The Histotechnician (HT) is responsible for processing surgical tissues, biopsies, and autopsy specimens for microscopic review by pathologists. Illnesses such as cancer or serious infections can often be detected by the arrangement of cells in a tissue sample.

The Histotechnology Program of Elgin Community College provides a quality education which integrates general education and professional courses with hands-on experience to prepare graduates with the technical skills needed to work in a variety of histology laboratories. Students who successfully complete the Associate of Applied Science degree in Histotechnology, or hold an associate degree or higher and complete the Vocational Specialist Certificate in Histotechnology, will be eligible to sit for the national histotechnician /histotechnologist certification exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Accreditation

The Histotechnology Program is accredited by:

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
600 N. River Rd., Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018
Phone: 773-714-8880
naacls.org

Entrance Requirements

  • Grade of C or better in BIO 110 or transfer credit equivalent to BIO 110 and MTH 098
  • Grade of C or better in MTH 097 or equivalent or satisfaction of other placement criteria

Preference is given to candidates who are legal residents of Community College District 509, Elgin Community College. Working in district does not meet this requirement. Qualified applicants from other districts may be considered if space is available. Go to Joint Agreements to learn more.

Admission Procedures

Admission to the program is selective.  For more information, please see admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Students must complete all required courses with grades of C or better to be eligible to sit for the histotechnician certification exam offered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Prior credits in biology, chemistry, or mathematics must have been earned within the last 10 years. Students must provide their own uniform and transportation to and from all clinical sites.

Policies and Procedures

Students applying to health professions programs must provide a valid Social Security number in order to be screened for placement on the Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Registry. Students must be listed on this registry in order to be eligible to complete required clinical training. Students demonstrating a positive background check will be denied admission to any health professions program. A valid Social Security number is also needed to apply for licensing/certification exams.

Before attending clinical training, students must have the following documentation on file in the health professions division office: negative drug test results, completed medical form which includes proof of immunizations/titer results, and proof of health insurance coverage.

Health professions students will be required to update their drug test, TB test/TB survey, and flu vaccine on an annual basis. Students demonstrating a positive drug test will be dismissed from the health professions division.

The standards, policies, and procedures of the histotechnology program are published in the histotechnology student handbook. Copies of the student handbook may be obtained online at Histotechnology Program. 

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge necessary to obtain a passing score on the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) national certification exam.
  • Process specimens independently.
  • Apply test/theory principles in the performance of diagnostic procedures.
  • Follow established laboratory safety policies.
  • Organize and prioritize tasks appropriately.
  • Initiate measures to correct technical problems.
  • Maintain quality performance under stress.
  • Convey written and verbal information to others in a timely manner.
  • Follow written and verbal instructions accurately.
  • Use technology to operate equipment and manage information.
  • Develop a sense of responsibility to the patient and the employer.
  • Treat co-workers with respect.
  • Maintain professionalism in appearance and conduct.
  • Remain adaptable to changes that occur in the profession.
  • Grow intellectually through continuing education.

Histotechnology - Associate of Applied Science

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
Select one of the following: 5-8
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II
HPE 112 Intro to Medical Terminology 3
MTH 112 College Algebra 4
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
 Total15-18
Second Semester
BIO 265 Microbiology 4
CHM 112 Elements of Chemistry: General 5
ENG 102 English Composition II 3
Social/Behavioral Science Elective 3
 Total15
Third Semester
CHM 170 Elementary Organic Chemistry 5
Liberal Education Elective 3
HST 111 Histotechnology Topics I 3
HST 121 Embedding and Cutting I 4
 Total15
Fourth Semester
CMS 210 Interpersonal Communication 3
HST 113 Histotechnology Topics II 1
HST 123 Embedding and Cutting II 4
HST 125 Special Stains 3
HST 131 Histotechnology Practicum I 2
HST 133 Histotechnology Practicum II 2
 Total15
 Program Total60-63

Histotechnology - Vocational Specialist

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
Select one of the following: 5-8
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II
HPE 112 Intro to Medical Terminology 3
HST 111 Histotechnology Topics I 3
HST 121 Embedding and Cutting I 4
 Total15-18
Second Semester
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
HST 113 Histotechnology Topics II 1
HST 123 Embedding and Cutting II 4
HST 125 Special Stains 3
HST 131 Histotechnology Practicum I 2
HST 133 Histotechnology Practicum II 2
 Total15
 Program Total30-33

Histotechnology Courses

All HST courses numbered 100 and above may be applied to the major field and elective requirement for the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees. 

