Stacie Lansink, Program Director
Department of Allied and Population Health
Avera Health and Science Center
The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) accelerated program prepares its graduates for employment in hospital or medical laboratories. The curriculum emphasizes basic science, medical laboratory science, critical thinking and communication skills, including structured learning in clinical affiliated laboratories. The accelerated option is for students who have completed a minimum of 90 credits towards a bachelor’s degree or have completed a bachelor’s program. The 16-month program consists of online medical laboratory science courses, on campus laboratory courses for hands-on skills and technical training, and an off-campus clinical experience. The program provides the scientific background in hematology, immunohematology, urinalysis, phlebotomy, microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, clinical chemistry, and management necessary for a laboratory career.
- Provide an educational program within the framework of the University setting in accordance with the Standards of Accredited Programs for the Medical Laboratory Scientist as established by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).
- Provide adequate numbers of entry-level medical laboratory scientists to meet the workforce needs of the state of South Dakota and surrounding areas.
- Provide the health care community with quality individuals who are competent to conduct laboratory procedures in large medical facilities and small rural laboratories and who demonstrate positive professional attitudes, ethics and practices.
- Provide a curriculum that includes a general or liberal education, content specific theory and applications, technical knowledge, professionalism and clinical competence to successfully complete a national certification exam.
- Assist students in career placement by providing academic and occupational advisement.
- Instill in students a sense of professionalism, commitment to lifelong learning and academic excellence.
- Prepare students to successfully enter the health care field as competent entry-level professionals that communicate well, appreciate social diversity and possess a genuine compassion and concern for others.
Student Learning Outcomes
In the Medical Laboratory Science major, students will:
- Apply principles of management that include administrative methodologies and assessment to clinical laboratory practice.
- Apply principles of educational methodologies including objectives and learning outcomes, domains, and Bloom’s taxonomy to curriculum design, evaluation, and assessment in clinical laboratory practice and continuing professional development. (Cross-curricular Skill: Foundational Lifelong Learning Skills)
- Exercise independent judgement and critical thinking to correlate and recognize discrepancies associated with normal and abnormal test results using patient history, characteristics, and demographics. (Cross-curricular Skill: Inquiry and Analysis)
- Evaluate, demonstrate and perform best laboratory practices as outlined in the standard operating procedures to correctly and independently follow procedures and policies to perform laboratory test procedures. (Cross-curricular Skill: Problem Solving)
- Demonstrate effective oral or written communication with other students, faculty, patients, professional colleagues, physicians, other members of the health care team, and the public to effectively and efficiently transmit test results and instructions.
- Proficiently construct and devise written documents in accordance with quality management and quality assurance.
- Demonstrate and value professional conduct that includes compassion, concern, integrity and respect when dealing with patients, colleagues, faculty, students, physicians, other members of the health care team, and the public independent of race, sex, religion, ethnicity or diversity. (Cross-curricular Skill: Diversity, Inclusion and Equity)
- Practice and demonstrate the use of appropriate ethical standards in all matters related to medical information and patient care including strict adherence to patient confidentiality rights as mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). (Cross-curricular Skill: Ethical Reasoning)
Medical Laboratory Science Professional Program
The Medical Laboratory Science Program accepts up to 24 students into the accelerated program. Applicants will be notified of the decision regarding their application in writing.
- Prospective students should submit the online application by June 30.
- Transfer students must be admitted to SDSU prior to applying to the MLS program.
- Any student who anticipates successful completion of the pre-MLS mathematics, science, and communication requirements and the overall completed credit requirement prior to the admission in the fall semester is eligible to apply.
Admission to the Medical Laboratory Science Accelerated Program will require:
- Completion of all System General Education Requirements.
- Completed coursework in anatomy, physiology, general or introductory microbiology with a lab, and CHEM 106-106L and CHEM 108-108L or equivalent
- Completion of a minimum of 90 credits of coursework.
MLS Progression and Remediation Policies
- Medical Laboratory Science GPA Calculation
- Medical Laboratory Science GPA is calculated using all medical laboratory science MLS prefix courses.
