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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


A goal of the Laboratory Science Technology program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology, is to produce graduates with strong foundations in applied science, hands-on laboratory applications, and “soft skills” necessary for competitive employment as laboratory technicians. Graduates of the program earn Associate degrees, and if qualified, transition to related baccalaureate programs. Those who finish either an Associates of Occupational Science or Associates of Applied Science degree programs tend to go to work in the chemical, biological, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, environmental, forensic, industrial, and food analysis fields. At first glance, the LST program appears to be a typical chemical technology program similar to many others. However, it is the only one of its kind in the world. In order to achieve its successes it had to overcome unique challenges because it serves a large and unique population of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Program challenges include enrollment, staffing and funding, and students/graduates finding cooperative works experiences/jobs. Still, through the use of outreach to future students, industrial alliances, curricular modifications, and other unique features, the program in now sustainable and growing.