Minnesota North College Named a Top School for Online Education in Healthcare

by Annika Freiburger

Minnesota North College has been ranked one of the nation’s best schools for online degrees and certificates in the healthcare field for 2023. Six percent of regionally accredited colleges and universities earned a ranking position. 

Hibbing, MN – Minnesota North College has been named one of today’s best schools for online higher education in healthcare by EduMed.org. Minnesota North’s online programs in the medical field earned top honors for their overall quality, affordability and commitment to student success.

Minnesota North College, situated in northern Minnesota, is home to an associate degree that prepares students to secure certification as medical lab technicians. In addition to major classes, students complete various general education credits that can facilitate a smooth transition into a four-year institution. Both online and on-campus programs are offered. For the online program, lectures and classwork are done online and students work in an approved clinical setting for hands-on experience.

Minnesota North’s 62-credit, two-year program includes major coursework such as laboratory techniques, applied medical terminology, hematology, and immunology. Before graduation, students must complete an extensive clinical internship. Students who complete their coursework with a grade of C or better in each class are eligible to sit for the national certification exam.

“I am honored to be a recognized program in the EduMed national rankings for our online Medical Laboratory Technician Program,” said MLT Program Director (Hibbing campus) Laura Parendo. “This recognition legitimizes all of the hard work that has been put into making this program successful over the years.

“The Medical Laboratory Technician program here at Minnesota North offers both an online and on-campus option,” Parendo explained. Our on-campus option is a two-year program where students attend full time. Our online program is a three-year, 100 percent online option offered nationwide to those working in a hospital lab who want to further their education and open doors to career expansion in the field.

“There is currently a great need for professionals in this field as shortages continue to expand nationwide. My hope is through this recognition that Minnesota North’s online MLT program becomes known as one of the premier community college institutions offering the MLT degree. Ideally, on a national level, I would hope that this brings more attention to the availability of these programs, the vital role they play in our medical arena, and a better focus on the funding necessary to keep them on par with changing and necessary technology.”

All across the country as the baby boom population continues to age, healthcare careers will continue to be in tremendously high demand. In addition, Minnesota North College has exceptionally innovative faculty, who have created programs that are mobile and meet students where they are. This recognition of the Medical Laboratory Technician program is a well-deserved result of that innovation.

“Our rankings showcase the schools giving future nurses and allied health professionals the best chance to succeed from day one in the classroom to day one on the job,” said Wes Harris, outreach coordinator for EduMed.org. “This starts with low-cost tuition, but also includes academic counseling, career placement and other key resources that students need to graduate and get hired.”

EduMed.org’s rankings come at a time when the demand for trained healthcare professionals is on the rise. According to Mercer, a global consulting leader in healthcare, the United States will see millions of vacancies in critical healthcare positions by 2025. Nurse practitioner, nursing assistant and home health aide roles stand to experience some of the greatest shortages over the next three years and beyond.

“One key to solving the healthcare shortage is making higher education more accessible,” said Harris. “Online programs open the door to students who may not be able to commit to a campus-based program while working, or to commute to a classroom at all. Each school in our rankings has made online learning a priority.”

EduMed.org researched and analyzed more than 7,700 accredited schools using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and from the schools themselves. The website’s data science team then applied a proprietary algorithm to rank all qualifying schools for each healthcare discipline.

Primary data points include:

• Academic counseling services
• Career placement services
• Student-to-faculty ratio
• Tuition
• Percent of students receiving schoolbased financial aid
• Amount of school-based aid per student

To be eligible, a school must hold active regional accreditation and have at least one partially online program in the ranking subject. Just 8 percent of U.S. postsecondary institutions earned a ranking position.

Take a look at the full rankings to see where Minnesota North placed: Best Online Medical Lab Tech Programs: www.edumed.org/online-schools/medical-lab-tech-mlt-programs/# 2-year-schools.