- MLS courses repeated at SDSU, only the repeated grade will be used to calculate the GPA.
- A student must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average within the medical laboratory science program to qualify for graduation with a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science.
A student will be placed on refused status if the student:
- Earns a D or F in one MLS course
Options for Students on Refused Status:
- One D (excluding clinical experience)
- Student earning one D in a MLS course may choose to:
- Pursue remediation. See remediation policy.
- Forgo remediation and repeat all MLS courses for the academic year in which the unremediated D was earned.
- Two Ds (excluding clinical experience)
- The student may reenter the MLS program by repeating all required MLS courses for the academic year in which the second D was earned.
- Three Ds or one F that lead to a refused status require the student to schedule an appointment with the Dean of Student Services to submit an academic appeal for readmission.
Remediation is a second opportunity to demonstrate minimum competency in course outcomes and is defined as the process of correcting an academic deficiency. Repeating a course is not considered remediation.
Situation that can be remediated:
- A student is allowed to remediate one course during their academic career in the professional MLS program.
- Only one MLS grade of “D” in a lecture course can be remediated. There is no remediation for a “D” in the lab.
- A student receives a “D” on an exam/practical during a clinical experience course.
Remediation is available as a “second chance” to make up a deficiency in one course. Multiple remediations are not allowed as this would severely change the way the MLS curriculum is delivered.
- The student requesting remediation must contact the MLS course instructor and the MLS Program Director no later than two business days (5:00 pm CST on the second day, holidays not included) after grades are required to be posted (typically midnight on the Monday after finals week in the fall, and typically midnight on the Wednesday after finals week in the spring).
- The MLS instructor for the course will create a Remediation Plan that includes student self-directed study materials, format for comprehensive assessment, the level of performance required on the assessment to achieve successful remediation, and a timeline for completion.
- The MLS Program Director and Department Head will review and approve the remediation plan.
- The student will receive the remediation plan within two business days of requesting remediation (5:00 pm CST on the second day). The plan will be provided to the student by the MLS Program Director.
- The student will sign the remediation plan indicating his/her acceptance and understanding of the plan. The signed plan will be returned to the MLS Program Director prior to the student starting his/her remediation. The form will be forwarded to the Department Head.
- If the student is remediating a MLS course offered in the fall semester, he/she is responsible for carrying out the self-remediation plan and completing the comprehensive assessment prior to the first day of classes in the spring.
- If the student is remediating a MLS course offered in the spring semester, he/she is responsible for carrying out the self-remediation plan and successfully completing the comprehensive assessment prior to June 1.
- Successful remediation will not change the course grade but will allow the student to progress on in the MLS program.
- If a student is unsuccessful in remediation, then he/she has utilized the “second chance” to make up the deficiency and therefore must submit an academic appeal to gain reentry.
- The student will be notified of the results by the Department Head.
- The completed Request for Remediation will be placed in the student’s folder.
- A student receiving two “D”s on any exams/practicals during clinicals, and their exam average is below 70% during their clinical experience can have these replaced by a “C” if they receive at least a 70% on the final comprehensive exam taken at the end of the clinical experience.
Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure
The program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd. Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119.
Graduates will be eligible to take the certification examination as a medical laboratory scientist from the Board of Certification by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.
Licensure requirements will vary by state.
Course Delivery Format
MLS courses are delivered through lecture, discussion, laboratory, and clinical practice experiences. The accelerated program consists of online medical laboratory science courses, on campus laboratory courses for hands-on skills and technical training, and an off-campus clinical experience. A laptop is required, and course materials are provided electronically utilizing the Desire2Learn course management system.
Clinical Practice Experience courses will be completed at a clinical affiliate site. Placement at the clinical affiliate will be made in consultation with clinical affiliates and the MLS program faculty. Current available sites are Avera Health System facilities, Essentia Health Care System facilities, Madison Community Hospital, VA Regional Medical Center Sioux Falls, Prairie Lakes Healthcare, Monument Health, and Sanford Health Network Affiliated Hospitals. This list is not all inclusive and may change as affiliations and availability of sites are updated periodically. Availability of clinical placement is not guaranteed.