The Blinn College District is changing the name of its Therapeutics Manufacturing Program to Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences to better reflect the wide range of career opportunities students will have in the biotechnology and laboratory science fields upon graduation.
“Blinn’s Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program primarily focuses on companies that produce biological pharmaceuticals, but students also develop skills that can be applied to various facilities in the biotechnology industry,” Program Coordinator Michael Johanson said. “The content of the program is not changing, but the new name helps prospective students recognize that the knowledge and skills acquired in the program transition into a variety of career paths.”
Biotechnology is a growing field that produces pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and devices for medical treatment. Blinn’s Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program equips students with enhanced training in current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), quality assurance, quality control, biomanufacturing processes, and cell culture necessary for pharmaceutical production.
The program is a great fit for students interested in the sciences – particularly biology – and provides training that makes students employable upon graduation with a 60-credit hour Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree or a 36-credit hour Level 2 Certificate.
A 30-credit hour Advanced Technical Certificate also is offered, which allows students who have earned their bachelor’s or master’s degree to gain the skills necessary to earn employment in the pharmaceutical industry.
“I thoroughly enjoyed how innovative the classes are,” said program graduate Ana Walicki, a histotechnician at CHI St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan. “It is not your typical curriculum. Blinn’s Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program is very specific and career-focused – you learn skills that directly translate into the field.”
Program graduates are eligible for entry-level positions with competitive salaries in pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and research laboratories. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for biological technicians are projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026. Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley anticipates 18 percent growth locally during that same span, with an hourly salary ranging from $10.09 to $35.82.
For students interested in continuing their education, the Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program AAS Degree is transferable to four-year institutions that offer Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) or Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) degrees.
“Blinn’s program offers a great opportunity for students to be part of the growing biotechnology industry here in the Brazos Valley,” said program graduate Steven Bravo, a quality assurance assistant at iBio, Inc., in Bryan. “It is developing students with very specific and useful skills that can transfer almost anywhere.”
For more information on Blinn’s Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program and its degree and certificate offerings, visit: www.blinn.edu/biotechnology.
Registration is open for Blinn’s Summer II and Fall 2018 semesters. The Summer II semester runs July 5-Aug. 2, and the Fall semester runs Aug. 27-Dec. 13. For enrollment or financial aid information, visit www.blinn.edu.