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ACC Launches Biotechnology Program

As the biotechnology industry continues to grow in the region, Alvin Community College will start offering two courses this Fall to allow students to start their careers in the field.

"These courses have been meticulously designed to cultivate proficiencies essential for entry-level roles in bio-manufacturing and the development of medical devices," said Brittani Bewick, Anatomy and Physiology instructor at ACC. "The emphasis lies in furnishing students with competencies essential for effective operation within environments characterized by exacting sterility standards."

ACC worked closely with industry partners, like Lonza, and the Pearland Economic Development Center to create a curriculum to meet their workforce needs. 

The courses will be offered through the Continuing Education Workforce Development department at the college. This concerted effort ensures that graduates are equipped to seamlessly integrate into the workforce.

“A student can become a Biotech Material Handler in 6 weeks or a Biotech Core Tech in only 12 weeks,” said Dr. Stacy Ebert, ACC vice president of Strategic Initiatives. “The only requirement is to have a high school diploma or GED. For those that already have a college degree and want a career change, this is a great opportunity to reskill for an amazing new career.”

Students will learn how to perform safety procedures in a biotechnology setting such as gowning and de-gowning for clean rooms while also using bio-safety cabinets, she said. Some of the biotechnology jobs can include manufacturing medical devices and therapeutic agents to help patients.

“This will give them skills to work in facilities where sterility is really important,” Bewick said.

As the biotechnology job market continues to transform, this program allows students and those already in the workforce an opportunity to pursue a new career path. The region is expected to see an 18 percent increase in job growth of the next 10 years with a third of those positions being in pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing.

Students can earn a certificate after taking the two courses. The entire program can be completed in 12 weeks.

The program recently received a $600 grant from the ACC Foundation to purchase the personal protective equipment and the tools that students need for the hands-on learning such as micro pipettes, gowns and more.

“This will allow students to learn how to accurately use them and dispense them which is absolutely necessary for those entry-level positions,” Bewick said.

To learn more about the Continuing Education Workforce Development programs at ACC, call 271-756-3787.