Publication Date

Spring 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Grinell Smith


Admissions, CLS, MLS

Subject Areas

Higher education; Health sciences


In this study, I sought to discover factors that contributed to candidate success in gaining admission to the San Jose State University Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) Training Program. Social Cognitive Career Theory suggests that the interplay between an individual’s personal characteristics and life experiences lead to self-efficacy expectations, learning experiences, and goal setting which crystalizes their choice of career. To understand these phenomena in the context of CLS candidates, I used quantitative methods to explore the influence of race, gender, age, work, and personal experience on the probability of a candidate gaining an interview or placing for clinical internship in the CLS program and qualitative methods to interrogate the process applicants engaged in during their preparation for admission. Successful candidates often developed their interest in laboratory careers through direct experience in science related activities or through a relationship with a health care professional. Successful candidates also had well-articulated connections to the ethos of health care which were expressed in specific stories from their work in clinical environments or personal experiences. Future candidates for CLS training might be more successful in the admissions process if they focus on obtaining direct experience in health care environments and clearly articulate how those experiences inspired them to work hard to obtain additional skills to contribute to care for patients.