Histotechnician – Community College of Rhode Island


Associate in Applied Science Degree in Histotechnician (AAS_HSTO)

Occupational Title: Histotechnician
Liston Campus, Providence only

This program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 5600 N. River Road., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL, 60018; 773-714-8880.

Histotechnicians are integral members of the healthcare team. It is the job of the histotechnician to prepare sections of human tissue from biopsy or autopsy for microscopic examination by processing and cutting tissues, mounting them on slides and staining them with special dyes for microscopic examination by a pathologist for the diagnosis of disease. Most histotechnicians work in hospital laboratories, medical research laboratories, veterinary pathology and forensic laboratories.

The CCRI Histotechnician program prepares students to enter this challenging and rewarding field and provides them with entry-level knowledge, application and problem-solving skills needed to function as active members of the healthcare team. Graduates of the program are eligible for:

  • Employment in a hospital, crime lab, veterinary lab and public health facility.
  • Transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.
  • Sitting for the national certification examination for HT given by ASCP Board of Certification (BOC).

Technical standards: The physical activity level for Histotechnician (078.261.030) is classified as “light” by the Department of Labor in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

Note: Many courses require prerequisites, corequisites and/or testing. See course descriptions at the back of the catalog for details.


See important general policies in the beginning of this section on the performance-based Health Sciences application process, academic progress, advanced placement, background check, CPR certification, health insurance, health records, reinstatement, transportation, uniforms, and equipment.

Minimum requirements to apply to the Histotechnician program
  1. CCRI application – Complete and submit a CCRI Application for Enrollment. General Studies should be the first choice; HSTO should be the second choice.
  2. High school transcript – An official copy of a high school or GED® transcript, including date of graduation, must be provided. If the applicant holds a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, the high school transcript may be waived; a college transcript must indicate completion and degree awarded.
  3. Placement testing – Complete a standardized test (ACCUPLACER) issued by CCRI’s Department of Advising and Counseling. Students may NOT retake the ACCUPLACER test before completing the remedial course/ courses. Note: For application purposes, ACCUPLACER testing can be waived for students who provide documentation of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Students are advised that individual departments may still require ACCUPLACER testing as a prerequisite for their courses. Reading comprehension test must show competency of 80 or above or students must complete ENGL 0890 - Critical Reading with a grade of B- or better. ENGL 1300 will not substitute for ENGL 1010.
  4. Complete courses required for admission with a grade of C or better:
    1. BIOL 1010 - Human Anatomy
    2. CHEM 1030 - General Chemistry I or permission of the department
  5. GPA – A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better for all college courses taken.
  6. Aptitude Examination – Take the PSB Health Occupations Aptitude Examination administered through Advising and Counseling. The exam may be taken no more than three times. (See psbtests.com.)
  7. Health Sciences application – Complete and submit a performance-based Health Sciences application including a preadmission degree evaluation during the open enrollment period.
    1. IMPORTANT: Submission of a performance-based Health Sciences application does not guarantee acceptance to the program. Acceptance is based on points earned as listed in the program acceptance criteria point system. (See www.ccri.edu/dean-hrs.) At the time of admission, students must meet the current admission requirements. Students declining acceptance into the program for the semester offered must resubmit a performance-based Health Sciences application and meet the current admission requirements. Once accepted, students must attend a mandatory orientation conducted by the Allied Health Department.
  8. Background check – Students are required to submit a background check when directed by notification from Enrollment Services.
Program Requirements
  • Major requirements must be taken in sequence and are open only to students who are formally accepted into the program.
  • Students must be accepted to the program before taking any major requirements.
  • Students must complete all courses in this program with a cumulative index of 2.0 to qualify for the Associate in Applied Science degree.
  • No grade of less than C is acceptable in any technical course (HSTO). Students receiving less than C will be dismissed from the program.
  • Program faculty reserve the right to require withdrawal of any student from the program or to refuse reinstatement based on the student’s academic, clinical or behavioral performance.
  • Students are responsible for the purchase of books, uniforms, and transportation prior to clinical assignments.
  • ENGL 1300 may not be substituted for ENGL 1010.


PREADMISSION General Education Requirements
These courses must be taken prior to program admission.

PREADMISSION General Education Requirements
BIOL 1010 Human Anatomy   4
CHEM 1030
OR 1010
  General Chemistry
OR Survey of Biomedical Chemistry

Total PREADMISSION General Education Requirements Credits 9

General Education Requirements
ENGL 1010 Composition I   3
MATH 1200
OR 1175
  College Algebra
OR Statistics for Health and Social Sciences
COMM 1100 Public Speaking   3
BIOL 1002 Introductory Biology: Cellular   4
Social Science Elective   See this page for a complete list of courses that fulfill the SSCI attribute. 3
Humanities Elective   See this page for complete list of courses that fulfill the HUMN attribute. 3

Total General Education Requirements Credits 19

Students must be accepted into the program before taking any major requirements.

Major Education Requirements
HSTO 1310 Introduction to Histology   3
HSTO 1320 Histotechnology II   6
HSTO 2310 Histotechnology III   9
HSTO 2320 Histotechnology IV   12
HSTO 2330 Histology Seminar   2
COMI 1100 Introduction to Computers   3

Total Major Education Requirements Credits 35

Total Program Credits 63

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Last Updated: 4/14/20