-born members in this graduating class represent Yemen, Liberia, Germany, Ecuador, Haiti, Guyana, Nigeria, Philippines and Ghana. Based on the special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the foreign-born military members’ applications for citizenship was streamlined and expedited. In addition, as of October 1, 2004 when President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, members of the U.S. Armed Forces do not pay a fee when filing for citizenship. Therefore, military service members are exempt from other naturalization requirements outlined in the INA.

The graduating class will receive the Thomas Nelson Medical Laboratory Technician Certificate and will be awarded the Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) HM 8506. In addition, 12 of the graduating students have also completed requirements for their Associate in Science Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. Upon their graduation from the program, the graduating sailors will apply the training received at U.S. Navy facilities around the world.

This is the seventeenth class to graduate from Thomas Nelson Community College since the U.S. Navy initially awarded the contract to Thomas Nelson in 1998. The program calls for an accelerated 60-credit hour MLT certificate to be completed in 54 weeks. Students complete seven months of their training at Thomas Nelson and five months of clinical medical laboratory internship at the Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth. In 2007, the U.S. Navy renewed the contract with Thomas Nelson Community College to continue training U.S. Navy personnel as Medical Laboratory Technicians for two additional years.

TNCC is the only community college in the nation to be involved in training U.S. Navy personnel as medical lab technicians. Upon their graduation from the program, the sailors will apply the training received at U.S. Navy facilities around the world.

Thirty-one of the graduating students are re-enlisting in the U.S. Navy for a minimum of three years to maximum of six years.  Twenty-nine of these students will be receiving selective re-enlistment bonuses for obligating additional service to the U.S. Navy.  The total monetary amount to be paid to these sailors exceeds $700,000.

For additional information contact the College’s Office of Public Relations and Marketing at 825-2725.

Release #08-0105

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