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Genetic Assistant Training Program

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OVERVIEW

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Emerging Role of the Genetic Assistant

The field of genetics has grown tremendously over the past decade and has led to increased demand for genetic services. The field of genetic counseling is expected to grow 29% between 2014 and 2026. To maximize their ability to deliver genetic services, many institutions are turning to a new role known as a Genetic Counseling Assistant to expand services and increase efficiency. These vital positions aid with clinical and research patient communication, data entry, genetic testing coordination, and administrative tasks. This program will provide knowledge and skills to learners considering a career as a Genetic Assistant1 or those recently hired into genetic assisting roles who need job training.

1We are using the term genetic assistant as the training will be valuable to those pursuing careers as genetic counselor assistants, as well as those who support medical geneticists, physicians, and laboratories, all of whom use genetic testing.

For students

Students considering a career as a Genetic Assistant or other position assisting genetic services providers will find this program useful as they prepare for future employment. Students will learn the fundamentals of clinical genomics and contemporary practice as well as the unique responsibilities and skills required to perform as a Genetic Assistant.

For employers

Institutions who have recently hired new Genetic Assistants are encouraged to consider enrolling their new hires in this program to get them up to speed more quickly and reduce internal training burdens. For institutions sending 3 or more learners, a volume discount is provided.


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Genetic Assistant Online Training Program will provide knowledge and skills to learners considering a career as a Genetic Assistant or those recently hired into these roles who need job training. This program is comprised of two 10-week instructor-led courses designed with students’ goals in mind. The courses are delivered using a facilitated teaching approach to engage students and encourage interaction and participation. At the successful completion of the program, learners will receive a certificate of completion from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the McKusick-Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine. This certificate will document the learner’s competency in the knowledge and skills delivered in the program.


CURRICULUM

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Fundamentals of Clinical Genomics

This course provides the fundamental background and tools of genetics that are utilized by the Genetic Assistant when working in a laboratory or clinic. Topics include an overview of the genetic contribution to health and disease past and present, cell biology and genetics, genetic testing technology and application, and clinical genetic services. The course will conclude with a discussion of the ethical and cultural considerations inherent to genetic and genomics. The course intends to provide an overview of various concepts of biology, medicine, genetic testing, and genetic counseling, so that students have background knowledge to learn their job-specific responsibilities.

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Working as a Genetic Assistant

This course coordinates with Fundamentals of Clinical Genomics to apply these concepts to the duties of the Genetic Assistant. The course materials walk the learner through a typical patient case, starting with the patient visit, then transitioning to pre-test coordination, sample submission, laboratory processes and regulations, and post-test follow-up. Practical exercises will expose learners to the world of genetic laboratories, test coordination, and patient interactions.


OFFERING DATES

Fall 2020 August 31, 2020 – November 8, 2020
Spring 2021 January 25, 2021 – April 4 2021
Summer 2021 June 7, 2021 – August 15, 2021
Fall 2021 August 30, 2021 – November 7, 2021

REGISTRATION & TUITION

Individual Tuition:

  • $1,250 per course

For institutions enrolling three or more learners in a single semester:

  • $1,000 per course

We encourage students to enroll in both courses simultaneously as some projects may span both courses. However, students may choose to take courses separately provided they finish both courses within a year from starting the program.

Tuition is due at time of registration and failure to pay may result in cancellation of registration.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Click a question below to view its answer.

What is the weekly time commitment for the program?
Each course will take about 2-3 hours per week. On average, each week has about 60 minutes of recorded videos and readings. The time required to complete weekly assignments varies based on the type of assignment and the learners' familiarity with the content.
Is this program all online?
This program is delivered completely online through recorded lecture videos, readings, discussion boards, and assignments.
Will I need to be online at specific times?
Learners in this course are able to review the course materials on their own schedule. Educational materials and assignments are released each week, and assignments are due at the end of the week. Learners have the option to attend three live Q&A sessions. These sessions are scheduled at different times of the day and on different days of the week in an effort to give all students the opportunity to attend. These supplemental sessions are recorded and posted, so all learners have the opportunity to review.
Do I need to take both courses simultaneously?
This program is flexible. Although it is recommended that both courses are taken at the same time, students may choose to take the courses separately. Both courses must be finished within a calendar year from starting the program in order to receive the certificate.
When does the course start?
There are openings for the new cohort each semester. Please check the Offering Dates to see when the next course begins.
What is the deadline for application?
It is recommended you apply to the program no later than two weeks before the scheduled start date; however, please keep in mind there are a limited number of seats each semester. After you have been accepted into the program, you must register and pay before the courses start.
Are there any prerequisites?
There are no specific prerequisites; however, some basic knowledge of science, particularly biology, is recommended.
What are the evaluative components and assignments?
Both courses contain a variety of assessment components, including quizzes, discussion boards, and practical exercises.
Is this program part of a degree program?
Currently, this program is not part of a larger degree program.
What will I receive upon completion of the program?
After successfully completing both courses, students will receive a certificate of completion from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the McKusick-Nathans Institute Department of Medicine. While not conveying academic credit, it will document the learner’s competency in the knowledge and skills delivered in the program and successful completion of course requirements.
Is financial assistance available?
Presently, there is not any financial assistance available. Discussions about implementation of financial assistance for this program are ongoing, and more information will be provided once it is available.
Do these courses qualify for tuition remission?
Tuition remission requirements vary by organization. Please check with your institution or employer to determine the criteria that must be met to qualify for tuition remission.
What types of payment are accepted?
Payments are accepted via credit card.
Are there any additional costs associated with the program?
There are no additional costs for materials or books associated with the program.