Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Casey Ozaki


Multicultural Education and Culturally Responsive Teaching methods have been available to assist educators in addressing diversity for a long time. However, the literature fails to address how diversity is being incorporated in laboratory science educational programs. The purpose of this study was to better understand Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) and Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) educators’ perceptions and practices. To understand what diversity in MLS and MLT education looks like, the following research questions were identified:

1. What are MLS and MLT instructors’ perceived levels of importance for addressing the needs of an increasingly diverse student population?

2. How do MLS and MLT educators develop their understanding of cultural diversity?

3. How do MLS and MLT educators define and/or implement culturally relevant pedagogy?

4. How do MLS and MLT educators prepare their students to communicate with culturally diverse patients and members of the health care team?

In response to the research questions, the participants of this study asserted that addressing the needs of all students was important. The participants and related textbooks described many methods for addressing diversity in the classroom. However, most the participants felt that more could be done to prepare MLS and MLT students to work in a diverse workforce and interact with a diverse patient population. Therefore, there is critical need to develop resources that can assist laboratory science educators as they work to improve multicultural competence and effective communication skills in MLS and MLT professionals which will ultimately contribute to a stronger laboratory workforce and the betterment of healthcare.