University of Minnesota Reimagines the Education of Future Healthcare Leaders with Google Cloud and Mayo Clinic Support

The partnership launches a new solution: NXT GEN MED

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 motion. 

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 year.”

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.


About UMR

One of five campuses that comprise the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Rochester offers students an unparalleled education in the health sciences, including an integrated, hands-on curriculum, personalized attention and a learning experience that is truly one-of-a-kind. Immersed in the heart of one of the nation’s most health-focused communities, students engage with medical professionals on a daily basis and graduate prepared to transform knowledge into discovery in the ever-changing world of health care. Piloting the UMN-Google platform with UMR’s undergraduate health sciences degree allows our faculty researchers the opportunity to design and assess a program that uses the best of technology in concert with personalization and community. Visit r.umn.edu.

About Google Cloud

Google Cloud provides organizations with leading infrastructure, platform capabilities and industry solutions. We deliver enterprise-grade cloud solutions that leverage Google’s cutting-edge technology to help companies operate more efficiently and adapt to changing needs, giving customers a foundation for the future. Customers in more than 150 countries turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to solve their most critical business problems.