Medical Laboratory Science Educational Program
The Sanford Health Medical Laboratory Science educational program are committed to providing educational and practical instruction, which will allow our students to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to attain a high level of competency in the practice of Medical Laboratory Science. The Medical Laboratory Science program is one of several educational programs offered at Sanford Health and is accredited by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).
The MLS program consists of 48 weeks of combined didactic classroom lecture and real life clinical laboratory training in our state of the art medical laboratories. The student to instructor ratio in the classroom is 10:1. The student to clinical training staff member ratio in the laboratory is typically 1:1. A certificate of completion is awarded to graduating students.
The majority of students enrolled in the program are college seniors on affiliation from their respective universities to complete the requirements for a Medical Laboratory Science degree. Graduates of this program are eligible to take a certification exam including the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) Board of Certification.
Mission, Vision & Guiding Principles
The Sanford Health Program for Medical Laboratory Science’s mission is to educate, support and inspire our students to become competent, fully functioning professionals in their career choice of Medical Laboratory Science so they can go on to improve the health and quality of life of the people they serve.
The program in Medical Laboratory Science offers a 48 week curriculum at the senior college level leading to a bachelor degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the intern’s respective academic institution. After successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take a national certification exam such as the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) Board of Certification. Graduates are then eligible for licensing or any additional testing that may be required by individual states.
- To provide accurate, up-to-date education to meet the changing needs of the laboratory and health care environment.
- To provide a framework to allow students and educators to interact in a positive, vital and respectful environment.
- To provide support for students as individuals with varied concerns, therefore assisting in making for a successful internship year.
- To inspire students to higher levels of thought process and expertise, and thus competency.
- To inspire students to personally aspire to a goal of being a lifelong learner.
- We realize that each student, although part of a class, is an individual.
- We realize that as individuals, each student may benefit from alternate learning styles.
- We realize it is each individual students’ job to take responsibility of their own learning.
- We realize our goal is to provide education to enable each student to obtain entry level laboratory competency.
We realize that our goal is to provide education to enable each student to obtain entry-level laboratory competency.
Sanford Health Program for Medical Laboratory Science academic acceptance policy assumes that an intern candidate has successfully completed the preclinical curriculum as proscribed by their respective academic institution. Minimum requirements for acceptance into the Sanford Program include anatomy and physiology, immunology, organic/biochemistry, genetic/molecular biology, microbiology as well as a GPA of 2.8 (on a scale of 0-4.0) or higher and a scientific GPA of 3.0 or higher. Acceptance into the internship is granted during the fall semester of the year prior to the internship. Sanford Health for Medical Laboratory Science reserves the right to deny a student enrollment or participation in the training program if the required or recommended coursework is not completed or if individual grades are below a “C” (2.0) level after the student has been accepted into the program.
Successful completion of the program, and the award of certification depend on a passing grade of at least a 70% out of 100% on departmental lecture, practical material, student presentations and comprehensive exams. The educational degree is awarded through the students’ academic institution. A fully graded internship transcript is sent to the students’ affiliate university to become part of the students’ institutional permanent record. At this point graduates are eligible to take a national certification exam. Upon successfully passing the national certification exam, they are then eligible for licensure or additional testing that may be required by individual states.
The application deadline is October 10th of the year prior to the internship with interview and candidate selection completed in November. Sanford Program for Medical Laboratory Science accepts a maximum of 10 interns per school year. Applications are available through the affiliated academic institutions. Application evaluation is based on GPA, three professional references, a career interest statement and an interview with faculty and staff involved with the program. Interviews will be based on but not exclusive of the following:
- College course background
- Conversational ability and alertness
- Cooperation, maturity and self-concept
- Attitude toward internship
Sanford is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Sanford strives to be a great place of employment, receive care and receive education.
Students who wish to become Medical Laboratory Scientists must meet the following mental and physical requirements and sign the Essential Functions document (refer to the Policy section).
- Have reading, mathematics and writing skills
- Be able to communicate verbally
- Have eye-hand coordination and finger dexterity
- Be able to stand for extended periods of time
- Be able to lift/carry up to 30 pounds to waist level
- Have corrected vision and hearing to normal range
- Be able to work in highly stressful situations under time constraints
- Have good color vision
- Be willing to work in situations where the risk of exposure to blood and blood borne pathogens is high
The program begins in June with completion of the program the following May. A non-refundable application fee of $40.00 is required at the time of application. In addition, any candidate accepted into the program must pay a non-refundable commitment fee of $400.00 (which will be applied toward the cost of required textbooks).
Upon admission to the program, documentation of vaccination to measles, mumps and varicella must be provided. Students must also have had a TB skin test within 12 months of program initiation. Recommended vaccinations include Hepatitis B and Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis. Liability coverage is provided by the academic institution. This information is collected and maintained by the Acedemic Program Director at each respective affiliate university.
A criminal background check must also be completed. The students’ academic institution will initiate this process. An additional fee will also be required. Financial coverage for this is the responsibility of the student.
