ROCHESTER, Minn., and Sunnyvale, Calif. (2/24/2021) —
The University of Minnesota has unveiled NXT GEN MED, a
partnership between the University and Google Cloud that combines
innovative education technology and immersive learning experiences
for students pursuing healthcare careers. The University’s Board
of Regents has authorized next steps in a partnership with Google
Cloud that puts development of a new pilot program in
The pilot program will launch in Summer 2022 and will offer a
one-of-a-kind health sciences education through the University’s
bachelor of science in Health Sciences degree.
Minnesota faces a healthcare talent shortage. According to the
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
(DEED), there are 90,000+ healthcare jobs that need to be filled
with qualified candidates by 2026 in Minnesota. Like many
educational institutions, students at the University of Minnesota
had to pivot to virtual and hybrid learning during the pandemic.
With this partnership, the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic
and Google Cloud are working to solve these challenges.
“The world of healthcare is dynamic and exciting. It demands new
and creative ways to educate and prepare the next generation of
leaders,” said University President Joan Gabel. “As challenging as
the times are that we find ourselves in, they also offer us the
rare opportunity to try something entirely new. NXT GEN MED will
deliver our Rochester campus’ accessible, innovative and
affordable instruction with immediate, real-world application. We
are thrilled to be working with Google Cloud on this partnership,
and we look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students next
The NXT GEN MED program will fundamentally change health sciences
education in five keys ways:
- Driving equity and access: UMR’s accelerated program
will lower costs and speed up hiring of recent graduates, making
a health sciences degree more attainable. Students will take
active learning courses year-round for two full years, followed
by a final academic term in the cohort’s third summer. The
accelerated timeline will reduce student debt. To address health
disparities, a diverse student body is needed. Practices that
fuel equity in educational outcomes will be implemented
throughout the program.
- Human-centered: Building on UMR’s established success,
the program will focus on driving connection, improving well
being, and forming close community connections that enable the
UMR faculty, success coaches, counselors, mentors and students
to become more engaged as a campus community. The platform also
matches students with mentors at Mayo Clinic. This helps
students remain on track with their degrees, as they can
envision career options and experience personal and professional
support while they learn.
- Data-driven insights: NXT GEN MED will present students
with interdisciplinary challenges that require subject matter
knowledge, creative problem solving and data analysis. The
learning platform will also allow students to receive insightful
feedback from their professors on their coursework, and will
show progress on core competencies, critical to becoming
empathetic and effective healthcare leaders.
- Learning in a fast-paced, high-tech environment: NXT
GEN MED will provide a fast-paced, high-tech learning
environment that includes hands-on experiences that provide
relevant career experiences and support, proven in the field to
foster academic success and career readiness. The learning
environment will be designed to prepare graduates for a
higher-tech future in the healthcare industry.
- Future employment and academics are connected: With a
digital portfolio created from day one, students can build a
body of work that demonstrates key projects, connects
college-level learning to the healthcare industry environment,
enriches their resume, and helps them stand out with healthcare
employers upon graduation.
Google Cloud Technology
“As students and educators pivoted to remote learning amid
COVID-19, the human connection and community suffered. With that
in mind, we partnered with the University of Minnesota and the
Mayo Clinic to reimagine the remote education experience for
future healthcare leaders,” said Steven Butschi, head of Higher
Education at Google Cloud. “UMR plays a key role in educating
healthcare leaders to meet the shortage of medical professionals,
and we’re proud to partner with the University and Mayo Clinic to
create a virtual experience to successfully prepare these students
for career success.”
NXT GEN MED is powered by Google Cloud’s
Student Success Services,
a set of tools that aims to unlock student success with
personalized assistants, real-time insights and advanced
collaboration tools built on BigQuery, Looker, AI Platform,
Dialogflow and Google Workspace.
UMR and Mayo Clinic Partnership
"We are proud to be a long-term partner with UMR and provide
support to this effort," said Cathy Fraser, chief human resources
officer, Mayo Clinic. "Our future workforce will be comprised of
graduates from innovative educational programs like this."
UMR is located adjacent to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The two institutions are uniquely situated to make this
partnership possible. NXT GEN MED will deliver UMR’s proven
healthcare education approach, which produces some of the most
impressive equitable outcomes in the nation.
UMR and Mayo Clinic have collaborated for more than a decade to
support the continued growth of Rochester’s global reputation in
healthcare and medicine. NXT GEN MED is an organic extension of
that collaboration, positioning students side-by-side with some of
the world’s most respected medical experts and clinical teams.
Mayo Clinic is also a top job destination for UMR alums.
For more information about NXT GEN MED, go to
the program website.