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Feb 20, 2013 (5 years and 5 months ago)


BIO Community College Day 2008

June 16, 2008

V. Celeste Carter

Program Director

Conference Report:

Educating Biotechnicians for
Future Industry Needs

DUE Mission Statement

To promote excellence in undergraduate
science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics (STEM) education for all


agent of change, leads NSF efforts to achieve excellent
STEM undergraduate education for all students

creates, develops, and manages programs that enable
institutions to expand the professional STEM workforce
and strengthen scientific literacy for citizens


promotes improvement in the education of science
and engineering technicians at the undergraduate
and secondary school level and the educators who
prepare them, focusing on technicians for high
technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.

ATE is in its 16

year of funding community
colleges, having started with the Science and
Advanced Technology Act of 1992 (SATA).


Link Resource Center

Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and


Educating Technicians for Future Industry Needs

Scottsdale, AZ

April 28

Industry needs for the next five years

health, medical,
agriculture, industrial and environmental biotechnology,
and emerging areas.

Employers’ needs span degree offerings from high school,
community college, and 4
yr institutions.

Focus on expectations for entry
level technicians, and
community colleges role for traditional students as well as
baccalaureate students, who may have advanced
degrees in science but lack the laboratory skills they need
to gain employment in the biotechnology industry.


Many directed at community colleges, but
the recommendations also impact other
colleges, universities, secondary schools,
government agencies and the biotechnology

Grounded in the understanding that
biotechnology educational programs should
develop exemplary technical skills in
students and give students a thorough
working knowledge of biotechnology
applications. To these priorities, the
conference participants recommended that:



Instruction in written and verbal communication, and
“soft skills” such as teamwork and time management

Core curriculum courses transfer and articulate: high
school to 2
year and 4
year degree programs

Strong theoretical understanding of entire
manufacturing process encompassing upstream and
downstream processes

Introduction of emerging technologies in basic
biotechnology courses

Redesign of microbiology and biology curriculum to
include applications in industrial and environmental

Program Recommendations

Industry externships

faculty, secondary school
teachers and guidance counselors

Faculty teams

bring resources and professional
expertise to colleges starting biotechnology

disciplinary programs for cross
training of
college faculty and students
(e.g., microelectronics as
it relates to emerging diagnostic technologies, and material
sciences as it relates to emerging biofuels)

Parallel analysis of skills from different sub
to support and inform retooling and retraining
programs to enable biotechnicians to shift fields
within the rapidly emerging industry.

Educational Institution Recommendations

Clear articulated career pathways from middle
school and high school to community college and
year biotechnology programs

A process to reach agreement on standards for
accreditation of biotechnology programs and
certification of academic credentials for

Community college food and agriculture programs
that incorporate biotechnology in
multidisciplinary approaches to technician
education as articulated by community college
leaders in a future meeting to be convened by

Relationship and Partnership

Between educational institutions,
industry, and state and federal

Regional biotechnology efforts that
prepare individuals with cross
skills that are utilized by particular
industries located in multiple states.

Marketing and communication

Raise industry awareness of existing biotechnology
programs including biotechnology graduate employee successes

Create innovative marketing strategies to recruit students
into biotechnology programs.

Improve understanding of biotechnology by

engage students in cross
disciplinary approaches that
bring biotech professionals to campus for career seminars
and classroom lessons in an array of STEM courses

identify national models of educational partnerships with
industry and create case studies to publicize these
successful models

Next Steps

Conference participants initiated small

working groups to plan next steps.

Participants identified additional individuals in

the community who might aid in accomplishing

the recommendations.

AACC publish a report (Aug 1) with summaries

of the panel presentations and more details on

the recommendations.

Note: some recommendations may require

relatively minor revisions to existing

biotechnology education programs. Others will

involve additional resources, and some may

require initial external funding.

NSF Awards Search:

Division of Undergraduate Education

Project Information Resource System

Additional Information

page Meeting Notes available on Bio
web site and here at conference

Conference paper available on AACC website
(Aug 2008) and hard copies will also be