Students must continue to pay tuition to their academic institution during the internship, as both credit and degree are awarded through the academic institution following the successful completion of the internship program. Sanford does not refund tuition in cases of dismissal or withdrawal from the program.
Students who choose to withdraw from the program are required to submit a letter of formal resignation to the Program Director and/or Education Coordinator.
Students may be dismissed from the program for violations of Sanford Program for MLS or Health System policies.
We would be happy to send out a complete listing of policies and procedures, rules and regulations that apply to the Sanford Health Program for Medical Laboratory Science. If interested, please contact:
Sue Hollister, MS, MT(ASCP)
PO Box 2010
Fargo, ND 58122-0040
Sanford Program for Medical Laboratory Science is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).
5600 N River Road Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018
NAACLS is recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA). Recognition by CHEA affirms that standards and processes of accrediting organizations are consistent with quality improvement and expectations of accountability. Accreditation is the process of external peer review, which in turn grants public recognition to a program of study or an institution that meets established qualifications and educational standards.
- Identifies for the public specialized programs and institutions that meet nationally established standards of educational quality.
- Stimulates improvement of educational programs involving faculty and staff in ongoing self-evaluation, research and planning.
- Promotes a better understanding of the goals of professional education.
- Provides reasonable assurance that practitioners meet minimum educational standards upon entry into the profession.
Sanford Health Program for Medical Laboratory Science maintains current accreditation and its oversight is the responsibility of the Program director and an Advisory Committee. This committee is made up of both internal and external members involved in both industry and/or education.
The committee’s purpose is to discuss issues of relevancy and effectiveness in regards to curriculum, program and student policies, current student issues and appropriate market concerns to allow for a vital, responsive educational environment for our students and our school.
The internship is spent helping students achieve the goal of becoming competent professionals in their chosen field for Medical Laboratory Science. At entry level into the profession, the MLS graduate will have the skills and basic knowledge to:
- Be proficient at performing testing in each respective clinical rotation
- Correlate laboratory testing to disease states and the impact on patient care
- Utilize critical decision making and data driven strategies to solve problems in the clinical lab
- Identify preanalytical, analytical, and postanalytic components of laboratory processes
- Utilize the principles of quality assurance and continuous quality improvement practices in the clinical laboratory
- Communicate effectively regarding laboratory issues with intra- and interdisciplinary team members
- Participate in the development and evaluation of test systems
- Demonstrate professional attributes
Didactic (formal) lecture takes place for 42 weeks out of the 48 week internship. Lectures are presented in the laboratory classroom Monday through Thursday from 1:15-3:30pm in two different areas of interest. Students are responsible for and are tested on all concepts and knowledge presented. Students are also responsible for all information listed as reference information on the objectives and/or course syllabus. Information will be presented in such a format as to prepare the student with clinical and applicable thinking skills sa well as preparation for the national certification exam. The schools’ faculty is composed primarily of Sanford laboratory managers and technologists who share their expertise and knowledge with the interns.
It is the student’s responsibility to obtain lecture information in the event of a student absence. Lectures may be recorded if so requested by a student in advance or one-on-one make up lectures can be scheduled depending on the faculty’s schedule.
The student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1.
Sanford is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Sanford strives to be a great place to work and a great place to receive care. All applicants accepting an offer of internship at Sanford must consent to a drug screen for cause.
All students start the clinical training with one week of orientation. This orientation typically includes:
- Laboratory safety training
- Review of policies and procedures
- Introduction to laboratory specific skills and departments
- Introduction and training in the Laboratory Information System (LIS)
A pre-orientation meeting is also held in March prior to the beginning of the internship year. The meeting is attended by the Program Director, Education Coordinator, Academic Program Directors and both current and future students. This meeting allows time for both current and future students to interact and allows future students the opportunity to meet each other. Issues discussed deal with student policies, the intensity of the program, dress code, vacation days, etc.
Phlebotomy, or the technique of obtaining a blood specimen, is an integral part of the internship process. The process not only involves the actual collection of a proper specimen but also all of the customer service interaction that is inherent in the blood collection process. All interns will be instructed on proper phlebotomy techniques, appropriate specimens for testing requirements, customer service and legal ramifications of invasive procedures. Interns will continue with actual blood drawing (venipuncture) processes until competency has been achieved. This takes place during a week-long site visit to one of the Sanford Fargo in-town clinics.
Students spend 10 weeks training in hematology. Students perform specimen processing, instrumentation, blood cell differentials and miscellaneous testing. Students are evaluated on the basis of their professional capabilities, competency at performing routine testing, case studies, and proficiency at identification of unknown differentials, completion of worksheets, weekly tests and completion of a final exam. Student receive approximately 40 didactic lectures in hematology.
Students spend 10 weeks training in chemistry. Time is divided between five major areas of the department including general chemistry, toxicology, miscellaneous testing, specific protein and immunological testing along customer communication and interaction, laboratory work flow, hormone testing and serological testing. Students are evaluated on the basis of their professional capabilities, competency of performing testing, chemistry presentation, chemistry unknown challenge, weekly rotational exams and worksheets and a comprehensive final exam. Students receive approximately 45 didactic lectures on chemistry and are evaluated on the basis of worksheets and examinations.
