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Lasell University Launches Surgical Technology Program in Partnership with Newton Wellesley Hospital (NWH)

April 20, 2022

Newton Wellesley Hospital at Mass General Brigham logo       Lasell University logo

Lasell University and Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH), a member of the nonprofit Mass General Brigham hospital and physicians network, have announced a collaboration designed to diversify the health care profession, create a pathway to professional-level jobs in the medical field, and help address the national shortage of skilled surgical technologists.

This new, innovative initiative — an extension of Lasell’s respected Health Sciences degree program — will combine classroom and lab-based learning with hands-on clinical experience at NWH. This timely program is also designed to support career advancement for a diverse student population, with flexible scheduling and a clear path to a Bachelor of Science degree from Lasell. The program also prepares graduates to take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting Technology Certificate exam, which, upon successful completion, produces board-certified Certified Surgical Technologists (CST).

Surgical technologists are healthcare professionals who play an essential role in hospitals by assisting surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses in keeping operating rooms sterile, stocked, and organized. Depending on the region, the starting salary for a surgical technologist can range from $60,000 to $70,000 annually. 

“This partnership was forged during a conversation I had with hospital president, Dr. Errol Norwitz, one year ago,” said Michael B. Alexander, president of Lasell University. “From the outset, our ideas for this new academic model were perfectly aligned. Members of our senior teams shared our vision and worked closely together to develop a rigorous curriculum that will give students the tools they need to succeed.”

With practical experiences in state-of-the-art facilities, small class sizes, and Lasell’s knowledgeable Health Sciences faculty offering personalized attention and sharing their real-world expertise, the new Surgical Technology Program will offer have academic and career opportunities to participants who previously felt those to be out of reach. 

NWH has recruited a diverse cohort of students for the joint Surgical Technology Program, a one-year, 36-credit certificate program that will launch on May 17. Additionally, Lasell will assign a full-time program director who will join the faculty of Lasell’s School of Health Sciences in advance of the first session.

While the inaugural year of the program will focus on the partnership with NWH, both organizations hope to expand the program’s reach and impact by partnering with other hospitals across the Mass General Brigham system in the years ahead.

Lasell’s highly regarded School of Health Sciences—which U.S. News & World Report recognizes as one of only six schools nationwide where 100% of students take part in internships—offers field experiences (called Connected Learning)tailored to the interests and needs of each student. Undergraduate programs include wide-ranging courses of study, from biochemistry, biology, exercise science and fitness management to forensic science, public and community Health, cybersecurity, and data analytics.  The School of Health Sciences also offers affordable graduate and professional studies programs online and in a hybrid format to accommodate the personal and professional demands on each student’s time.

“At Lasell University, students are immersed in experiential and collaborative learning,” said Dr. Cristina Haverty, dean of the School of Health Sciences. “Students enrolled in the Surgical Technologist Program will complete laboratory-based coursework in our state-of-the-art Science and Technology Center and will complete 500 hours of supervised clinical work at NWH, including sessions in their Shipley Medical Simulation Center, where students will practice and hone their skills.”

Tuition for this program will align with other certificate programs available at Lasell. To support the students who will take part in of the first cohort of the new academic partnership, NWH leadership has secured philanthropic funding and will provide full scholarships for all its employees who participate in this program, in exchange for a commitment to work at NWH for three years.