Program Overview/At a Glance

MLS Program has a Signature Curriculum Delivery Model

 Click the tabs below for more information.

Hybrid Learning Teaching Model

Hybrid Learning Teaching Model


At the core of the Center for Allied Health Programs mission is the adoption of hybrid teaching and learning methods – or the hybrid style of teaching and learning. This method of instruction is not just about converting classroom content to an online medium; it is about creating new learning environments that optimize learning. Research has shown that effective learning is student-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered and that it can happen in a multitude of learning environments. The hybrid course format has the student learning experience as the starting point, hence, student-centered. The course developer determines what can be learned online and what requires a face-to-face classroom experience. Knowledge-centered means the content and learning activities are parceled out in meaningful learning units. Instructors have discovered they do not need to lecture for all content. Assessment-centered means the student learning is frequently measured to determine if they have reached a level of competency and allows student practice and development. When students attend a classroom session, they often have mastered the material prior to the session. The time spent in class can guide learning to the next level: an opportunity to apply, synthesize, and deepen the learning experience. Community-centered does not necessarily mean in person. Virtual learning communities require students to interface with their peers to complete assignments and share their learning experiences.

Students usually require a few weeks to shift to the new learning platform but by the end of the first semester, they understand that effective learning experiences come in many forms. There are multiple advantages to this hybrid delivery format. Students are empowered to select the time and place they wish to study, which in turn supports their task engagement levels. Multilingual speakers or those who want additional review can repeat the online lecture materials and activities as many times as they wish.

Hybrid Clinical Education

Hybrid Clinical Education


Our blended learning format has also been applied to clinical or fieldwork study by enabling innovative online connections between faculty, clinical educators, and clinical students in real practice settings. Thus, blended learning models enable students to learn when and where they learn best by increasing access to knowledge content when they are ready to engage and enabling innovative ways to support student learning in real settings.

Quality Matters Course Design

Quality Matters Course Design

One driving value within the MLS Program is to deliver high quality, best-practice coursework. Quality Matters©, a faculty-centered, peer-review process that ensures high quality online or blended courses, is guiding development of all credit and non-credit courses within the Program. All MLS faculty have completed foundation courses about Quality Matters© and three faculty are certified as Quality Matters© reviewers of courses.

Community Partnerships

Community Partnerships

Signature Academic Partnerships

The University of Minnesota, in collaboration with private industry and other higher education institutions, has created educational program pathways for students pursuing careers within the MLS Program. Current academic affiliation agreements with MnSCU schools allow students to take prerequisite courses or baccalaureate degree preparation at their home institution and then apply for admission into the MLS professional programs. A similar agreement is in development for students at the UM Rochester to develop a focused program of study within the UMR BSHS degree. 

To help address the critical shortages of allied health faculty, academic programs within CAHP have partnered with other degree programs at UM. This provides students with opportunities to pursue scholarly and research interests in a supportive environment. Students work directly with PhD faculty in partner departments, performing state of the art research that is routinely published in national and international scientific journals and presented at state and national conferences. Students interested in ongoing education may apply for admission to the graduate program in basic sciences or graduate professional schools at UM or beyond.

Clinical Placements throughout Minnesota

The MLS Program continues to engage with workforce partners throughout the Minnesota and neighboring states, through student placements during clinical rotations into more rural, underserved areas. In previous years, the Minnesota Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) provided financial subsidies for students placed in areas that demonstrated health profession shortages and a high degree of underserved populations. Because that federal project is no longer active, the financial support for students placed in these areas moved into the Academic Health Center and the individual programs. The MLS Program continues to place over half of their students in these areas of need throughout the state of Minnesota for at least one of their clinical assignments and is able to help support students through generous donations from program alumni..

Focus on Interprofessional Education (IPE)

Focus on Interprofessional Education (IPE)

The Center for Allied Health Programs is an Interprofessional academic unit, valuing Interprofessional collaboration across all functions. Faculty bridge professional boundaries within all aspects of faculty governance, promotion and tenure decisions, and faculty development activities.

Our commitment to Interprofessional learning and practice is evident through our work in three AHC areas of Interprofessional practice and education (IPE); the 1Health course: MLSP 5012 - Foundations of Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration (FIPCC), the Academic Health Center IPE curriculum committee, and the AHC IPE continuing education committee. MLS faculty and students have actively participated in the FIPCC course since its inception. Over 1000 beginning health professional students, including those of both CAHP programs, enroll in this course early in their student experience. The plan is for students in the proposed professional masters degree in MLS to serve as student-facilitators, thereby enhancing their leadership skills in Interprofessional collaboration.

Community IPE Practice

Faculty members from the MLS Program actively participate in the AHC curriculum committee and the AHC IPE CE curriculum committee to build supportive infrastructure to support expanded offerings to all credit and non-credit learners. Allied health curricula have expanded student Interprofessional clinical experiences. Multilingual medical laboratory science students now serve as language interpreters at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic with plans to expand their role as student medical laboratory scientists serving the community.

CLARION, a team-based Interprofessional student learning experience, provides an opportunity to develop a root cause analysis of a fictitious sentinel event and present their recommendations to a panel of senior-level health executives. MLS students also participated in the UMN Global Health Case Study challenge. One MLS student was on the first place team in the local competition and placed fourth in the national competition in Atlanta.

Faculty Interprofessional Research

MLS faculty actively collaborate across professions in research. For example, occupational therapy and medical laboratory science (MLS) faculty have looked at fine motor skill technical standards for incoming MLS students and both programs have research designs studying hybrid delivery of allied health professional education and its positive impact on student outcomes. Medical Laboratory Science faculty are current working with language specialists from the Writing Across the Curriculum Center here at UM to study writing needs of the diverse MLS student population as they prepare for the workforce and to enhance all students understanding through strategic writing activities in the classroom.