Students spend one week in this department. Students are involved in instrumentation, routine testing, specialty coagulation testing. Students are evaluated on the basis of their professional capabilities, competency at performing routine testing case studies and an exam. Student receive approximately 20 didactic lectures and are evaluated on examinations and worksheets given during the lecture series.
Students spend 10 weeks learning the blood group systems, component preparation, antibody identification, and blood product selection for patients. Students are evaluated on the basis of professional capabilities, competency at performing routine tests and component preparation, proficiency at recognizing and solving serological problems, research paper and exams. Students receive approximately 45 didactic lectures on transfusion medicine and are evaluated on the basis of case studies and lecture exams.
Immunology is dispersed throughout several of the departments in the laboratory. Specific exercises are given during the special chemistry, hematology and blood bank bench rotations that directly relate to immunology. Students are evaluated on completing these exercises with accuracy as well as completing an online immunology module. Students receive approximately 25 lectures on basic immunology and diagnostic techniques. Evaluation in didactic lecture is based on case studies and examinations given during the lecture series.
Students spend time training on bacteriology benches with added exposure to parasitology, specimen processing and culture inoculation. Students are evaluated on the basis of their professional capabilities, competency at performing routine testing, case studies, proficiency at identifying unknowns, a formal presentation, and examinations. Students receive approximately 95 lectures on microbiology topics including bacteriology, parasitology, mycology, mycobacteriology and molecular diagnostics. Evaluation is based on examinations and worksheets given during lecture.
Students spend two weeks training on urinalysis and body fluids with exposure to specimen processing and routine physical, chemical and microscopic analysis of urine and body fluids. Students are evaluated on the basis of their professional capabilities, competency at performing routine testing, study questions, analysis of unknowns, acceptable completion of an online education course and completion of a final exam. Students receive approximately 20 didactic lectures on urinalysis and body fluids and evaluations are based on worksheets and examinations given during the lecture series.
The professional topics course provides discussion, lectures and learning experiences for clinical laboratory management, quality systems, ethics, educational methodologies and research practice. This course is also a culminating experience in which students are expected to integrate their academic and clinical rotation training to extend, critique and apply knowledge gained in the Medical Laboratory Science major. Students have approximately eight didactic lectures on clinical laboratory management. This includes principles applicable to the purchase of current laboratory instrumentation and information systems, educational methodologies as wells as research and design and practice. Students are evaluated on the basis of examinations and the submission of a culminating document or presentation.
Advance Placement, Transfer of Credits, Program Policies and Contract
Advanced Placement/Transfer of credits
- The Sanford MLS Program does not offer advanced placement
- Transfer of credits from another internship program is not available
MLS Program Policies
- We would be happy to send out any of the following Sanford Program for Medical Laboratory Science policies. If interested, please contact the Program Director or Education Coordinator. Policies available upon request are:
- Curriculum Synopsis and Course Descriptions
- Essential Functions – Minimal Requirements Form
- General Student Policies
- Requirements for Successful Completion of the Program
- Student Academic Status
- Student Conduct and Disciplinary Action
Sanford Broadway Campus
801 N Broadway
Fargo, ND 58102
Sanford South University Campus
1720 University Drive S.
Fargo, ND 58103
Sanford I-94 Campus
5225 23rd Ave S.
Fargo, ND 58104
Sanford South Pointe Clinic
2400 32nd Ave S.
Fargo, ND 58103
Sanford Moorhead Clinic
1301 8th St. S.
Moorhead, MN 56560
Jody Thompson, MD, MLS (ASCP)
Sue Hollister, MS, MT (ASCP)
Timothy McManamon, PhD, DABCC
Jennifer Rider, MT (ASCP)
Heidi Brosius, MT (ASCP)
Sarah Gefroe, MLS (ASCP)CM
Cory Lundgren, MLS (ASCP)CM
Adjunct Faculty: Clinical Staff Specialists
Sioux Falls Program
The MLS program consists of 48 weeks of combined didactic classroom lecture and real life clinical laboratory training in our state of the art medical laboratory. The student to instructor ratio in the classroom is ten to one. The clinical training in the laboratory is typically one to one with an instructing staff member or instructor. A certificate of completion is awarded to graduating students.
The majority of students enrolled in the program are college seniors on affiliation from their respective colleges to complete the requirements for a medical laboratory science degree. Other students are those who have obtained a baccalaureate degree prior to entry. Graduates of this program are eligible to take national certifying examinations, including those of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) Board of Certification.
How do I apply?
Application for admissions to any hospital-based Medical Laboratory Science Program is made through the Committee on Medical Laboratory Education (COMLE). A resume is required.
NOTE: Applications are accepted Aug. 1 to Oct. 1 for the programs starting the following summer. Deadline for receipt of application form and official transcript is Oct. 1. Applications postmarked after Oct. 1 will not be considered. Application must have a GPA of at least 2.80 to be considered for evaluation.