Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) is an undergraduate major in the Center for Allied Health Programs. The major enrolls 120 students. After graduation, MLS majors are employed primarily in hospital and reference laboratories; they often advance quickly to management positions. For this reason, the program prepares them to write policies and procedures for laboratory personnel, communications concerning laboratory testing, results for patients and other health care professionals, and case studies and scientific writings for healthcare professionals.
The Campus Writing Board approved MLS's first-edition Writing Plan in May 2013, and implementation efforts remain underway. The MLS student population is linguistically diverse and first-phase implementation efforts addressed faculty concern about supporting multilingual writers. In Fall 2013, a team of three multilingual specialists analyzed MLS undergraduate student writing for patterns of writing strength and weakness. In Spring 2014, they reported their findings to the MLS faculty and discussed methods for responding diagnostically to student writing.
Currently in their third-edition Writing Plan, faculty members in Medical Lab Sciences are working to integrate departmental criteria into departmental assessments, to promote the importance of writing in the field through interviews with lab professionals, and to scaffold writing assignments to improve student writing.