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Conference Report: Educating Biotechnicians for Future Industry Needs. BIO Community College Day 2008 June 16, 2008 V. Celeste Carter Program Director DUE Mission Statement.

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conference report educating biotechnicians for future industry needs

Conference Report:Educating Biotechnicians for Future Industry Needs

BIO Community College Day 2008

June 16, 2008

V. Celeste Carter

Program Director

due mission statement
DUE Mission Statement

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

  • DUE:
  • 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 16th year of funding community colleges, having started with the Science and Advanced Technology Act of 1992 (SATA).
  • Biotechnology
    • Bio-Link Resource Center
    • Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative
    • Projects

educating technicians for future industry needs scottsdale az april 28 30
Educating Technicians for Future Industry NeedsScottsdale, AZApril 28-30
  • 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 post-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 industry.
  • 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:
curriculum recommendations
  • 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 biotechnology.
program recommendations
Program Recommendations
  • Industry externships - faculty, secondary school teachers and guidance counselors
  • Faculty teams - bring resources and professional expertise to colleges starting biotechnology programs
  • Multi-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-fields to support and inform retooling and retraining programs to enable biotechnicians to shift fields within the rapidly emerging industry.
educational institution recommendations
Educational Institution Recommendations
  • Clear articulated career pathways from middle school and high school to community college and four-year biotechnology programs
  • A process to reach agreement on standards for accreditation of biotechnology programs and certification of academic credentials for biotechnicians
  • 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 NSF
relationship and partnership recommendations
Relationship and Partnership Recommendations
  • Between educational institutions, industry, and state and federal agencies
  • Regional biotechnology efforts that prepare individuals with cross-over skills that are utilized by particular industries located in multiple states.
marketing and communication recommendations
Marketing and communication Recommendations
  • 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
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.

Division of Undergraduate Education

Project Information Resource System


Additional Information

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

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