HST 111 Histotechnology Topics I (3)(2,2)

This course will provide an introduction to the histotechnology profession. Units covered will include: fixation, processing, staining, instrumentation and safety. Students will also become acquainted with standard practices and operations in a histology lab. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 EIST) Pass/No Credit Not Available

SPECIAL NOTE:Students enrolled in this program are required to have the following: 1) criminal background check, 2) drug test, 3) lab tests to prove immunity to common illnesses, 4) TB test, 5) health insurance, 6) uniform, 7) social security card 8) fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Explore the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program and come to an information session .

In-District Tuition/Fees: $546 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Histotechnology program or program director consent

Semester(s) Offered: Fall

HST 113 Histotechnology Topics II (1)(1,0)

This course will cover management issues related to the histology laboratory. Students will prepare design a QA/QI program, write policy and procedures, prepare resumes, and review for the certification exam. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 EIT) Pass/No Credit Not Available

SPECIAL NOTE:Students enrolled in this program are required to have the following: 1) criminal background check, 2) drug test, 3) lab tests to prove immunity to common illnesses, 4) TB test, 5) health insurance, 6) uniform, 7) social security card 8) fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Explore the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program and come to an information session .

In-District Tuition/Fees: $282 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in HST 111 and HST 121

Semester(s) Offered: Spring

HST 121 Embedding and Cutting I (4)(1,6)

This course will provide an introduction to the practical skills of the histotechnology profession. The focus of the study will be on the hands-on use of histology equipment and techniques used in the preparation of slides. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 EIST) Pass/No Credit Not Available

SPECIAL NOTE:Students enrolled in this program are required to have the following: 1) criminal background check, 2) drug test, 3) lab tests to prove immunity to common illnesses, 4) TB test, 5) health insurance, 6) uniform, 7) social security card 8) fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Explore the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program and come to an information session .

In-District Tuition/Fees: $678 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Histotechnology program or program director consent

Semester(s) Offered: Fall

HST 123 Embedding and Cutting II (4)(1,6)

This course will provide additional opportunities to improve the practical skills of the histotechnology professional. The focus of study will be on the hands-on use of histology equipment and techniques used in the preparation of slides from paraffin and frozen sections. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 EIST) Pass/No Credit Not Available



SPECIAL NOTE:Students enrolled in this program are required to have the following: 1) criminal background check, 2) drug test, 3) lab tests to prove immunity to common illnesses, 4) TB test, 5) health insurance, 6) uniform, 7) social security card 8) fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Explore the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program and come to an information session Histotechnology Program (HST) Program

SPECIAL NOTE: Explore the Histotechnology Program and come to an information session .

In-District Tuition/Fees: $678 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in HST 111 and HST 121

Semester(s) Offered: Spring

HST 125 Special Stains (3)(2,2)

This course will cover the theory and practice of special stains in the histology lab. Units include: carbohydrates and amyloid tissue, connective and muscle tissue, nerve tissue, microorganisms, pigments, minerals, and cytoplasmic granules. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 EIST) Pass/No Credit Not Available

SPECIAL NOTE:Students enrolled in this program are required to have the following: 1) criminal background check, 2) drug test, 3) lab tests to prove immunity to common illnesses, 4) TB test, 5) health insurance, 6) uniform, 7) social security card 8) fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Explore the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program and come to an information session .

In-District Tuition/Fees: $546 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in HST 111 and HST 121

Semester(s) Offered: Spring

HST 131 Histotechnology Practicum I (2)(0,6)

This course will provide the student with supervised experience in a histology lab. Students will practice performing all the routine responsibilities of a histotechnician including: grossing, processing, embedding, cutting, staining, and interacting with other histology personnel. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 EIST) Pass/No Credit Not Available

SPECIAL NOTE:Students enrolled in this program are required to have the following: 1) criminal background check, 2) drug test, 3) lab tests to prove immunity to common illnesses, 4) TB test, 5) health insurance, 6) uniform, 7) social security card 8) fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Explore the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program and come to an information session .

In-District Tuition/Fees: $359 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in HST 113 or program director consent

Semester(s) Offered: Spring

HST 133 Histotechnology Practicum II (2)(0,6)

This course builds on the skills learned in HST 131 and will provide the student with additional supervised experience in a histology lab setting. Histotechnician students will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the workflow in a histology lab and practice techniques in a new clinical setting. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 EIST) Pass/No Credit Not Available

SPECIAL NOTE:Students enrolled in this program are required to have the following: 1) criminal background check, 2) drug test, 3) lab tests to prove immunity to common illnesses, 4) TB test, 5) health insurance, 6) uniform, 7) social security card 8) fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Explore the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program and come to an information session .

In-District Tuition/Fees: $359 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in HST 131 or program director consent

Semester(s) Offered: Spring