Date of Award



© 2021 George Noll

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Brandie Shatto

Third Advisor

Andrew Mitchell


This study examined the perception of the value of medical laboratory science (MLS) program training and validation of that training with respect to entry-level clinical laboratory professionals. The demand for clinical laboratory professionals is increasing due to the number of retirees expected to peak by 2024 and is expected to yield a two to one job vacancy gap, mainly in entry-level positions. The study examined the perceived value of such traditional educational clinical laboratory programs from the viewpoints of the MLS educators and employers to effect change efforts to better match these programs with what is required within the career path and respective employment field. Research questions asked were: how do MLS program educators describe their understanding of how traditional MLS programs of study prepare students for work in the clinical laboratory and how do clinical laboratory employers describe their understanding of how traditional MLS programs of study prepare employees for work in their clinical laboratory?

A balanced mix of ten MLS program educators and clinical laboratory employers were purposively selected for 30 minute audio interviews in which Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to code themes from their verbatim interview transcripts. Study participants noted an awareness of laboratory staff shortages, limited student internships and MLS training programs in existence, the negatives of increased instrumentation within the laboratory and developmental soft skills needed to promote success of the clinical laboratorian graduate from either traditional or alternative education programs. A need for better marketing and recruitment of new students to backfill mainly the retiring staff was a paramount concern, plus additions of more mentors and trainers within internships. The prerequisite employment soft skills of communication, troubleshooting, problem solving and teamwork can be developed within intra-educational events with other clinicians within both the academic and workplace environments.


Ed.D. Dissertation