What is Biotechnology?
|The life sciences are at the forefront of innovation, blending science and technology into products and services that have a positive impact on people, animals, and the environment.
Some common examples of biotechnology include tests for COVID-19, pregnancy tests, antibiotics, biofuels, drought-tolerant crops, and genetic (DNA) testing.
There are several branches of biotechnology, including but not limited to:
It is the mission of the Biotechnology & Biosciences Department to educate and train students in preparation for a career in the life sciences and biotechnology industries, by providing a hands-on, inquiry based learning environment, creating real-world learning opportunities coupled with career coaching and mentoring.
Trains students to work as research assistants or technicians, within a variety of industry and research based settings. Students gain hands-on experience in a new state-of-the-art facility. Each student gains extensive laboratory skills (over 700 hours of accumulated lab time for A.A.S) necessary to enter the workforce directly, or to continue their education elsewhere.
This positions graduates favorably for entry level jobs with the essential skills to be successful in industry or research settings.
Biotechnology & Biosciences
The Biotechnology curriculum, which has emerged from molecular biology and chemical engineering, is designed to meet the increasing demands for skilled laboratory technicians in various fields of biological and chemical technology.
Course work emphasizes biology, chemistry, mathematics, and technical communications. The curriculum objectives are designed to prepare graduates to serve in three distinct capacities: research assistant to a biologist or chemist, laboratory technician/instrumentation technician, and quality control/quality assurance technician.
This program focuses on the application of the biological sciences, biochemistry, and genetics to the preparation of new and enhanced agricultural, environmental, clinical, and industrial products, including the commercial exploitation of microbes, plants, and animals. Potential course work includes instruction in general biology, general and organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, genetics, and cellular biology.
Preview the Biotechnology Program
Essential Courses: BTC-181 and BTC-281
Advanced Molecular Techniques
Final Semester Internship
Tour the Lab!
Degrees, Certificates, and Diplomas Offered
- Associate in Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.) in Biotechnology
- Diploma in Advanced Lab Techniques
- Certificates in Basic Laboratory Techniques, Bioinformatics
- Biowork (8-week, non-credit course) – Continuing Education
- Completers of the Biowork or Basic Lab Techniques courses are eligible to sit for the NC State Process Technician Exam.
Two Plus Two Agreements: continue education at four-year institute with full credit transfer:
Graduates of the associate degree program may find employment in various areas of industry and government including academic research labs, pharmaceutical production, environmental testing facilities, biomanufacturing, and medical testing labs.
Mean annual wage: $49,490
NC & Local Area Career Prospects
"Home to more than 790 companies that employ 70,000 people, North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing life sciences ecosystems in the country. From big names like Pfizer and IQVIA to exciting new startups, the work being done across the state has global impacts."
Alamance Community College has a reputation for producing impressive biotechnology workers who know their way around a lab. This is due to the fact that hands-on training is an essential part of our curriculum.
At ACC, “One of the things that sets our program apart is that in two years’ time, our biotech students receive over 700 hours of hands-on lab training in addition to their classroom training. That is more than four-year schools typically offer.”
-Yonnie Butler, Executive Director of ACC’s Biotechnology Center of Excellence
via WRAL TechWire
(February 17, 2022) – A Biotechnology student at Alamance Community College (ACC) has been accepted into a one-week program this summer that will provide opportunities to learn about the pharmaceutical industry and a chance to network with industry professionals.
Jeffry Garcia, 26, of Burlington will spend the week of June 5-10 in Philadelphia, Pa. among about twenty fellow college science majors in a nationally competitive program operated through the University of Delaware and the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL).
“This is a tremendous opportunity for a community college student like Jeffry to compete on a national level with students at four-year universities. We are extremely proud of his achievements,” said Michelle Saboun, Department Head of Biotechnology at ACC.
Funded by an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the NiiMBLE eXperience this summer will be geared toward minority college underclassmen and is an exclusive in-person, all expenses paid immersion program designed to introduce them to biopharmaceutical careers. Through hands-on learning and personal interactions, students have an opportunity to earn a deep understanding of how the industry and federal agencies work together to develop and manufacture life-saving medicines, according to the organization’s website.
A native of Massachusetts, Jeffry Garcia dropped out of high school and worked various jobs over the next few years. Eventually he earned his GED and returned to school at a community college.
Despite leaving traditional high school before graduating, Jeffry had always cultivated a great interest and talent for biology. At the community college in Massachusetts, he began studying biology and liberal arts. Then COVID-19 interrupted and Jeffry soon realized that remote learning was not ideal for him. In 2021, a cousin who lives in Alamance County invited Jeffry to transfer to Alamance Community College to take advantage of the school’s long-running biotechnology program.
“Jeffry hit the ground running at ACC and will be completing our biotechnology degree program in one year. He is an engaged student who works hard to get results. He’s inquisitive and always asking questions delving deeper into the concepts we cover,” said Saboun.
Garcia is one of only a few minority students in ACC’s Biotechnology program. He knows what a great opportunity this summer’s NiiMBLE eXperience program will be.
“I’m really looking forward especially to the professional development and networking,” said Garcia. “Learning about different careers in the biopharmaceutical industry should be a great benefit because that is my focus here at ACC. I’m also anxious to learn how biopharmaceutical works with federal agencies.”
Garcia’s goals after graduating from ACC include working at Research Triangle Park in molecular biology.
Technical Standards must be met, see Disability Services for details regarding accommodations.
|Dr. Eddy van Hunnik
Lab Operations/Project Manager