Clinical Laboratory Technician Online Program, Class of 2013
Life-changing. That’s how Kimberly Lane describes her SUNY online-learning experience. “Now, I have a life path; not just a job,” says the 26-year-old graduate of SUNY Broome Community College's online Clinical Laboratory Technician program.
Kimberly enrolled in SUNY’s online program to help her attain the career and confidence she was lacking. Working full time as a nanny, she enjoyed her job, but felt directionless professionally. She longed to work in a hospital laboratory where she could put her biology education to work “behind the scenes” helping doctors determine the causes of pain and illness in patients. This aspiration required additional training beyond her bachelor’s degree, and with a full-time job, Kimberly wasn’t able to attend traditional on-campus classes. A health care professional recommended she explore SUNY’s Clinical Laboratory Technician program.
As if working 40 hours a week and taking a full class load wasn’t demanding enough, 2 weeks into the program, Kimberly was thrown another challenge—she discovered she was 8 weeks pregnant.
“I called Rachael Hagerman, Department Chair of the program, and told her that I was going to have to drop out,” says Kimberly. But after discussing both the challenges and opportunities of online learning with Rachael, Kimberly decided to soldier on. And she’s glad she did.
“The online program was perfect for someone in my situation, and they worked very hard with me to make sure I stuck to it and finished,” says Kimberly. She describes SUNY online courses as being as rigorous as they are flexible—perfect for someone looking for a high-quality education they can fit into the nooks and crannies of their life. She especially appreciates the accommodating nature of the professors as well as the fact that they all worked in the field and brought real-world examples to lessons.
“I was a bit apprehensive at first because I knew online classes require that you motivate yourself, but after this experience, I will always choose online if possible,” says Kimberly. “I think there are so many benefits."
After graduation, Kimberly secured a job as a laboratory technologist at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, NY, where she puts her education to work running tests on patient samples to determine their levels of electrolytes, proteins, lipids, drugs, tumor markers and more, which helps doctors diagnose aliments and learn how their patients’ bodies are functioning. Kimberly has also discovered potential career paths in the field she’d like to explore. “I love it. It’s exactly what I thought it would be,” she says.
Kimberly says she is proud of herself and knows that her confidence has grown by accomplishing something she wasn’t sure she would be able to do. “In the moment, it was really hard. It had its rough moments, but was worth fighting for—and I was able to secure a great career for myself and give my daughter a better life.”