This program is designed to prepare students for entry-level technician positions in biomedical, research, and industrial laboratory areas. The biotechnology industry is rapidly growing locally, regionally, and globally. The Biotechnology A.A.S. Degree Program prepares students for employment in the local biotechnology industry. The program emphasizes science, communication, critical thinking, manufacturing technologies, and laboratory environmental health and safety. Students work in small collaborative groups to apply current manufacturing techniques while using problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Students learn industry-specific skills required in biotechnology jobs, such as how to:
- Perform upstream bioprocessing techniques to culture cells and microorganisms to create a bulk bio-product for research and industry
- Perform downstream bioprocessing techniques to separate and refine bulk bio-products into a suitable form for end use in industry
- Manufacture assays for diagnostic testing for research
- Implement cell culture, fermentation, separation, purification, and sterilization techniques in a laboratory setting
- Understand and apply basic laboratory skills, documentation practices, and aseptic techniques to monitor production, maintain workplace safety, and prevent contamination of bio-products
Frederick Community College offers a Letter of Recognition in Cell Therapy and Flow Cytometry (8 credits).
The FCC Biotech program has an apprenticeship program that is registered through the Department of Labor of Maryland with four partnering companies--there are nine apprentices in the program. In addition, Frederick Community College runs a free Biotech boot camp for people who want to move to biotech from other careers which has been very successful in getting people jobs. Non-credit courses in biotech are being offered as well as a non-credit option for the Cell Therapy and Flow Cytometry class.
On the K-12 side, the program works with the Frederick County Public School System and has developed an Biotech internship program where high school students from all over Frederick can apply and come to FCC for one semester to do an internship to work on their own research projects. It is run through the work-based coordinators in the high schools and students get 2 high school credits and 7 articulated FCC credits through working at FCC Monday-Friday from 12-3pm for a total of 250 hours. FCC also has an Intro to Biotechnology course being offered as a dual enrollment course in Frederick High school. All 11 Frederick County Public High Schools are partners and students from 6 of the high schools have come to the program as of Spring 2023.
A drug screening and/or criminal background check is often required to obtain and maintain employment in the field of Biotechnology. Individuals whose criminal histories may interfere with their ability to secure employment should discuss questions with Biotechnology faculty.