By Kate Hunger
The Medical Laboratory Sciences program received its 10-year accreditation this year from the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
NAACLS accreditation is an external peer review process conducted by educators in the profession. The process assures the quality of programs, including their efforts to innovate and ensure the safety of patients, said Assistant Professor Terri Murphy-Sanchez, CSMLS, ASCP, interim program director of the Division of Medical Laboratory Sciences.
“They were very impressed with the program overall,” she said. “That speaks to the quality of the program and the quality of the students we are producing.”
The accrediting agency assesses whether programs meet educational standards, in areas including curriculum, the use of innovative teaching methods such as simulation labs, the flipped classroom model, and interprofessional collaboration. Programs plan for years for their reaccreditation and spend up to a year getting ready for their site visit.
“It’s a lot of work along the way,” said Murphy-Sanchez, who has served as a national accreditation site visitor.
Graduates of the MLS program, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, historically have been employed within three months of graduation, Murphy-Sanchez said. The program, which recently increased annual enrollment to 50 students from 30, currently has 43 first-year students and 28 second-year students.
“Our profession of medical laboratory science is nationally in demand,” she said. “They expect there to be a crisis within the next 10 years because we are not attracting enough new entry professionals.”